The hard and fast rules of reality are not the only things I don't believe in. I have a great mistrust of many words: mandatory, webinar and heartstrings to name a few.
I'm four chapters in to my new mystery, my first swing at the genre, and for me the writing is going at a glacial pace. I'm keeping my word count pretty steady, if low, but I don't have that great sense of bounding that usually sets in at this point in a story, the feeling that I can't type quickly enough to keep up with the ideas bearing down on me. Please don't think I'm one of those writers (if such a creature exists) who never fears running out of ideas or who never hits a lull, it's just usually, I have an ultimate sense of the story and action that, due to the nature of this story, I don't have. Circular, but it makes sense to me.
So here's the thing: I am tempted, OFTEN, more often than ever before to take a night off here or there, to put the pages down and say "Why don't I let this just stew a bit?" I've reread what I've written and I'm satisfied enough that I don't want to throw myself under a bus. Surely I'm on the right track, right? I can take a little breather.
But I don't. Am I chicken? You bet. Maybe it's because I am so unsure of myself in this new endeavor. Or maybe it's because I do like what I've already written that the thought of NOT showing up to this damned keyboard for another round makes me nervous. What if I lose the teensy bit of momentum I've managed to gather? It's not much but it's more than I had a chapter ago. Even worse, what if what I've already written ossifies into the dreaded "nice try" or "good start" You know how those go, those little false starts and half pages that mock you and scurry around under your desk when you're deep into a self-loathing in which you assure yourself that everyone who has ever doubted you was absolutely correct. Leaving even one little bone fragment of a story ungrown is like putting one more bullet in that gun.
I just don't trust myself.
And so here I go, another day, another pot of coffee, another low-ball word count expectation. I'm just going to keep showing up and chipping away at this little bastard and I will unearth that narrative even if it's more a result of erosion than insight. Basically, I'm going to outwait it. Because what if it turns out this cold I've got isn't a cold at all but an exotic coffee born virus that will pluck me from this earth before I've revealed whodunnit?
Here's hoping I can create some equivalent drama on the page. After all, who's going to vindicate the iguana-habitat builder wrongly accused of hanging the land developer from a banner nail?
How about you? Ever have to grind it out? I'm not talking about legitimate life curve balls that need to be addressed. How do you overcome your ineritia? Self doubt? Any good ideas? I could sure use them.