It Feels Like Forever

I tried writing this post about an hour ago, but couldn’t come up with any thing. Every topic that came to mind was either boring or whiny. In some cases, boring and whiny. I decided to be productive while my muse was away (hopefully to someplace sunnier and warmer than here) and get cracking on the holiday cards.

In order to do that I need the list so I know exactly how many pictures to print and in what size. The list is pretty static from year to year, but it’s not like I remember exactly what from year to year, so I need that list in front of me to do this project. It’s a Word document that I update yearly (change addresses based on who’s moved, change names based on marriage, kids, divorce, add you to the list if I think you should have one, subtract you if I think you shouldn’t).

A few months back (May, I think), I got a new computer. Finally. It was running Windows XP and, well, it had seen better days. When I bought the new one, I didn’t get a new monitor because the one I have right now is pretty awesome, still works and I didn’t want to pay whatever it was HP was charging. I figured I’d just pick up a cheap one when I had a chance and go from there. I didn’t worry about it because, if nothing else, I knew I could download whatever I needed from my cloud back-up.

And I downloaded a bunch of stuff from the cloud back in May. Most of it was photographs, so it took forever. Felt like it, anyway. So after 20 hours of restoring (I really don’t think it was that long, I have high speed Internet but it really did predict it would be that long) I got annoyed, downloaded a few important documents and figured I’d get the rest later.

I didn’t really need the other documents, which is cool, I guess, until today. I needed the holiday label list and couldn’t get it from the cloud. I don’t know why. I’m sure it’s because I did something wrong.

So, I had to disconnect the monitor from the new computer and hook it up to the old one and transfer the files to a flash drive and then reconnect the monitor to the new computer to transfer it. Not a huge deal except A) I was sweating by the end. Not so much from the physical labor (though that old hard drive is not light) but from the anxiety of having to deal with my own stupid and B) I disconnected the speaker on the new computer and can’t figure out how to reconnect them. I’m sure I will, but I need music to create. And ambient noise.

Such problems I have.

I figured since it was such a PITA to do all this, I should grab a bunch of files while I’m connected to the old drive because I am not doing this again. And I came across a bunch of old novel writing attempts. If I include what I found on that hard drive with my current attempts, I would say I’ve actually written 5 novels. Four whole novels over the last 7 years.

I don’t know how I feel about this.

On the one hand, not a single one of them has been published and probably never will (a good thing, no doubt). The ideas are solid, I think, but, without even looking at them, I know they are a mess. First drafts are always messy, of course, but these are awful. No sense of plot, structure, or character. The things that can be kind of important in a novel.

And, it kind of depresses me to think that I’ve been trying to do this for seven years. Sure, I’ve been writing and even getting paid for it, but it’s not novel writing, where my passion lies. And, the way this year has been going, it feels like it might be another 7 years before I even get close.

On the other hand, I feel like I can say, with some amount of confidence, that I’m getting closer. I’ve made a huge effort to learn about plot, structure and conflict. My MC is still a little flat but through my studies I’ve learned that’s OK. Flat character arcs are fine if you’ve got a decent plot. And, I think I’m getting there. Has my writing improved? Some. I’m still not great but it’s better compared to these early attempts.

I doubt I’ll read them. They will probably make me cringe, but it’s nice to know they’re there, prodding me forward. Not in a mocking way, in an encouraging way. Like they’re reminding me to remember that while it’s been a long road, I’ve come a long way. Maybe, for fun, I’ll post some of it and we can all laugh at me together.

That’s all for now. I’ve really got to figure out how to reconnect the speakers to the computer. I need decent audio to work today.

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