On holding your own fucking hand

Brief-ish post, cuz the Zoe, she's a-writing. (And finding a minute to chill with the always awesome Alesa Warcan! Shout out!!)

Anyway, today Zoe's actually a-bitchin. At herself (and you'll forgive the peevish tone, cuz Zoe's also a-pissed. At herself.) For plowing through the Internetz, looking for The Right Answer. While knowing all the while that of course this is what I'd find:

There is no got-damned right answer. 
Because there is no got-damned answer at all.

What I needed an answer for? A desk absolutely, positively littered, shelled, shrapneled, pasted, papered, hell--sown with notes. And all are pretty interesting, pretty chirpy, but also pretty fucking DEADENING.

Cuz now that I'm at shit-hitting-fan stage, i.e. it's climax time, I'm exploding under a barrage of notes that zoom in like Japanese Zeroes (Zoe remember this; don't forget Devon's doing that; wait your demon looks like this; be sure to drop this little theme-bomb in here like so; ooh here's a cool bit of dialog don't forget to put it here). Too late to duck and cover. FUUUUCCK!

It's drowning a sista. So much that I can't write forward for fear of missing something important, something that might be scrawled on the back of an AT&T bill envelope or Post-It, way the hell at the bottom of a messy stack of notes.

So I actually fired up the netz and searched "novel writing too many notes".

I'm serious, y'all. I actually looked for an answer to that. Today. Sheeshy-fucking-SHEESH.

And what did I find?

Zero-zilch-fucking-nada.

Big surprise. Cuz you know what the answer is? *sound of crickets chirping*

Right. At least that's what the answer is out there. And I already knew that. Just as I already knew the answer to The Great Note Kamikaze of 2010 is in here.

(Like ta hear it? Here it go: 1) don't paper your desk with notes in the first place, DUH. Keep 'em in a notes document. All in one place. Take the time between writing pages to organize those fuckers chronologically, story-wise, so you don't get bogged down. 2) Forget the notes while you're drafting. Notes are for revision.)

And something else I noticed? When I was frantically flipping through notes, they all felt...old. Because I'd already incorporated them into the MS organically - i.e. my brain had hold of most of 'em the whole time. I just didn't trust it to.

So. In case you're like I was just this morning, searching for the Right Pep Talk, the Right Tip, the Right Answer, the Right Hand-Holding, know this:

There ain't be no fucking right answers. And there ain't be no right fucking hand-holding.

Hold your own hand. Trust yourself. I mean, it's your own got-damned process, isn't it?

7 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh | October 17, 2010 at 4:25 PM

Feeling a little overwhelmed and frustrated, Zoe?
Don't worry if you miss a detail now. Just plow through it and fix the mistakes later.

Zoe C. Courtman | October 17, 2010 at 4:33 PM

LOL - you know it. I came to that conclusion (don't worry if you miss a detail) earlier, and boy was it ever liberating. Fuck the notes!! Just write. And I'm trying to...sigh. I'm trying. Thanks for commenting, I needed a friend!:D

Roland D. Yeomans | October 17, 2010 at 6:05 PM

Sometimes it all seems too much, doesn't it?

You're right, of course. The answer is where it always was -- in your heart and mind.

But the words of others can act as lights to pierce the gloom of self-doubt and overload or as prisms to focus the diffused answers into a coherent shaft of bright awareness.

And perhaps if you go forward, tapping your own thoughts, your own heart, you will go beyond the limits of those notes that only would have constrained you anyway. You have grown since those notes and your perceptions have deepened.

You are a better writer now than then. You have enough light to write that first sentence, that first paragraph.

The words are within you. I have faith that you will find them, and that they will be good ones.

Always in your corner, Roland

As a mother, you might like this recent post of mine :
http://rolandyeomans.blogspot.com/2010/10/it-just-seemed-thing-to-domy-new-entry.html

Falen (Sarah Ahiers) | October 18, 2010 at 1:48 PM

This was full of epic win.

Lydia Kang | October 18, 2010 at 3:14 PM

I feel like I should scream for you. "Aaaaaaaarrrhrhrhr!"
Okay. Now. On to writing. You can do it, you're talented. Hold you own hand, but first smack it for psyching yourself out.
You'll be awesome. The writing will be better and better as you get to that final draft stage. And then you can pat yourself on the back. You can dooooooo it.

lbdiamond | October 21, 2010 at 9:20 AM

Wow. Deep breaths!

I hope things smooth out for you soon, Zoe. You're a SUPER talented writer. (And I don't say that unless I mean it.)

*hugs*

Alesa Warcan | November 2, 2010 at 11:56 AM

Hold my own hand? Yuck! Who knows where it has been! Oh I do... Hmm.. Ok then. : j

Heya! I'm back in my own place! Shout out to you too!

I can't vouch for your fiction (not having read any) but you rock, I can testify to the fact. Yes siree.

And from the way you describe, you could always switch to the wallpapering business:

"Yo, I hear youse in need of wall paperin'. What color post'its do youse want. I got demon lemon? Miami hot pink? Lying lime? And pastel purple... pastel purple comes with complimentary knee-capping."

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