I am discouraged. There, I said it. I am just feeling bleh and meh and apathetic and frustrated for no reason.
Earlier today, I was walking Leia (who is having some gross gastro-intestinal issues…double entendre intended) and was thinking about my novel. I have a scene which helps wrap up a sub-plot. But I am worrying that the sub-plot is being introduced too late and is a bit cliche and its conclusion is a bit too much of a deus ex machina ending…a god-machine ending in which a god (or, in this case, a telephone nurse) comes down and hands out judgment and sends the characters about their lives.
It was just too neat and tidy.
I based the sub-plot on something that happened in my own life. It was a very long and very hellish day and I don’t remember how I figured out that everything was okay. But everything really was just fine and I went about my life and….well..I can’t go any further because I really am hoping that everyone is going to read my novel in the future and they will enjoy it and….blah blah blah.
I waited too long to write the scene. On the walk, I had the scene laid out perfectly. I knew how I was going to arrive at the crux moment, all the emotional interplays, the dialogue, and sensory details. And then I came home and sat down and felt nervous. So I distracted myself with stupid computer games and then other forms of digital nonsense.
Did I write the scene? Nope.
And I regret it because the pacing and the words and the entire moment just kind of evaporated. The emotions dissolved and when I tired to write the scene, it was nothing more than a toxic mixture of starting and stopping and getting out words but looking at them and feeling like they just suck.
I will confess, this is hard. Writing after I thought I was done writing is really hard. I was happy with what I wrote because I had spent twelve years working on this novel and then I finished it once or twice or three times or maybe even four times. I have written and rewritten and re-rewritten.
I am also going through the agents, trying to find the right match and feeling insecure and like everything is just questionable at best.
Why, hello discouragement. How are you doing? I haven’t dealt with you in a while so, take a seat, sit right back. What do you want to watch? Don’t mind me. I think I’m going to sit here and wallow.
It’s easy for me to sink into a point of apathetic stupidity. To stare at my words and feel a bit futile and idiotic. And then, someone shakes me by the scruff of my neck and I plunge into writing and live within the curls of letters.
I think I have something. My beta readers say I do. My editor is incredibly reassuring.
But I am discouraged today.
Until I opened up the book of 300 writing prompts a student bought for me. Within is a bookmark, held ten pages in. And there, in neat penciled handwriting, my student, Rachel, filled in the entry labeled something about an event on a weekly basis that I look forward to.
She wrote about my class. She wrote about how hard I push them and then how hard I try to make them laugh. She wrote about love and compassion and acceptance.
The discouragement lifted. Somewhat. I am not up to writing today on my novel. But I have logged in over 600 words here, so I have still done something with words today.
I know that this discouragement is temporary. I will wake up tomorrow and will put my best foot forward and will try again. I will write again. I will finish the scene and will put in what I think is right and will send it through.
I am going to continue putting in the edits my editor recommends and I am going to continue to build in a few new scenes that I have constructed and will place them where they need to go.
And then, I will write up my new query letter. And send it.