Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

Giving Up Hope – Or Faking It Until I Do

Image of painting called My Lost Hope by Freida.Wherein I whine just a little bit after having done a stupid thing…

Writing fiction is hard.

And starting over from scratch is even harder, I’ve found.

Except for some free writing in class the last few weeks, I haven’t written anything on my work in progress: not since I lost 25 pages of the manuscript.

I’ve been in a terrible funk. And hopeful.

Hope is a terrible thing sometimes…and crippling.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve tried to recreate my lost work, but the words just aren’t flowing.

In the back of my mind, I’ve constantly been thinking:

  • It’ll turn up.
     
  • It’s got my name on it. Some kind soul will drop me an email to let me know they found it.
     
  • It’s not really lost, it’s misplaced…
     
  • I just haven’t looked hard enough for it yet.
     

And as long as there’s been a smidgeon of hope in my mind that the dratted pages will turn up, I haven’t been able to write a word…because why should I re-write these chapters when I know they’ll appear at some point?

But the fact is, it hasn’t turned up. No one’s called me about it. And I’ve looked high and low, and called a lot of places and dropped in on several more (some more than once) and so I know it’s it’s worse than misplaced:

It’s lost and I’m never getting it back.

(Okay, I said the words. Maybe, if I say them enough times, I’ll believe it.)

Yeah. I’ve not quite given up hope. But I’ve got to fake it, or I won’t be able to move on.

It’s not like this writing should be hard. I know what happens. I know where the plot turns. I know about that secret reveal in Chapter 15.

And this version will likely be better since I’ve already written it once. It’ll be the second draft, for 25 pages, halfway through the novel.

I’ve written a few hundred words between yesterday and today. Not great progress, but it’s more than I’ve done in a month.

Have you ever been paralyzed by hope? How do get past it?

 
 
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“My Lost Hope” image by Freida. Not used by permission, since I’ve been unable to contact the artist. See more of Freida’s work at RedBubble. Freida, if you see this, please drop me a line so we can talk about the use of your gorgeous painting. Thx!

4 comments to Giving Up Hope – Or Faking It Until I Do

  • Interesting concept isn’t it?

    I sometimes think that it’s because we believe that if we hold still for long enough, that single defining moment in the past will miraculously be rewritten and then we can move forward again.

    Good on you for getting back to writing. No matter what, and no matter how long it takes, eventually, we get back to writing.

    Widder

    • Hi Widder! I love how you explain it: ‘we believe that if we hold still for long enough, that single defining moment in the past will miraculously be rewritten…’

      So true!

      In my heart I know that if I don’t move on, I’ll never get this book published. But it’s so hard to do so! Much easier to stay trapped in the moment.

  • Having hopefulness pass the point of usefulness kills my soul. Letting go and starting over “differently” helps me. And just when I’m finished AGAIN and realize how much better it is and I am, I find or get what I wanted in the first place. All to discover it wasn’t so special, it just was. And I keep it too!

    • Hi Gyleen! Thanks for stopping by. What a powerful statement:

      All to discover it wasn’t so special, it just was.

      Wow! I need to keep that in mind, not just with my writing…

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