It is 10:40 AM on a Wednesday and I am eating salt and vinegar potato chips.
I do not feel ashamed by this development. However, having indulged in my need for salty vinegary crispiness, I feel a sense of accomplishment in alleviating a combination craving and hunger pang.
It is a sense of accomplishment that I was entirely lacking last night as I pored over a notebook I hadn’t opened in over a month.
Every year I tackle the mountains known as NaNoWriMo and ScriptFrenzy! This year, however, the powers that be have decided to drop ScriptFrenzy! from the roster, citing budgetary cuts to the program. I am still considering doing my own version, but in the meantime, I have decided to pour some of my creative energy into properly finishing and revamping my last NaNoWriMo novel in order to start the editing process.
My word count for NaNoWriMo is always over what it needs to be in order to ‘win’ the year, but I have yet to actually properly finish a story from start to finish. I end up with skipped chapters, with phrases such as ‘This is where an epic battle will go. PersonX will say ____________ and PersonY will do __________ and after they fight and the gun goes off, they will make up’ or such similar things. Sometimes I skip paragraphs, sometimes I skip entire chapters. Most of what I write is out of order or just a few pages of ramblings about the story or characters. Sometimes in the middle, I write an unrelated short story.
This time, I am going to take all these rambling story bits and hang them from a clothesline in order to form a semi-coherent and linear storyline which I will then fill in with the required missing information and get the actual start of a true story started.
The problem with this is that last night, I tried to read a page that I wrote. It’s a good page. It’s very compelling and I dare to even say well written. It’s one of those things that came out of a moment of sheer creativity, where my pen (yes, I write longhand on paper) could barely keep up with my thoughts. Yes, typing it would be much faster and easier, but I do the bulk of my writing in that twenty or so minutes between getting into bed and actually passing out for the night. The night I wrote this particular page was on the tail end of a creative spurt when I was nearly asleep, but managed to stay awake enough to finish the scene as it played out in my head.
Only… I couldn’t read it. I kept getting distracted. I knew what happened. I could envision it happening. I read the words instead of the content and I was pleased with the way they sounded flowing into each other. I thought the imagery was good. Compelling. But I couldn’t sit there and read from the first word to the last without getting sidetracked.
Does this make me a great writer or a horrible writer?