An Unadulterated Glimpse At Novel Writing (So Far).
For reasons more likely due to the amount of weed I smoked in high school than anything ominous, (really though, Mom — it wasn’t that bad), I remember very little from my childhood. Only snippets. I’m honestly relieved. As a sucker for nostalgia, it would be far too easy to get swept up in past-dwelling — blaming other people and events for why I am the way I am rather than working towards becoming the person I want to be.
For what it’s worth, though, I do remember some type of summer crafts camp, probably sometime during elementary school. We were decorating kites we’d made from wooden dowels and construction paper, which dates me to a time when children colored and played with kites, and I remember feeling excited because they’d brought in a real artist — maybe a children’s book illustrator — to help us with our drawings. This was serious business. While other kids had thrown themselves haphazardly into the Crayolas like mini Pollocks on crack (the artist, not the fish), on my canvas I’d carefully sketched in the lightest of pencil my signature bunny with long, wascally teeth and tall, pointed ears and round, whiskery cheeks. I’d begun to lightly color him brown, and although he was cute enough, he appeared far too two-dimensional in such large-scale form. Plain brown would suffice for notebook doodles, but this was practically life-sized, and I couldn’t figure out why the fur looked so flat. Brown was brown, right?
So I tentatively asked the artist for a bit of direction, at which point he took it upon himself to scoop up a handful of colors from the pile on the table and set about bastardizing my bunny with swirls of yellow, red, black — even blue! So many colors, just to make brown. I hated it. I thought he hated me.
And, truth-be-told, this novel-writing business (or any type of creative endeavor, like kite decorating) is actually about hating yourself.
Ha, I kid!
The thing of it is, I’ve tried nearly every sort of exercise short of the professional approach, (which is to sit down at the same time every day to crack away at this thing regardless of how I “feel” about it), to get this novel drafted, at the very least, but it keeps looking so plain and boring and brown that I’m actually wishing my old artist friend would show up and attempt to teach me once again how to add color.
I think maybe I’m afraid to use it myself, and even more afraid I don’t know how.
And when I reach that conclusion, day after day, I can justify that extra glass of wine because it’s been scientifically proven that the consumption of fermented grape juices helps stimulate the flow of unfermented creative juices.
Or something like that.
I’m finally at 30,000 word mark, but I’m not wholly convinced they’re 30,000 very good words, so it’s quite possible that I might just need to give the professional approach a try. If you want to do something professionally, after all, that’s probably a good place to start.