Usually I would write a quirky little scene here where writing deadlines rise from the dead only to torture and torment me but I’m saving all of my creepiest stuff for Camp NaNo (please don’t ask). I’m also kind of sick of staring at a computer screen today, so I want to keep this as brief as possible.
Aren’t deadlines dandy? Whether set by yourself or by someone else, they not only thrill but stress and dare I say, terrify you. I probably hate every type of deadline out there, but that’s only because my fastest writing pace is that of the Sloth from Zootopia.
I like to take my time, build things slowly, carefully and then, when I think it’s perfect, release it on the world. But do I usually get to write at a jaunty snail’s pace? Absolutely not. The only things this blog has proven to me so far are A) I’m still extremely inconsistent, and B) if on a time crunch, I can write something (at least 600 words or more) in less than an hour.
Now whether whatever I write in that hour is good enough is up for you all to decide, but that’s beyond my point. My point is, I’m mad. My brain can pop out a fully developed story baby in a few hours, but once I start any other long form project (short story, novel, script), it takes me maybe a minimum of 2 to 5 years to finish.
Yes, I’m being hyperbolic (somewhat my first novel took about four years), but I’m mad dammit!
I have no patience for my writing process anymore, and I’m still not sure if that’s a good thing. While I’m inevitably changing (for better or worse) my writing has taken a turn that I’m not altogether sure about. Even my style is far less structured than it use to be, and I’m still on the fence about it. Yes, I’ve given myself freedom to explore different processes to the craft, but I also feel like I’m adrift during most (if not all) of my stories.
In the last year, I’ve written at least ten short stories (and started two novels) that I just didn’t finish. Hell, we could even go back another year to find a stratum of half-baked ideas that began in a handful of different notebooks only to be abandoned and tossed onto a (not very neat) pile of older journals with increasingly fanciful worlds screen printed on their covers.
As I go through all of these notebooks to find what stories I want to actually finish, the ones that have stuck in my head for the last few years, my stomach tightens with each entry of each promising new tale that was abandoned right before it went somewhere good. And it’s not like I don’t want to finish them, I just don’t have the patience to let the writing get to a comfortable ending when I could shoehorn a faster one in.
It’s like the last season of Game of Thrones, if you will.
I don’t want to be the last season of Game of Thrones.
So, as with most of these posts, I’m throwing this out there to the wind: what’s your process? Writing, art, acting, directing, accounting, shopping, anything. What’s your mental and or physical process? How do you “get’cha head in the game,” Bolton? Do you start a task at a certain time, have a certain room to work in, a certain playlist to listen to, a certain structure to how you tackle something?
While I’m going to go bang my head against a wall until an ending for “Sad Zombie Story” materializes, please comment below to let me know how you do your favorite (or least favorite) thing.