Autumn is usually my favorite time of year. The cooler weather, the blushing trees, the omnipresence of corn stalks and apple cider and even pumpkins, although they actually taste vile to me.
I get creative in the autumn. There’s something about the exuberant last celebratory display of nature before it curls up and goes to sleep under the snow that makes it almost compulsory to tell stories, and I have always done my best work in October and November (thanks in no small part to NaNoWriMo).
This year is a little different for me. It has been full of distractions, conflicting priorities, and anxious circumstances. My day job is getting more complex, I’m starting to get competitive with archery, and I’ve got a lot more travel on my schedule over the next few months.
Worst of all, my lovely cat companion Oliver has recently developed some very serious health problems that have taken up all of my attention and changed my outlook a little bit.
I haven’t been wholly there – or wholly anywhere, really – for quite some time. The almost-finished first draft of Dark the Wayward Dawn has gone untouched for days, then weeks, then months at a time.
I only have one scene left, but I just can’t seem to make myself sit down and finish it.
It’s not just because I’m busy and stressed or that I don’t care about bringing these four books to their rightful conclusion. I haven’t lost interest in these characters or their struggles, and I haven’t abandoned the idea that there is some cosmic reason why I feel compelled to share them with a very small segment of the world.
It’s mostly, I discovered this morning, because I just really don’t like the way I’ve written it. I hate the way it’s turning out. I’ve managed to put my characters in a really stupid situation that gives them no plausible way to triumph without making everything even stupider. I will have to rewrite a fairly large portion of the ending in order to put everything to rights.
And I’m thrilled to say that.
I’ve written before about how much I love eureka moments, when everything becomes startlingly clear and you can finally move on from a problem that’s been plaguing you. I don’t know exactly how or when I will be able to address the situation, but it’s a major relief to know what is holding me back, at least.
I hope to use NaNoWriMo as a catalyst for revision and finishing the draft, even if I don’t commit to the full 50,000 words this year. A little progress will be better than nothing, and hopefully set me on the right path again.
I can’t promise a publication date for the last book, for those two or three people who are still interested, but I can promise that it will happen at some point. I’m committed to that, even if it takes me forever.
So it’s onward and upward, slowly but surely. Thank you for your patience with me. I hope it pays off some day.