Sunday, April 10, 2011

Space Available: Paralysis And Promises.

Boy, I was not counting on this. I mean, I thought I'd have a little difficulty to push through, but I was certainly not prepared for the mental struggle I'd be going through right about now.

Writing your first draft in front of people is very, very hard.

And, to be honest, it's keeping me away. I sit down to read my Twitter feed and have now visually tuned out that big white box at the top that says "What's happening?" above it. It's just too painful to look at, the constant reminder that I need to write something for Space Available but am just unsure about what to write. I've navigated the story to a point where I know something major's going to happen; I just don't know exactly how it's going to happen.

Ordinarily I could just write whatever I want and see if it works, and if so, great; if not, no harm done. But now I'm transmitting this thing as it happens, writing without a net. Which is part of the exhilaration of it--if I uncork a good one-liner (which, there've been a couple), I get the satisfaction of immediate feedback on it (usually from one or two close friends).

But I'm so terrified I'm going to screw the thing up that it keeps me from writing it. And that's starting to happen more often. I've now had at least three, maybe four entire weeks where I didn't write at all, partially motivated by work and other things, but very often just out of sheer paralysis. A hope that tomorrow I'll know beyond a shadow of a doubt what I'm supposed to write, as if there is a "correct" thing to put in that white box.

Am I starting to feel overwhelmed by the challenge? Yeah, a little. But I'm also overwhelmed by my story at the moment. I know where I'm going (at least I have that much figured out), but I have little to no idea how to get there, and I'm afraid that I'm going to take it down a path that will block me from my original intent. So that makes me overthink it, and that leads to the aforementioned paralysis, which leads to the full week of not-writing.

So! From here on out, I make this solemn vow to you, the dear reader of Space Available: I will not tweet every day, but I will tweet every week. There will not be a week go by until the end of 2011 that I have not written a portion of this book. It's the only way to break me out of this funk--to commit to writing on it regardless, and then to make that commitment public.

Oh, and I also hope to write more blog updates. That's important, too.

See you on Mondays!

1 comment:

Michelle R. Wood said...

When I heard about this project, I admired the sheer courage (bordering on foolishness) that it would take to write an entire novel in such a public manner. I've dabbled in fanfiction, but I at least had whole chapters I posted: one tweet at a time, before a potentially worldwide audience, is immensely scary.

That's why I've been so hooked on the story: it's good, really good, both reading it in Tweet form and then later back at the MLP website. Rather than sound fragmented or uneven, the prose flows naturally, as if planned that way. I think this experiment is an important one in proving that the Internet and social media do not have to be the death of long-term thinking: rather, these mediums can facilitate the very art forms we cherish today.

All that said, God Bless, and keep up the good work!