What does boredom feel like?

Aug 10, 2009 | Personal

I know full well why I’m not cranking out the Novel as fast as I’d like. I should have the damn thing done by now. November marks a year since I started it, and I’m only on the second draft. It needs at least another two drafts before I’ll try to pitch it.

I’m hoping that I can get through them faster than it’s taken me to actually write the blasted thing.

I can take solace in the fact that I am a better writer now than I was a year ago. I’m a far, far better writer than I was thirteen years ago, when I began this madness, and I know it shows. I should have it done by now, and if I wasn’t so easily distracted, it would be!

I don’t know what it is to be bored, when I write. I’ve had writers’ block, where I’m not sure what happens next, but it generally only lasts while I make myself a cup of tea or go sit in the bathroom, musing. But I have so many ideas! Stories and threads flow into my head, and trying to stick to one, just one, is so damn hard. I jump from one to the next to the next, and end up with a tangled ball of incoherency instead of a properly woven plot!

So NaNoWriMo is on the way, and it’s a good thing too. It’s a deadline, a focus, an irresistible force that pulls my imagination together and unleashes it at the story that needs to be written RIGHT NOW. I love it so much.

One of my best story ideas came from a deadline of less than 24 hours. I was simply told, “We need this. By tomorrow. Can you do it?” And I could – the shape of it just exploded in my head and I wrote it all down in half an hour. It needed more work to clean it up, of course, but right then and there I had character, plot and world, and they all fell into place as if I had been working on them a month or more.

It feels great to be my own Muse, but I need direction. I need restrictions to channel my ideas and forge them into something worth selling. I need practice to take the result and really make it shine – I’ve had thirteen years of it so far, and I’m just coming to the stage where I feel I’m good enough. It seems that a lot of writers miss this – your idea, your inspiration, is the start of the journey. What comes afterwards is the hard, desperate, lonely work that turns you into a published author.

I really must get over being distracted too.