Recently, about a week ago, I finished the second act of my first novel. I know what you’re thinking, “Gee, what a surprise? Guy who writes a weekly blog thinks he can write a freaking novel.” You’d be pretty close to correct in your sarcastic jab at my ego. I began the novel a few months before I began this blog, however, I found myself struggling to write pages. If you’ve been reading then you’ll remember that I’d been recently dumped and my career was up and down day to day. These sort of problems can really affect your effectiveness to get the job done. The first act was written and a few had given it a read. My new love then began to hound me on when I would finish the second act so that she could read more. This was a short boost of steam as it gave me something to fight for. If I finish this act she’ll be happier and thus I can be happier. These highs are great for getting work done, but if you don’t commit some solid time to it they tend to dwindle and fade into the problems of the real world.
Last week I spoke about finding your muse and I had mine, but what I also had was this mindset that told me I couldn’t get job done no matter what I did. I’d go days without writing a single word. I’d even get stuck in the idea, one I was taught in college, that I need to write at least three pages of anything a day. I would get my three pages done or close enough then stop and feel satisfied that I had done the bare minimum. My crutch was a bullshit saying a professor or some book told me. Days where I’d write seven or more pages became bonus pages that I rolled over to other days. Now, I did end up finishing act two as I mentioned, but with a little help from Jack Daniel’s poor friend Evan Williams. Ernest Hemingway would be proud, of the drinking, not my writing.
I was beyond excited to have finished act two. I immediately sent it to my love for her notes and sat back and enjoyed my success. However, soon the crippling realization that I needed to write the finer points outline of act three set in and I began to panic. I had the general idea, but act two nearly killed me to get done. How was I ever going to get through another sixty to ninety pages?
I still haven’t picked up the pen to finish the act three outline, but instead I have taken to hiking. Since Sunday July 10th, 2016 I have been out at Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Area doing daily hikes to clear my head and find the writing inspiration I need in a natural and healthy way. I’m taking the next sixty days to do so and my hopes are by the end of the sixty days, act three will be done and my first novel will have been written all with the help of blood, sweat, tears, and booze. Perhaps we’ll see which chapters are good and which ones are shit in the edit and that’ll say if I’m better with a glass or on the trail. All in all it’s about crossing the finish line and getting done what you set out to get done, but also making sure you don’t die in the process. Here’s to hoping I don’t drop dead of a heart attack on the 10 mile Pink trail in this Oklahoma heat.