I set ambitious goals. Always have. Sometimes I meet them. Sometimes I don’t. I’m going to finish this first draft on time even if I am currently behind behind. Unless I can get in 9,000 words, which is pretty close to a personal best of all time ever in the history of ever for me, I’ll finish today behind too. But the situation isn’t critical. Not yet.
Besides, if you believe in messages from the universe, I enjoyed the Elvis station, thanks to free XM, in the car yesterday and followed a beat-up “Elvis 1” vanity plate for many, many miles.
Stage 1-CRISIS OF FAITH. Or, OhmyGod,I’llneverbeabletodothis. I stare at the computer screen and hear a loudly ticking clock and the rising, shrieking concern that now that someone thinks I can do it, I’ve completely forgotten how. I’ve never been here. In the past, I’ve always just written as the mood moved me, hoping to sell it to the right person at some later, unspecified, and therefore fairly unimportant date. I set ambitious goals then, too, but never sweated ’em too much. No consequences.
Stage 2-Words on the Page. This has to begin at the beginning at some point. Anne Lamott’s shitty first draft and Nora’s “I can fix a bad page. I can’t fix a blank page” are pep talks as I just try. Some of it’s still pretty okay, even if I do damn myself with my own faint praise. But the story’s there.
Stage 3-Why won’t this story end? I need to fix it. I need to make it better. But I can’t. Because it’s not done! Tick tock! Tick! Tock!
Stage 4-All downhill from here. I think this is where I’m sitting. There’s only so much more story to tell (yeah, half of it but I know what has to happen from here, you know?) Now it’s just a matter of type, type, typing. And not giving up. Which is significantly helped by having someone waiting for it.
Stage 5-MAKE IT ALL BETTER NOW.
The rest is sort of fuzzy, but I think it includes “Cringe as I hit SEND” and “Eat all the chocolate in the house” and “Make it all better better” after someone who actually knows what they are doing gives me revisions. It’s all going to be okay. I’m not in this alone.