Sunday, November 30, 2014

A perfect 10.

One more time around the sun. One more November spent with this hideous ogre hanging over my head.

But now we are officially all done. I am hanging up my fingers or whatever and calling it.

It has been a long decade. Count those years: Year OneYear Two. Year Three. Year Four. Year Five. Year Six. Year Seven. Year Eight. Year Nine. (and then, you know, this year).  And it is time to show myself out.
A friend of mine is embarking on writing her dissertation and she is worried about getting it all done in a time crunch. On Friday night, over beers, I shook my head at her stress. 

"You just do it."

"I don't know if I can do it."

"But I know, you will just do it. You have to just sit down and start writing and once you have started, you will just keep going until it is done."

This is a weird thing to be confident about and I could tell that she was all "you don't know me," but the thing is, if I can do this - anyone can do anything. I am the procrastinating procrastinator. I have the attention span of a real spazzy goldfish. I am always hungry.

Yet, despite being me, I can get this done. So to you - who may be doubting your ability to get things done, allow me to assure you, you can absolutely get it done.

About one million years ago, my sweet baby cousin J, was attempting to teach me how to skate backwards. I tried to get her to break it down and explain it for me. After about six minutes of watching me both fail and ask questions, she stomped her little seven year-old foot and said, "you just Do It." and skated off.

So that is my advice to people who ask me, with mouths agape, "how did you do it?"

I simply shrug, "you just do it."

That is all there is to say about it. If you want to do it, you will find a way to make it work. Even if you are putting it off for most of the month, and regretting the plot you have picked, and struggling to make it better mid-story, you will get it done.

I was super embarrassed when people asked me what this year's novel was about because it was not only hard to explain, it was pretty stupid. But I knew that Year 10 was not the year to quit. So I just did it.

Now, in the words of everyone's favorite president, Josiah Bartlett, 

"What's next?"

There will be no more writing of words unless true genius strikes. Instead, there Shall Be Editing. 

There are 500,000 words, over three different laptops (which might mean some of those words might be lost to humanity). Through all of those words, there is a voice, there are ideas, there are small moments of inspiration in dialogue, in "showing not telling," in the giving of nicknames. So now it is time to put those all in the sausage maker and try to find something delicious.

The first goal is to uncover all those words, find as many of them as I can, and print them all out and read them, with a yellow highlighter and an open mind. Next year, by this time, there will be something. I am not sure what it will be - maybe I will have just finally found all of the words - and managed to sneak-print all 500-or-so pages at the office. 

This was the easy part. The hard part is next.

As always - this dumb shit does not happen just because I open a fresh new word document. Thank you to:

The new La Colombe Coffee Shop on Foster. I wrote 12,000 words yesterday and I could not have gotten that done without the fresh hipster vibe, and delicious cappuccino provided in my new favorite Andersonville spot. 

The West Wing. How did Willy Shakes write all those plays without the sweet dulcet sounds of Allison Janney reciting Aaron Sorkin's words in his ear? In the Shadow of Two Gunmen (parts one and two) are some of the most inspiring moments of anything. 

Sweet coworkers and friends. All these people are so patient with this particular brand of psychosis and who provide endless hours of excellent distraction and boozy time and face time and boozy face time.

Yates. For forever and always. NaNoWriMoYates. I miss you.

Boyfriend. Who just shakes his head and says, "write your novel." Thanks (in advance) for buying my ticket to see Mockingjay Part One tonight.

Miso, the newest member of the dream team. She is so damned good at keeping legs warm. Our apartment is normally about 20 degrees below freezing, but she manages to keep the blood in my legs circulating.

Hazel. She was conspicuously absent for most of this journey, but as I rounded the bend at 48,000 words, she snuggled up and was there for the victory lap.

On to presents! Happy December everyone!

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She's pint-sized and amazing.