That awkward moment

If people ask what projects I’m working on, or what my long-term goals are, I can always say, “I’m writing a novel!” But deep down I know that I’m really just procrastinating as the first draft ferments and stagnates in My Documents.

I’m at an awkward point in my novel where I’ve just passed the last scene that I actually had a plan for. That is, I had several main ones in mind that were in a nice, connected, chronological order. With those successfully written, I have a few other random ones that may or may not happen since I never really decided how to link them to the overall plot. I only planned up to a certain point when I first started writing it. At the time I assumed that I’d figure the rest out as I went along. Well of course that didn’t happen. 

I’m lucky to have an engineer and serious sci-fi fan as a boyfriend, because when I need some crazy scientific reasons for something, I can ask him for ideas. [I’m honestly not sure why I started writing sci-fi when I really think it’d be easier for me to write children’s fairy tales or YA fantasy.] Anyways, I got a few things from him, but that doesn’t cover everything. In fact, talking to him only brings to my attention the multiple problems and plot holes. I’m starting to realize that I need better motives for some of the characters. I need more diversity. And I should probably do more research on green technologies and energy crises, since that’s kind of the setting of this whole thing. 

Part of the time I feel like starting over and fixing every problem I can find, even though I’m only about halfway finished with the first draft. It’s difficult to continue when I see so many errors. And I can only lament the lack of plot-relevant ideas within my brain.

I opened my story doc last night for the first time in a few months, and wrote a whopping 346 word conversation before getting distracted by tumblr and YouTube. [Curse you, internet!] I know, it’s no one’s fault but my own. I also know that the only way to get this done is by sloughing through it.

Those how-to-write-a-good-book authors always say “Just write!” And that works fine, if I’m writing for NaNoWriMo and I don’t even have a perfectly coherent plot. [Some people have wonderful plots in their NaNoWriMo projects, I’m sure, but I generally don’t think everything out. It’s kind of a reoccurring theme in my life.] It’s so much harder to word-vomit when I want things to be nice and consistent and make sense.

Maybe I just need to let go of my inner control freak editor. I mean, that’s always a good thing to do for a first draft, right?

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Don’t ask me what I’m doing after college.

My boyfriend and I were talking a few weeks ago, and he said “You know, your writing blog has been dead since November.”

And I was rather taken aback because I didn’t realize it had been so long. Now that I’m finally posting something new, I apologize.

So while I was not posting to this blog, I finished my last year of college, during which I worked as a Humanities TA and as the graphic design intern for the student events office. I’m now trying to improve my artwork with personal projects and freelancing, playing video games and getting on Tumblr all the time because I have no social life at home, and applying for jobs. I’m getting kind of desperate. At first I thought I’d stick to jobs in my field, because then if I got started on something good I’d end up where I wanted to be. Well so far no one really seems to want what I have to offer. So I applied to Sheetz. If they don’t take me, I don’t know who will. Maybe it’ll be Pizza Hut or Dollar General.

It doesn’t help that the people at my church, or my parents’ friends, or whoever else I happen to meet, all keep asking me, “What are you up to this summer? Do you have a job yet?” I’m starting to clench my teeth every time I answer. I know they mean well, but they make me want to scream. “Thank you all for reminding me that I’m unemployed! Especially when I know that people my parents’ age will view me as a deadbeat bum if I’m not doing something to earn money!” But… that really wouldn’t go over too well. So I take a deep breath and try to speak as pleasantly as possible.

I quite honestly want something to do with myself. I feel entirely useless and lame sitting around the house. Especially because most of my friends were in college. My good friends are scattered across the country, and my boyfriend lives in New Jersey. The few college friends I have here are my old roommate, who is a wonderful, fun person, but seems to hang out with her boyfriend more often than not (and I don’t really feel like being a third wheel), and…my ex. And while we’re almost cool, I just…no.

So, with all this free time, hopefully I can get some work on my story done, or perhaps some more writing in general. Ah, free time. A blessing and a curse. I guess I definitely know what it’s like to have too much of a good thing right now.

Here’s to updating more often and writing more this summer. And probably fall and winter too because whoa, I’m not in college anymore.