Today is the day that writers confess how their writing week has gone, thanks to the lovely and very Literate Kitten. Mine has been both good and bad – some highs followed by some lows, followed by highs again. I felt my fiction writing terror this week, but also a calm confidence that I can keep taking this novel forward. My story died at this same point – 30,000 words – three years ago, so this week it has been crucial for me to break through the obstacle and keep going. And I did it – it now stands at 36,000! My goal for now is just to keep going: I’m not after a major piece of literary fiction, I just want to get to the end and see what happens. The burnishing and polishing I will save for the second draft.
This week I finished Chapter Five on Monday night. Full of confidence I submitted it my writing cheerleaders (dear friends, who are also writers and readers, and whose job it is right now to be completely encouraging) immediately, then slept. When I woke in the morning, I read it again and realised I had been over-confident. It was wrong, all wrong. I was too far forward in the story and needed to reign it back in.
That’s when the fear and the doubt started, those mean little thoughts that say, “You are going to fail”, “It’s never going to happen”, “You’re going to die a bitter old woman who never finished a novel.”
Last night, inspired by this challenge, I faced my fears and completely rewrote Chapter Five, all 7,000 words of it. I submitted it to my cheerleaders at 2am. There are parts of it I like and parts of it I’m iffy about, but the main thing is that it keeps the story going forward. And that’s my goal: onward and upward and ever forward, with no looking back.
This week I plan to have some thoughts about Chapter Six. I plan to go to gym and then to the Cafe with the Chais, and write in my notebook with a pen about a woman whose son has left and who wakes up to realise he took her joy with her.