Friday, November 13, 2009

Do you smell that?

That burning smell? I can smell it. Yep - THAT.

Don't be alarmed - it's just my brain melting down. Because NaNoWriMo is really not going as smoothly as I previously and naively thought that it surely would.

Don't be confused by the word count you see in the sidebar - it may be in the 20Ks, but only two of those words make sense in their context, I'm sure of it.

I mean, I kinda knew I'd be in for some shit once I got through the honeymoon phase of the first few days - with my fresh new idea turning to molten crap right there on the screen in front of me, but I was really a whore about the whole thing in the beginning and was all up to my shoulders in that false sense of supremacy that can only come from someone who has never tried to write a novel.

I was all, Shit - I have this awesome, funny premise and a whole month to write about it, it's going to be kick ass! And, who are all these people complaining - how hard could this be? Losers.

Well, pee shaw - I am the loser now.

And why? Because all the shit that they talk about in the NaNo forums about characters becoming boring and plots losing steam and fingers bouncing off laptops while resulting in zero coherent words on the page are totally a reality in my life now.

And it's all because I never lost that "I am different and therefore will not experience the issues that normal people do due to my specialness" quality that has been a part of my psyche from the time when I was a small child.

Like, you know when you watch a movie and there's a smart girl and a not so smart girl or a powerful boss and a downtrodden assistant or a clever thief and a dumb sidekick or the hot chick and the ugly chick? Well, in my mind, I'm always the smart girl/powerful boss/clever thief/hot chick.

I would always just align myself with those characters even though, as I get older and (one would hope) wiser, I've realized that not only am I not the smart, powerful, clever hottest girl, but I'm not even in the movie. I'm not even in the best seat in the fucking movie theater and I paid $12 to get in here and am wearing jeans with a hole in the crotch and dirty flip-flops with a very old pedicure.

So, what I'm saying is that it has come to my attention that I've spent a lot of my life being very delusional about who and what I am, what I can and can not do (Kung Fu is a good example) and what I do and do not look like and despite that jarring realization and vague but lagging understanding, I still somehow didn't adequately prepare myself for NaNoWriMo, but instead allowed my brain to delude me into thinking that somehow this was going to be easy like Sunday morning even when other people were balancing on building ledges as the task approached.

This also explains why I still take pairs of size 6 jeans into the dressing room with me even though I haven't been a size 6 in jeans since my freshman year of college. So delusional.

What I should have been telling myself was, "Look, woman, it is very difficult to write a novel. That is why not everyone does this. And you are not a fucking superwoman who has unique ideas that no one else has thought of AND the talent to sit down at a computer and put them to the page in an amusing or even relatively meaningful manner. So get off your high horse and go write something for the blog because at least there you can yammer about things you know, like running slowly around the block and spending ridiculous amounts of time planting shit in the ground. Leave novel-writing to the professionals and just go write some bad words for the internet to read because that's where you really belong."

Also, "That Snuggie isn't attractive and might as well be a fucking muumuu for the amount of action you're going to get while wearing it."

It hasn't been a fun ride these last few days.

I've had to take a new tact with the book and this tact doesn't please me. It's basically the Just Write Some Disjointed Stories About Your Characters And Then Maybe Someday Come Back And String Them Together With Swears method and I'm not sure it's going to work out.

I'll say it - I'm tired of these characters. They're not fun enough. And I don't know how to make them fun. I'm tired of the storyline. It's not interesting enough and I don't know how to make it interesting. My original inspiration that flowed from my brain like wine (see, that doesn't even make sense) has abandoned me for other more hospitable accommodations. Like, perhaps inside the head of a person who knows how to write compelling fiction, for instance.

I'm pretty sure my muse took one look at the garbage I was putting down on the page and was like, pfffffffft - this a total waste of my time.

