I promised that I would write about my experiences here auditing Cathy Day's novel-writing class. I explained that instead of writing a novel, I would be using my weekly word count to get to twelve full and polished comic scripts by Christmas. Scripts that would be properly formatted and ready for pitching.
Week one was a fantastic success. I tried a brand new format, comic book script. I polished up a draft of an idea I've been mulling over and working on for months. I even sent it out to trusted friends for feedback and to an artist I'm interested in working with in the near future.
I cleared my schedule today for the sole purpose of writing. So naturally, at 9:00am, I started cleaning the house. Then I talked with my sister on the phone for a while. Then I invited my husband to come home early for lunch. He was here from 11:30am to 12:30pm. Then I watched Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Then I took a three hour nap. Then I got up, sat at the computer and wrote two paragraphs. Then I went for a two hour walk.
At 8:00pm on the last day of this, the writing week, I sat down and pounded out 2,000 very sad, very nonsensical words. Issue #2 is "done", but it's not properly formatted. I didn't return my friends' any feedback in kind.
In short, I failed.
It's a terrible feeling. As a writer, I have to confront myself. Do I really want to write these comics or do I want to just run around telling everyone I'm writing a comic. Do I actually have something to say or do I just want to play the part of a writer, have people think of me as a writer.
For those of you that know me, I'm going to tell you something that should indicate to you just how serious I am about getting more writing done.
I let my Disney passes expire.
I live very close to Walt Disney World. Nary a stone's throw away. (For a really strong person, say, an Olympic shot-putter.) I've practically been a citizen over there for over two years now, almost the entire time that I've lived in the sunshine state.
On the one hand, going there really fuels me creatively. It's great to be inspired by all of that collective and practically applied imagination. On the other hand, it has lulled me into passivity. It's sedated me creatively and I need a break from treating it like a second home.
My husband reminded me of something really important recently. William Goldman, famed novelist and screenwriter, once talked about how writers should never move to California because it's really hard to be productive in a state where it's warm and sunny all year 'round.
Did I mention I live less than half an hour from the Happiest Place on Earth? I did, right? (I'm pretty sure I have to capitalize it like that...I think it's Disney law.)
When I taught creative writing, I used to hand out a sheet of paper to all my students at the beginning of the semester full of famous (and true) quotes about the writing process. The divine Mr. Goldman also said,
"The easiest thing on Earth to do is not write."
That's the truth. You know what else I didn't do? I didn't think about my story. I went about my different gigs and finishing my various freelance projects and I forgot to mull it over. I think 90% of the writing process is just thinking about it. Letting it gestate. I didn't do that either.
I was riding the writer's high all week. Feeling good about myself because I had completed something. Which tells me just exactly how out of shape my writing muscles are.
So, it's a new week as of this moment. I should be in bed. I have work early in the morning. But before my head hits the pillow, I'm going to go read my friend's writing draft again and provide him feedback.
This week, I'm taking a different tack:
1. I will think about my story every single day.
2. I will sit down at this computer at least three times between now and next Tuesday to redraft both of the issues I have written down, especially my atrocious issue #2, as well as working on issue #3.
Still, I #amnoveling. You?