So, my fail this week is definitely lacking, in the sense that I don’t have any prose written. I could blame work insanity, or a backlog of reading, or any number of excuses, but the truth is that I have dealt with more doubt in the last week than I have ever known. I have changed my mind one thousand times or more, never sure even as of ten minutes ago what I am actually going to write. But, slowly and surely, I return to a story I have worked on for a long time now, and that I had in mind when I wrote my “How to Commit” posts.
And so, with that in mind, my fail of the week this week is an outline–particularly, a scene-by-scene outline that I have finished the first part of and will finish the rest shortly. Why I consider this minimal accomplishment worthy of a ‘fail of the week’ title is that it’s closer to actually writing than I’ve been in months. When looking at a scene-by-scene outline, you can really see how the story would take shape, how each scene and character could come to life. It’s scary, and it brings on the doubts like nothing else, but it’s a step towards actually having something in your hand that you could call a draft.
My hope is that with a definitive outline, with a list of scenes to write and a firm knowledge of “what happens next,” it will be easier to stave off the doubts. Already, having a minimal outline allows me to push away more vague ideas for the ‘bird in hand,’ if you will. So the further I get along that road, the stronger a weapon I have against doubt.
Right this minute, I feel like I might actually be able to write a draft of this thing. Two minutes from now, that might change. But as long as two minutes later, I come back, then I can do this.
And next week, I will have prose and pages. Or an elegant excuse.