Skip to main content

It’s day six of the writing challenge I’ve been working toward over the past several months. It’s kind of hard to believe it’s even here, but more unbelievable is that I’m actually going through with it. I’m about 11,700 words deep, right around where I paused last year. I’m finding some days are more difficult than others, but it’s not as daunting a task as I had remembered. The words are coming, and the count keeps going up. Sometimes I can’t believe I zoomed through as many words when I look down to see it all increase. The number is fine. It’s the content I’m constantly worried about.

I do fancy myself a writer, but not necessarily an author. Unfortunately it’s not my career, so I can’t call myself that. Right now, my job entails news producing, something I’m very good at doing. I can write for TV, giving the anchors clear, concise scripts to read, with all the accurate and necessary information. I’m not infallible, but I’ve got a good track record. All that seems so natural to me, and I know I’m successful at it if our ratings reflect anything. But this? This creative endeavor I’m on? It’s causing me to question literally everything I know about my ability to tell a story.

I feel as though everything I’m writing is just skimming the surface. There’s at least some direction as to where I’m going, and I’ve set up a conflict I hope to resolve by the end. But I know I’m telling the story rather than showing it. It all feel so shallow. I’m just racing to get words out. That’s why, when people ask, I say I’m writing a first draft instead of a novel. There’s no way this is anything more than that. There’s no character arc, there’s no personalities, they’re just words and wish fulfillment splattered on a page. I don’t feel like a storyteller, I feel like a fraud.

As with anything in my life it seems, the story I had in mind always sounded better in my head. I feel like I had something amazing that’s just not translating to the pages. But I have to remember what exactly my goal is here. It was not to create the next, great American novel in just a month. It was to write at least 1,700 words a day to finish November with 50,000 words. That is exactly what I’m doing. So I can’t expect whatever I produce to be perfect the first time. Beating myself up for not being satisfied right now is just wasted energy. All I can do now is hope that this next week goes better, and I crack below the surface a bit and find out how deep I can get. I can always pick up new story elements up along the way, and possibly end up telling a tale I didn’t even plan for.

This doesn’t have to be the final story I tell, either. Maybe by getting this first draft out, it’ll open things up to laying down one with a more concrete foundation next time. I’ll never actually know what I’m capable of unless I try, so I guess I’ll just keep going. See you in a week.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: