Twelve Days 100 Pages: Thoughts on stress and self-doubt   1 comment

These are the “notes” that i’ve made after analyzing chapters and reorganizing things recently. These are additional things I wrote and mapped out after doing my pre-writing novel preparation, which is about twelve pages of documentation. So add that to like another 25 pages of notes and stuff and I have close to 40 pages of prep + the actual writing.

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This is just a part of the novel’s growth even though I hit a snag or two.

I had a serious loss of motivation for three days, simply because when I get so deep into a novel, my brain starts going at a thousand miles an hour. Any feeling of doubt can become and overwhelming one, and little bumps in the road (a character conflict that you are trying to work out for example) can become a Herculean task. But these are the shortcomings of many a writer, and I made sure to chat with one or two people about how I was feeling. A friend and fellow author told me to just keep going and don’t’ worry about it. He reminded me that among his friends and I am one of the most driven, well traveled and creative he knows. Then I spoke to my grandmother about how I was feeling, and she told me a simple phrase, “People read. People even read things that drop on the ground. You have a gift, use it, and keep writing.” These two general sentiments settled my raging mind enough for me to get back into the groove. Even though i’d lost some of my motivation, I had still written 3-5 pages a day during those times.

Now, as I’ve hit a nice landmark of one hundred pages, I’ve realized some more things about my process which I may adjust into the future. Feeling stressed while doing anything doesn’t make it easier to do. I was starting to worry about this novel I wrote in Japan, if it would be “real enough”, if people would even read it, and the usual negative self-talk that people make when they are on the verge of finishing a major project. I took these thoughts quite seriously, wondering if I had what it took.

But then I took some time to browse through my old website (Jamaicaninjapan.com) and looked at a few of my videos, and said… I HAD been there. I’d lived there, been happy and sad there. I was qualified to write this novel. A novel is nothing but an idea, and this is simply an idea that will be put out there. The paranoia and worry of putting it out there could come later.

Also *knocks on head* i’d released one novel already THIS YEAR. At the end of June, a mere four months ago, I released Sex, Drugs and Jerk Chicken, which a few people have read and mentioned to me they liked. Now, what i realize is that i’m never stuck on the belief that one major idea will cause my value to explode. I’m always questioning and trying to figure out a new angle to ensure that i’m using my energy wisely. BUT, I released a book! I organized my own book readings, did a mentally draining online launch and marketed the book to people on several continents. It hasn’t taken off yet, but for me to be blazing through another novel within such a short time frame isn’t a bad thing. If anything, it reflects an urgency within me to keep going and fight the battle of getting new products out there to attract different kinds of readers. The effort I’ve put into this project shows that i’m not happily resting on my laurels because I feel I have more to say.

I think that, on top of the sentiments from my friend and grandmother, helped me to relax a bit more. I can be a little neurotic during this face of extreme mental use, but sometimes we just need take two steps back, look on things literally and move from there. So i’m at 50,000 words in 12 days, which isn’t bad. But technically i’ve already hit the minimum industry standard for a novel.  Why am i so worried?

I guess this is a quirk of mine that makes me work harder, but it can be detrimental. So right now, i’m just breathing, taking it easy and going through easier motions in writing. I made the last ten or twelve chapters very detailed to ease the thinking involved with those parts. I’ve also sat and meditated on certain specific character meetings and motivations which I feel could affect the way the story ends. I mulled over that for sometime, and i think for now, I have another framework I can operate with.

So the evolution of a novel is always the rough outline, then the real outline, then the “tweaked outline” then the “tweaked some more outline” then you have the “first draft outline”, after which you get someone to read it some more, then you have your “tweaked draft” and possibly this will be ready to publish. So i’m gonna just get the first draft wrapped up as soon as possible, then fiddle with the tweaking and touchups as I find a few kind folks to take a read through.

cheers until I hit 125 pages

Posted October 25, 2013 by marcusbird in Uncategorized

One response to “Twelve Days 100 Pages: Thoughts on stress and self-doubt

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  1. Go marcus!

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