The year is winding down.
It might not appear that way, but I can feel it in my bones. Right now, outside my window, is a pretty-near perfect Michigan autumn day and all I can feel is…tired.
I’m just about spent. I’m feeling worn down to the nub, and I’m ready for 2016 to be over. Although I’ve never run anything close to a marathon, I suspect that this feeling is, maybe, in the same zip code as a runner at mile 20.
Yet, even though I’m about to take the first steps (metaphorically) towards mile 21 and beyond, My mind is on the next marathon.
There is no finish line.
I feel like I’ve been in a downward slump for the past few weeks, maybe even months – sometimes I’m not so quick on the uptake – and, even though I feel like I’m starting to pull up out of it, I’m looking at the distance I’ve got to climb just to get back to where I was and I see the runner’s wall looming in front of me.
Steven Pressfield would call this feeling “Resistance”* and this is Resistance at its devious best. When you’re tired, when you don’t think you’ve got anything left in the tank, when you’re looking at 4 more miles of running, or 8 more weeks of 2016 is when it hits. And it doesn’t hit you overtly. No, that would be something you could push back against. It slips in from the side, whispering words of futility and resignation.
If there is no finish line, Resistance asks, what is the point of running? Or Writing? Or putting anything out there in the world, when all the world will do is shit all over it and tell you to shut up and sit down?
What is the point? The work is the point.
I’m not any kind of runner – though this post probably has more than its daily recommended dose of running metaphors – but, as a writer, I can tell you that the point of writing IS THE WRITING.
The work is what’s kept me going. It’s what has been pulling me out of the slump and what will help me make the climb back up and beyond.
Every day I can close the door and go away. I can shut out the tragedies of the year, the hate, and rage, and venom that threatens to consume my social media feeds (I’ve long since given up on following any kind of news, for just this reason), sucking the energy out of me like some kind of emotional vampire.
Writing takes me away from all that. Every second I’m chasing the awesome – even if I’ve got a less than usual word count – is worth it. It recharges me and keeps me going.
And what of the world?
I’m not writing for the world. Not even a little bit.
I’m writing for me.
Sure, I want to get published. Sure, I hope that someday, someone will read something I’ve written and say “Wow, that was awesome!” That’s, ultimately, what I want to do with my stories. To entertain folk. I’m not here to change the world but, if I’ve made someone’s day better, helped them – even for a little bit – to go away and recharge…
Maybe I have…
Not overtly, not anything that can be pushed back against.
Fuck you, Resistance.
There may be no finish line, but there’s always another story.
What I’m working on:
The Price of Power: The story is good to go! I’ll be in book 1 of the two-ebook release. The title is “Trials” and I got to take a look at a mock up of the covers and THEY LOOK AMAZING!! I can’t share them yet, so stay tuned…
Brimstone: The window is still closing. The outside date that I’ll hear whether or not the story has been accepted has changed to Nov. 15th. If you’ve a mind, I’d take it as a kindness if you’d cross what you’ve got for me.
Partners: Has been submitted! I’m waiting to hear back from the editors, so if Y’all had a mind to cross what you’ve got for me on this as well, I’d take it as a kindness.
Chasing the Kestrel: The number of open queries is dwindling. I’ve still got some open – including an agent who asked for more pages. Unless something hits, I’m going to move on in 2017. Maybe after another book or two, I’ll be able to see what’s keeping this one from hitting.
Beneath the Waves – A Wainwright and Holliday Adventure: Putting this one on hold until 2017
Death…I don’t have a title, yet: I’m submitting this for the “Death of All Things” anthology open call. I’m a linear writer – meaning I usually start at the beginning, and work my way through to the end in a straight line. This, I woke up with the climactic scene in my head and I wrote it down. I had been working on it this week and that scene is nearly done. I kinda feel like the kid who was allowed to eat dessert first and is now staring down at a plate of broccoli**
2017: I’m formulating plans and schedules (more on that later) but I want to keep the momentum that I’ve generated this year going.
Total Word Count:
Recently, the idea to keep track of that first million words, and post it somewhere, came up and I thought it was a good idea, if only to provide me with a kick in the ass.
Thanks to the magic of Calculators and Coffee, here is the word count for the week:
5 days of story creation, world building, and writing out scenes and snippets. = 3192 Words. Rounding down to the nearest hundred = 3100
This brings my grand total to…
That leaves 715,900 words to go.
One step at a time…
* I questioned whether or not to capitalize “Resistance”. to try and strip away some of the power it has. Instead, I will respect the danger it presents.
** Broccoli is awesome and don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise!!
Time: 11:40 am – ish
Music: Fit for Rivals – Crash