The Shoulds Got Me

I figured out why I didn’t write Lily this week. I was treating it like a book. That is, if this is a book, I should be dealing with the museum, I should be writing more Van, I should be exploring Dorothy, I should . . .

The Shoulds got me.

This is my fault (not yours, Katie or anybody else). I know how my discovery mind works, and it’s just to noodle until I have about 60,000 words. I have no idea how many words I have now, but it’s not 60,000 (20,000 maybe?). Sixty thou is about half a first draft–I always overwrite–and at that point, I know whether I have a book or not and need to buckle down.

The difference this time is that I’m letting you all play in my noodles (that metaphor needs work) and it’s been very beneficial, I’m learning a lot and you’re bringing good ideas to the mix, and the ones I can’t use, I ignore. But somehow I let that slop over into Should and, as we all know, that way disaster lies.

This does NOT mean you should stop discussing the drafts. I’ve gotten a lot out of your comments. It does mean I have to reorient my brain from Should to Noodle. (These are all highly technical terms from the most elite of writing circles; I’m quite sure Tennyson felt strongly about Shoulds and I know Byron noodled. With everybody.)

Still, I feel the need to entertain. All I have is the first act of Nita, now rewritten for the last fucking time, at least until somebody in New York gets their hands on it and says, “Needs more dog.” The problem is that most of you have read Nita’s first act four thousand times. And it’s 36,000 words. So I’m thinking no on that.

So it’s Choose Your Own Entertainment time. Tell me what would amuse you, and that’s what I’ll do on Friday. (And thank you very much for playing in the comments on Monday’s post. It reinforces my feeling that the posts are just here so you all have something to hang the conversation on.)

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