Sisyphus, Writing

I dug into my journal entries of six years ago for this post. I was working on, at the time, the first novel I ever actually completed.

Looking back, I seem to have had much more anxiety over the process of writing back then, probably because I hadn’t had nearly so much experience with my own process. Looking back, it really helps me to have records of what I did and how I felt about it.


August, 2003

Squeezed out 500 words last night like toothpaste from a tube–a hundred words or so in chapter seven describing the bathroom (oh, the excitement!) a scene in chapter six that only accomplished one minor purpose, and then, with great effort, 41 more words earlier in six to set up something I added later on, that I should have thought of before. Makes perfect sense, right? And then decided the big hunk of text I’d put in at the end of chapter six probably has to go.

Sisyphus. That’s me right now.

I dreamt I was at workshop with the first five chapers–how bad is that? That’s more than a month from now. G. told me to read it, and I stood up and tried to do so (we don’t read our submissions aloud, never have!). My hands were shaky, which has never happened when I’ve given a reading, and all the pages were messed up, turned upside down, out of order, etc.. I think the dream changed after that, or maybe that was right before I woke up and declared myself a pathetic creature.

I woke up too early to get up, and my thoughts circled round and round on the middle section. Finally, inspiration, of a sort. I have to address the problem of parents…Alas, I must now think out the backstory for their parents in considerably more detail.

So long as I don’t let myself get frustrated because I’m not writing as fast, this should be fun. I like imagining scenes, and now I have a topic for them and my backbrain can chew away on thematic import as well.


Related posts:

The Daily Grind.

Zero drafting.

About Victoria Janssen

Victoria Janssen [she, her] currently writes cozy space opera for Kalikoi. The novella series A Place of Refuge begins with Finding Refuge: Telepathic warrior Talia Avi, genius engineer Miki Boudreaux, and augmented soldier Faigin Balfour fought the fascist Federated Colonies for ten years, following the charismatic dissenter Jon Churchill. Then Jon disappeared, Talia was thought dead, and Miki and Faigin struggled to take Jon’s place and stay alive. When the FC is unexpectedly upended, Talia is reunited with her friends and they are given sanctuary on the enigmatic planet Refuge. The trio of former guerillas strive to recover from lifetimes of trauma, build new lives on a planet with endless horizons, and forge tender new connections with each other.
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