Eating my writer vegetables (kicking and screaming)
Updated: May 25
Left: Accurate representation of me whenever I'm about to start something big, new and exciting. I can't be bothered to move. Just let me ooze into the ground in peace, people. Right: Also an accurate representation of me prepared to be a pushy monster to myself until I stop acting like a sullen child.
This is the first piece of art I made in France in 2010 when I was sick of staring at a blank wall. Here I was, enjoying an amazing opportunity to study art in Europe, and I had not made anything in Three. Freaking. Days. Disgusted with myself, I decided it could be the ugliest thing to ever happen as long as I created something. So I made this. And I had a great, productive semester after I "got the ugly out."
So this is my first blog post. I apologize. It's being written under duress.
There's not a gun against my head, and I recognize that blogging as an aspiring novelist is a good thing! But so is eating vegetables. That took me years to get used to, and you'll still never convince me broccoli is food.
So why am I starting a blog? I'm buckling down and finishing my first fantasy novel. Sitting down every day to write Unfinished Business (badass paranormal fantasy, more on that later!) has been another thing too much like eating vegetables. Can't I just outline the plot some more, or revise the scenes I have? Man cannot live on bread alone, but this particular woman would happily take her best shot at living on wine and cake. Literally and metaphorically.
However, overindulging has a result, and I've noticed my writing skills have gotten a little...flabby. Finishing a novel is like running a marathon, and people, I am not in shape. So I sat down and thought, what would I do if I physically had to get in shape, fast?
The thing I didn't need to do was learn how to write. I was a writing tutor in college, have a creative writing minor, and have even won awards. (Small ones. I'm still claiming them. Try to pry them out my cold, dead hands, I dare you.) I also am blessed to have published novelists in my life, so I know what behavior to model. I know what to do. Like that slug of a self-portrait, I just can't be bothered to get up and *do it.*
So what I needed to do felt obvious. I joined an accountability group.
A proper group is surprisingly hard to track down online if you're not already a published author, so here's the one that I finally chose:
A Round of Words in 80 Days is simultaneously an amazing, free writing accountability community and a pun! Where could it go wrong? Except, that is, for the catch. I need to blog my progress twice a week to participate. Really. Oh, no big deal. Do you want me to step on a scale on live television while we're at it?
Kvetching aside, I know this is good for me. I'm the one dragging myself kicking and screaming to the keyboard. And I'm hopeful for the future.
Right then, I'm done complaining. The dreaded first, ugly blog post is complete and now...I need to go write that novel.
PS: Here's the last painting I made in France: