When I tapped out, I put together a little write up to dissect my feelings and motives on the matter. It's self indulgent and probably a bit egotistical, but I figured I'd share it.
So, I'm tapping out of Nano this year. I've gotten a lot done, and I intend to complete the piece, but at this point I can't push myself to 50k without causing problems elsewhere.
There's quite a few factors at play, external and otherwise. You have the usual suspects showing their faces. I couldn't help work or my ****ed up wrist. I could have used my weekend time better. I don't need to run off fishing or going out for a drink, but there's a part of me that's loathe to commit even a month entirely to one cause. Maybe it's immature lack of self-discipline, maybe it's a healthy enjoyment of actually having a social life.
But it's internally things went a bit awry. I'm not used to long writing stretches. My writing is seldom entirely fictitious, and even the parts that are mostly so are still based in some shade of reality. What happened is simple: I out-wrote my demons. I purged a lot of **** from my system. It's a good feeling, in a way, to have a clear head, but my drive was sapped. What this led to is a refusal to listen.
What I mean by this is that a story is not a dead thing. A story is alive, constantly evolving, shaping your perspective as you put it down on the page. Your characters evolve, you learn things about them beyond what was planned from the start, often beyond what seems rational from the perspective of a story teller. One may start with traits from a familiar person, but shift in uncannily organic ways into something else entirely. But there is a guiding force throughout it all. Bob Dylan, speaking of writing Like a Rolling Stone once said, "It's like a ghost is writing a song like that, it gives you the song and it goes away. You don't know what it means. Except that the ghost picked me to write the song." This is hardly a new concept. Classically it is the muse, in our modern phrasing the subconscious. And its voice is always whispering. This is where I stumbled. As I stretched myself beyond the boundaries of what I knew, I took over. I lacked the patience to wait for the story to lead me where it needed to go. Once I recognized this, the dimensionally lacking writing now just empty words instead of my veins opened on a page, I knew I had to stop, to think and reflect.
I learned a lot over half a month. Any piece of writing is certainly greater than the sum of its parts. There is a magnificent force to them, an absolute power that refuses to bend to man's will. You listen, or it dies. This is why I write. You can paint clothes onto The Last Judgment, perhaps, but even as words words are changed the message remains undying.If you want me to create, give me oak, give me steel, give me words, for these things refuse to bend to the whims of time.
I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do - Robert A Heinlein
Courage ~ Discipline ~ Fidelity ~ Honor ~ Hospitality ~ Industriousness ~ Perseverance ~ Self Reliance ~