Southeast of Disorder

It’s official: I’ve lost my mind
November 2, 2008, 7:11 pm
Filed under: Writing | Tags: ,

I wasn’t going to participate in National Novel Writing Month this year. For months leading up to the Nov. 1 launch of the 10th annual 50,000-words-in-30-days challenge, I told myself “You have too much to do this year. Just let it go.” I told all my writing buddies I was going to spend November hacking and slashing at the 100,000-plus-word manuscript I’d dearly love to submit to a publisher before year’s end (if I can get it below 100,000 words without cutting my heart out or “offing” any more characters). I told my professional pals I’d be glad to embed myself in some new startup projects that look promising, even in a hibernating economy. I accepted a couple of big feature-writing assignments because, after all, I gotta eat even if the economy is hibernating.

And then Nov. 1 rolled around, and Muse leapt upon me like I was her best friend in the world and she’d missed me excruciatingly while she was vacationing for the past several months. (Yes, this is the same muse who ran off with God knows who to God knows where while her brain-dead writer pal muddled along solo with a manuscript badly in need of a Frankenstein-like jolt.)

To make a long story short, by the end of Saturday I had an outline and several scenes planned out. By Sunday evening I’d written 3,719 words.

It’s entirely possible those 3,719 words are all I’ll get written this month. Looking at my schedule, I’ve already determined that if I write any more, I’ll have to pen them in my sleep.

Now I understand why so many literary giants were alcoholics or drug abusers. They weren’t feeding their muses. They were trying to shut them up.

I wish I had been kinder to my mind while I had it. I miss it sometimes.