And you know what? I don't even blame her. I'd leave my mess of an imagination right now, too, if I could. Because when I start to try to imagine what should go on with my fucked up story and boring characters my mind inevitably wanders off and starts putting together outfits for events not happening until 2010 or starts flipping through seed catalogs I haven't even received yet. This mind of mine has already decided that it would rather grow some kind of cantaloupe rather than honeydew but it can't make the female lead in this story do anything more interesting that bounce her three boobs around while sprinting across traffic!

It's maddening!

Anyway, I told you all that to tell you this: I've been quiet on the blog this week because all of my extraneous brain power left after work has been fitfully squooze onto the surface of my NaNo novel, leaving precious little left to fill this blog or even scratch out an intelligible note to the cleaning lady about please don't clean the microwave anymore because we don't use it and you keep putting it back wrong so that it clunks around and scares the dog when I try to make popcorn.

So, in a way, I'm sort of doing you a favor by sparing you my mindless rambling and endless whining and pointless bitching because I bet that if I'd shared with you my irretrievable delusions of grandeur with regard to novel writing when I said something about doing NaNoWriMo last month, you'd have told me to stick with the blog and forget about things as grandiose as stringing together 50,000 sensical words in one month's time.

Feel free to give me a good old, "I told you so", now because I totally deserve it. For being such a pompus bitch about this whole NaNo thing, even if it was all just in my head and I never actually said to anyone, "What's the big deal? So you write a book. Big whoop." because that's totally what I was thinking.

More wrong than size 6 jeans or thinking that my new haircut is going to look as good on me as it did on Jennifer Aniston when she cut it short (not The "Jennifer" haircut - that I did not like) and hated it but I thought it was really cute and filed it away as a haircut I'd maybe get one day if I had the balls to cut my hair short.

Well, I cut it short alright, but it still looks way cuter on Jennifer than it does on me, which is obvious because HELLO she is who she is and I am not her. Which seems like something about which I'd have previously have been aware, but thanks to my amazing self-deluding powers, was totally NOT aware of.

Again, it's been a rough week, delusional-wise.

I think I'll go run around the block. Slowly.


  1. See, the problem is that you're messing with the alignment of the stars. You've already been published for this year, so technically, you have to wait until next year. It's bad karma to go for two in one year. Don't give up, just take a deep breath!

  2. Whoa, Nelly!
    "50,000 sensical words"???

    Who said anything about SENSICAL? Sensical is for December. November is for 50,000. Sense don't enter into it. Keep writing! It'll come back to you.

    And honestly? You're doing great! My word count right now is 5,711. And if you're signed up for the newsletter/pep talk, you just heard that 97% of the writing life is spent in the desert in the middle. Get more water, and keep walking. You'll get back to the coast!

    Go Finny go!!!!

  3. Meh. I quit before I actually even signed up.

    Maybe if it were Na-Some other month in which there are no birthdays, holidays, vacations, or other massive time-sucks to trip me up-WriMo I'd have at least logged on to the official site and pretended I was gonna write a novel in one month.

    Anyway that's my version of a pep talk. (Yeah, it sucks.) Go Finny.

  4. I am EXACTLY like you in terms of self-delusion. And I doubt you wrote this to get any advice, but well, I'm giving it anyway. (even if it isn't actually my advice since it comes from books and also despite the fact that I haven't written word one for NaNoWriMo. I have, though, encouraged my 11 year old to keep at it and she's at well over 3000 words, despite the fact that she didn't start until a week after she should have.)

    Thing One- I read the book Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell (same guy who wrote Blink) and he basically said that there is no such thing as genius. Everyone who we think of as a genius has just put in the hours towards improving their skills. At first, since I'm delusional and think I'm special too, this was a big blow to my plans in life. But as I kept reading, I realized that just showing up is the secret. People who are success have shown up day after day after day. I keep telling Joey that she may not be producing anything that she'd want others to read, but she is logging her way to the 10,000 hours that Gladwell says is required to become a success at anything.

