Embrace it!

Lately I’ve been feeling the blahs. Fat. Inactive. Creatively null and void. Like I’m in a holding pattern.

All of which means one thing: It is time to break out of my comfort zone [0].

I’ve got several things I can do. I can go back to Contra dancing. I have a carpentry project planned, for which I have no appropriate tools or workspace. I’ll be taking my annual pilgrimage to Oklahoma City in a few weeks. As the weather gets warmer, I want to spend more time hiking through the woods or exploring some of the regional rail-trails on my bike.

But for now, this minute, what I can do is start re-reading last year’s Nano novel.

I had a plan last November [1]. I was going to take December off, let the novel chill a little, and look at it with fresh eyes January 1. Armed with a fresh cube of sticky notes, I would ruthlessly carve away the kruft until I had revealed What Exactly My Novel Was All About [2].

Meanwhile I had some time to kill and did so by marathoning all fourteen of Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files novels, plus the short stories. They say that Facebook is depressing because you’re comparing your gag reel to everybody else’s award winning performances. After reading Butcher, my own little urban fantasy looked like something the cat was trying to bury. Instead of a month of revisions, I quit after 20 minutes [3].

I always advise new Wrimos to “embrace the suck,” because the zero draft of anything always sucks. Well, it’s time to eat my own dog food, because digging the diamond out of this dung heap is going to really, really… well, the metaphor rather speaks for itself.

Embrace the suck, Aspen! You love the suck! And if I keep saying that, will it be true?

[0] But I don’t want to leave my comfort zone! It’s so nice and comfortable!
[1] You know what they say about plans and contact with the enemy….
[2] And then rewrite the whole thing from scratch.
[3] See prev. footnote re: Plans.

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