Thursday, August 19, 2010


The more I learn about a crucial component of my novel, the more doubtful I become that I can write it. It's not the in-the-closet-with-the-light-off kind of dark story I had in my little brain with a protagonist who is ultimately likable even though she does terrible things. Turns out it's bottom-of-a-very-deep-hole-where-the-sun-doesn't-reach kind of dark with an apparently cruel and terrible lead character. A note I made months ago, before I knew what I know now, said, "how to make her likeable?" but who knew what a big challenge that would really be!

I am not a Go-Getter. When I doubt myself, instead of trudging through and trying my hardest, I tend to hide. You know, the in-the-closet-with-the-light-off kind of hiding, where I can pretend that this thing that's troubling me isn't even something I'm interested in anyway. I realized this was happening this morning when I thought about why I hadn't done the last 2 WFMAD prompts. My thoughts when I had read them were along the lines of, "I don't need to do that," and "I don't want to write about that," and "That doesn't have to do with my story." But the truth, I think, is more along the lines of, "If I write that then I have to think about how it might relate to my story and then I have to think about my story that I don't want to think about."

But when I am a Go-Getter, I've found, great things happen. Like with the Follies last year when I signed up late and was given 3 lines and a part in the chorus and instead of being satisfied with a tiny role, I raised my hand and volunteered for everything I could and ended up with one of the biggest parts, which people still comment on (positively), almost a year later. And I didn't talk much about Lulu's school this past year, but I signed up to be the room parent for her class and met and became friends with a bunch of people I usually wouldn't have done more than talk to briefly at birthday parties.

So what I need is a plan of attack, I think. A to-do list, if you will. Like, finish the book I'm reading and explore the website of the expert who wrote the foreword for the book I'm reading and find other things to read about this stuff and build an outline including the new ideas I want to incorporate and do the WFMAD prompts I skipped these past few days and take a step back from all the Terrible by working on my short story or the Frog and Fox stories or by reading the Alcott biography I picked up at the library.

That's the right attitude, right?


septembermom said...

A to-do list is always a good idea. I need one for practically everything. I think you'll do fine. Your creativity is your treasure. Everything else will work out. I have faith in you :)

The Grandpa said...

sounds like you're already on your way to resolving your problem.

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