    Thing Two- The nonfiction book, On Writing by Stephen King, is nice and short and his description of his muse is pretty interesting. Plus he tells you that the best way to improve your writing is by reading, so that's advice I can take while my daughter is hogging all the computer time.

  5. Anna - And that is one way I had not approached this situation yet. Which would explain a lot. Its One Yard Wonders' fault! Ah, I love to blame others. Thanks, Anna ;)

    Elkit - Of course that is the sensible way to approach this. And that pep talk email actually did make me feel a bit better. At least I'm not the only one wandering the wild outback waiting for a monster to strike. I will continue to soldier on - but I am holding tight to the "you will write some crap" mantra. Because WHOA am I writing some crap.

    Amy - This is only my first year doing this after many years pretending it didn't exist so that I didn't have to convince myself to sign up and do it. So, I hear ya. And I'll take my pep talks however they come.

    Wendy - And I am SO glad you said so because with great self-deluding power comes great self-consciousness. Like, I know I'm self-absorbed, but these delusions of grandeur and specialness are almost embarrassing. Meanwhile, I'd forgotten about Outliers (which I read in, like, two days because it was so compelling), so now I will just start looking at this like one step toward my 10,000 hours. Don't get me wrong, the act of writing is still fun and in itself compelling, it's just not as satisfyingly and ridiculously perfect right off the cuff like I thought it would be. Because, again, DELUSIONAL.


  6. Also, you're almost half way there on the 13th and your story has a girl with 3 boobs.

    You are the awesomest, even if your brain is melting.

  7. Glad I haven't asked how the book is going. But I still want to read it, whenever it may be finished and no matter how nonsensical it may appear. You hooked me with the triple-boob thing, I must admit. You can have lots of fun with that in the cover illustration. You know, for when it gets published.

  8. Don't give up! You are doing so well!

    You're almost halfway, and after that it's basically just another 20,000 words of useless description and 5,000 of actual plot.

    You can do it!

  9. Well shit. I'm glad I'm not doing this now instead of kicking my ass for forgetting to sign up even though I had almost forever to do so.

    I'll quietly sit at my desk plugging along on my memoir on my 30/30. *sigh*. It might actually get done before I'm 30. Which is in 2 1/2 years. I've got time...

  10. Keep going.

    And just wait, next year when you read back through those 50K words you are going to die laughing. At least I did when I looked back over mine. Quite mortified... actually.

  11. Right there with you. And I'm not helped by the fact that Husband is going great guns and keeps saying "this is so much fun" and cranking away at his book like it's the most fun he's had since he discovered masturbation.

    Meanwhile I'm cursing and stalling and hitting every wall known to man and wondering why I ever thought I could do this and feeling pretty damned crappy because I can't write a single interesting sentence and Husband already has a cover designed, the rat.

  12. Like, you know when you watch a movie and there's a smart girl and a not so smart girl or a powerful boss and a downtrodden assistant or a clever thief and a dumb sidekick or the hot chick and the ugly chick? Well, in my mind, I'm always the smart girl/powerful boss/clever thief/hot chick.

    Maybe one of my most favorite finny paragraphs ever.

    I want to read your novel and, actually, you rival JA with your cute hair. I'm impressed you went for it.

  13. dude. you don't use your microwave?

  14. Finny- check my blog, you've been awarded. :P


[2013 update: You can't comment as an anonymous person anymore. Too many douchebags were leaving bullshit SPAM comments and my inbox was getting flooded, but if you're here to comment in a real way like a real person, go to it.]

Look at you commenting, that's fun.

So, here's the thing with commenting, unless you have an email address associated with your own profile, your comment will still post, but I won't have an email address with which to reply to you personally.

Sucks, right?

Anyway, to remedy this, I usually come back to my posts and post replies in the comment field with you.

But, if you ever want to email me directly to talk about pumpkins or shoes or what it's like to spend a good part of your day Swiffering - shoot me an email to finnyknitsATgmailDOTcom.