When I find that weeks have passed by and I haven’t touched a writing project, I find that I have to ask myself, “why don’t I write?”
I confess, the only project I’ve ever finished outside of NaNoWriMo (or the Camp NaNo I did in April) is actually a NaNoWriMo project that needed maybe 5,o000 words to wrap up (I think I finished it, I guess I’d better go double check… yes, I did finish it.) All the others I start, then I just leave them hanging. So the question is, why?
Is it that I thrive off the challenge of completing it in a month? The timeline that gives me drive? Maybe, but, when I set myself a deadline (example, I intended to finish my current project by the end of October. But it’s October 24, and I’m nowhere near being done) I watch it come and go with no sense of that same drive. Though, I will admit, being one in a community of people, even if I’m not really active in said community, does lend a little more motivation. And being able to log in and see my word count climbing each day, getting closer to my goal certainly does help. But, I don’t think that’s all of it.
Is it that I’m not really passionate about my story? Perhaps. Which is sad to think about, particularly regarding this project. I spent some time outlining and detailing where the story was going to go, how things were going to play out. That process helped me knock out the children’s book I was working on earlier this year, so I expected it to help me now. And I found myself with a renewed interest and passion in this project. But, it fizzled out. Again. Is it a sign, then? That when I lose interest in a project I shouldn’t resurrect it? Not really, because the same loss of interest could be said about the NaNo project I finished a few months ago (granted, 5,000 words left until the end and 5,000 words in from the beginning is definitely a huge difference).
Is it that I’m just too busy? Well, I do work full-time, try to hit the gym five-ish times a week, do all the cooking and most of the cleaning around the house, and the grocery shopping… but I still have time to read at least one book a week and watch plenty of shows with my husband. Of all the excuses, this is the one I think I fall on most. It’s not that I don’t have time, I don’t make time. When I come home, I’m tired of working, and I’ve usually got at least and hour or an hour and a half of other work to do–dinner prep and cooking, dishes, preparing lunch for the next day, ect. When I get home, I don’t want to work more. And writing is work. Anyone who says otherwise is probably pretty new to it. Writing isn’t mindless, it’s not usually relaxing. And when there are other distractions, it’s hard to keep your mind to the task (and I’m the worst, I always go, “Oh, I’ll write and watch a movie” which means I’ll watch a movie and think of a sentence every ten minutes, maybe).
So why don’t I write? It’s a mixture of all these reasons, and probably others. But mostly, I don’t write because I make up excuses not to. Isn’t it funny how we do that? It’s something I truly want to do, but I give myself an excuse not to. It’s like going to the gym. It’s because it’s work, and when you’re already tired, already drained, it’s hard to make yourself keep giving. And yet, without giving, there will be no results.
So, I doubt this project will be finished in the next week. And then I’ll probably set it aside and do something completely new for NaNo in November (because I always have to try). But I’ll keep trying. Because as long as I try, even if it’s one sentence every ten minutes, there is hope that I’ll get caught up in the story and write my heart out.
(Maybe I just need a new story. It’s hard to vent anger in a love story, there’s no one convenient to kill.)