Stuck in a black hole with my lack of creativity, my hopeless prose, the dialogue which is heavy and sickly, and oh my god my back hurts.

Bad, bad ju-ju. Writer’s clog.

Me and this manuscript, that’s all there is, and I can’t seem to forge any life out of it. Three hundred words takes days. Days! How long was that? An hour… I think I’ll blame the barometer. My diet. My oddball lovelife. My room, which, frankly, is disappearing under the laundry I haven’t done yet, cus I just need 2,000 more words.

What the fuck am I doing. I can’t write. I just can’t write a novel. I think I’m going to write a crap-pile. The characters don’t even like me anymore. They want Thanksgiving off. They’re unreasonable. They keep fighting. Conflict is good they say, but they’re biting their nails. “Do I really hafta do it this way?”

“No, your way is fine.”

“I don’t have one.”

“Okay, do it this way. 2,000 more words.”

“You suck.” I’m in agreement here. 3300 words nearly killed me. Nobody’s out there. And it’s a dark and stormy night.


It was a dark and stormy night…. I kinda like that.




It’s been done.


20 thoughts on “NanoDespairo

  1. Just remember when thy tell you “anything worth doing is worth doing right.” That’s a lie, all a lie. Just doing – that’s what’s it’a all about. :-)

  2. I wish writing were an easier path. It just isn’t. Hang in there. All your writing friends are holding the space and cheering you on. On this Thanksgiving morning, I’m grateful for all the writers out there who know what it means to be that frustrated — who know what it means to thrive.

  3. At this point, you’re closer than you think. You can still do it.

    Try putting in some kind of device that will build words and let you build some steam toward “the end”. Things you might try include:

    dreams in which the characters relive something or play with a fantasy about something; it’s a dream/nightmare so you aren’t committed to it as part of your plot but it sometimes provides a new avenue…

    diary/journal entries in which characters relive/retell something the novel has already told; could be a way to just recap or a way for a character to see things in a different light than what was seen the first time around…

    letters work very much like diary/journal entries; they let characters put a different twist on things

    You CAN do it!

  4. It’s all been done, including the fuck part. Many times. But YOU have a way of doing it differently. Yep, I’m guessing that your version of “it was a dark and stormy night” (it’s killing me that I can’t remember what that’s from, and isn’t there a version that makes fun of “it’s a dark and stormy night..”?)…

    Your version of it would be killer. That’s all I’m trying to say here.

    And really, isn’t this all just a way to break out? No polishing, no cares, no worries, and only fuck, fuck, fuck if it suits the story?

    Seriously dude. Chill. You’re good. The rest is just… the rest.

  5. Oh honey, you want to compare crap piles? Seriously, girl, I am not 1/10 the writer you are, which is probably why my crap pile is bigger than your because I well, I have my moments where I can crap like a freakin’ goose. And while normally goose crap is mighty unpleasant, in this game we call NaNoWriMo, it gets us closer to our goal.

    Me, my latest trick is to be really mean to my main character. Let’s see, her company is folding, her cat is missing, and her mother just died. Sure, it may seem somewhat sadistic, but it does mean I get to add a lot of filler “fuck” and all its variation into the dialogue.

    God speed, my talented one, let your fingers fly like . . . I dunno, a fly?

  6. LazyBuddhist, you hit on why I can never write a novel. I’m not a particularly gentle person, I don’t think, but I cannot be mean to my character. It just stabs me in the heart. Somebody tell me how to get over this. I write mostly short stories, and have the same problem there. With a novel it would have to be amplified. How do I get over this major handicap for a writer?

  7. Anhinga – Like I said, I’m not a particularly sadistic person, I don’t ENJOY inflicting suffering on my character. But, remember there is always the other side of suffering. So then you get to write about healing, or overcoming adversity. You can see your character really grow and deepen. Me, even though it was heart breaking for her to lose her cat, it’s an awful lot of fun writing about the cat being found again and the subsequent joy and relief.

    Anyway, that’s how I’m dealing with it.

  8. hang in there, amuirin.

    anhinga – yiou find it hard being mean to your character? i think that’s a protective mechanism some sort. let your character live his/er own life, don’t get too sucked in and you’ll be fine. learn to be somewhat detached, but still involved. like chicken, not pigs.

  9. Amuirin, how did it go? I liked what you wrote about your characters going their own way. The little bastards do that, don’t they?

    Re having a hard time causing your characters pain, I agree. I have to start out knowing a bad thing is going to happen to a character. I’m better prepared for what must happen then.

  10. hi. I didn’t enter my final word count, cus it was too late, but I made 41, 821 words.

    Which doesn’t qualify me as a Nano winner. Kinda knew in the last couple days I wouldn’t make it. But, I still feel interest in what I wrote, and I think… I’ll continue working on it, at a less frenetic pace.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you to all of you for the words of advice, encouragement, the patience. The laughs, too, as I tried this out. Focusing on a goal like this, it had unexpected benefits. Kinda interesting how if you focus your energy a certain direction, it’s almost like you attract other opportunities to you, or something. I donno. Hard to explain.

    Lazy Buddhist, Jaynova and Corina are all winners of NaNoWriMo, they all hit it out of the park. I find that impressive.

    And I wonder, too, among all the words and ideas that were created this month, what kind of life will they take on now? How will they travel forward, who will they effect? The stories themselves have stories now.

    That’s kinda super cool.

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