The deadline for NaNoWriMo came and went. How did I fare? Not nearly as well as I had hoped. I stalled at about 17K. Worse yet, once I officially gave up on trying to reach 50K, I lost all motivation to write every day.
I’m trying to find motivation now. But, just as it would be hard to force oneself to stumble around in the dark without the guarantee of finding something valuable, so is it hard to write when you don’t know where the story is going. I’ve had to force myself to concentrate on small details and hope that it pushes me along somehow.
Sometimes it works. The other night I asked myself about how a certain fictional creation would smell. I got 900 words, a new character, and several potential plot directions out of that. I had gone into it without any hope or direction. It wasn’t fun. It was difficult.
“Oh, boo-hoo!” says the archaeologist who spends long days brushing sand away grain by grain on the off-chance that they might find buried treasure. “Go tell your sob story to the scorpions and the heat stroke!”
Please disregard the cranky archaeologist.
The point is that, as every archaeologist knows, if you want to find something, you have to look. I’ve said this before in other words and other contexts (e.g., Seek and You Shall Find). It bears repeating.
You have to look!