Funk: a Memoir on my Progress

I told myself August was the month where I finished the rough draft of this beautiful, haunting, busted-up novel of mine. And here I am, ten days in, with nary 1k words written on it since the first. With roughly 1/3 of the book remaining, I’m worried.

Internet stresses aside, and real life stresses aside (can you really put that aside? I say no. If this is a career, if this is a lifestyle, if this is my job. No.), I’m in a funk that I have brought on myself.

Writers I follow on Twitter, recently weighed in on when they hit their walls: 25% into the book, 50%, 66%, and 90%. Others speak of impostor syndrome and wanting to scrap everything and move to something new and undo all the work they did. How thoughts of “I am not a writer! Lo! I do not write!” creep into daily life. Still others say it is an ongoing fight with the self to finish something. It isn’t easy.

For the first time in my life in June, my father told me to take it easy and spend some down time doing nothing. Doing little. I just graduated with my degree in English Rhetoric (yay!), I have successfully moved into a new apartment and am mostly unpacked (something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy), and I’m eating healthy, and hunting an odd sickness that has left me exhausted, in pain, and worried.

Yet I’ve stared at the television screen far more than I should have the past two weeks. I’ve played far more video games than I have in over five years. I’ve cultivated a friend community online instead of cultivating one offline. I’ve put my mind on autopilot for weeks. Don’t worry about things. Don’t worry about life, bills, the next step in my life.

But I love doing those things. I’m sure a lot of people think this way. I love planning my life, doing things, writing my book.

And I’ve spent so much time thinking about it, I’ve forgotten more than I’ve written in the previous 90k words.

So what do I do? I’ve decided to take others’ advice: read more. Taste the sun more. I’ve finished a few small books, begun a few more, including a re-release of a pair of “horror” novels written in the late 1930’s, and recommended by Stephen King in a single work titled The Rim of Morning.

And I reread Corpus Paradisum (I almost wrote Corpus Susursum), situated myself in the center of the discussion once more. I can’t wait for passion to come right now. If I’m to finish this thing in August, I must write it as if it’s something to write and not something that grows on its own. It is a thing that has grown, and has been written several times. I simply must put the words down.

I hope all is well with those who read this.




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