|Yesterday, between teaching lessons at the job I hate, I worked on combining scenes into a narrative structure. The going was slow. By the end of the day, I was depressed. I walked out, hating my job, dreading the thought of returning the next day, and scared I might have to do this for another year.
That's when I realized I'd been lying to myself.
I want to believe that this novel means nothing to me. It is my first novel, and I know that, because of my lack of experience and skill in composing long narratives, it will suck. Because I am an unknown writer with no connections, it will in all likelihood not sell--at least, not enough to make a living from. The scenes are not jelling the way I would love them to. Logically, I know all of this, and am distancing myself from the work already, treating it, mentally, as a project that just needs finishing before such-and-such deadline. My previous metaphor was giving birth so I could abandon it by the roadside.
It is, I am convince, the only way this nit-picky, obsessive-compulsive manic-depressive will finish this ogdamnd story!
BUT, there's that little worm eating my brain, leaving behind it's excremental whisperings: "It could be big. It could be famous. It could get you out of this job and out of the terrible situation you are in. It could save you. Yes, it could." And that just depresses me further, because I know the odds. I know the craft. I know a good novel when I read it. This isn't one of them.
God, this battle with yourself, that every writer must go through, I guess--this constant fight to trick yourself into believing one way or the other, just to get to the end of the story, while at the same time knowing you are tricking yourself--it's taking its toll. Combined with the stresses and depressions of my normal life--which are not insignificant by the way, and are doing nothing for the creative process or helping keep me productive--the stress and depression caused by this stage of the writing is affecting me physically, I think. I have nerve pains in my hands and a tension in my abdomen that won't go away. I sleep little, and have low energy.
I've got to get more done today. I have scheduled an hour where I have no lessons, but have told the wife I do, just to get me out of the house and into a work space. I have to do this. I have until the end of the month to get this hulking block of clay into something resembling a mountain. After that, when I start editing, I can sculpt the details.
Argh argh argh. Argh argh argh.