...it's just that I have to write a lot.
Lately I've been extremely dissatisfied with my writing when it comes to the novel. I was tired of writing the same thing all the time, and I feel like the quality of my prose has been suffering for it. You try spending years with the same characters! It can be a bit suffocating. However, I was reluctant to take a break, because I knew that if I buckled down, I could have a (very) rough draft finished by the end of March.
Then Leta and Mickey talked some sense into me. Listen to your friends, people. They are wise. They have your best interests at heart.
I decided to take a week or two break from the novel, starting this past Sunday. Which is not to say I haven't been writing. I've been working on this story that I abandoned last summer. And you know what? I feel so much better. That little change made all the difference. What's more, as long as I pick it up again in a week or two, I should still be able to finish a (very) rough draft by mid-April at the latest. Hopefully by then I will feel refreshed and not want to strangle my characters so much.
That said, I may be a little off the radar for the next month or so, at least in person. Don't worry--I still love you. I just want to get the draft done, and I may need to sacrifice a few hours at Stake Out in order to do it. I'll still blog, and I'll still be present on social media. (Honestly, I think Twitter has become so incorporated into my life at this point that I can't live without it. Where would I find articles to read?! How would I keep up with what's going on in the world?!) But I need time to myself to write, especially considering that I have to work around grading and projects for my other classes as well.
I'm glad I'm taking a break from the novel. It's a gloomy, dark novel. The story that I've pulled out of the archives is juicy. Still dark, but juicy, too. I've decided that I want to write more stories that are juicy and sticky. My best writing is always juicy and sticky. This makes perfect sense in my head.
I think I need to learn to be more patient with my writing as well. Because I was so used to writing flash fiction when I came into the program, I wrote most things quickly. Flash fiction comes out the way it comes out, in one sitting, and it's either good or it's bad, and you can edit the good ones later, but they probably won't change all that much. Writing longer stories and novels is entirely different. I write my novel in little scenes, largely so that I can write each scene in the same way I write flash fiction. But that doesn't always work, because then some of the scenes are bad, and I still need those scenes for the novel. I need to learn to think more carefully about my prose beforehand.
Luckily, when I do have that draft finished in April-at-the-latest, I'll have a whole year to revise!
Do all writers feel like frauds the majority of the time? I hope so.
And now I have to plan my class. A few hours before I teach it. I'm a really good professor, you guys.