Well great, I’m procrastinating one type of writing with another.
The past month, London has been so goddamn depressing. I remember reading Oliver Twist in middle school and being aghast (aghast, I tell you!) that Dickens shat on winter for like three chapters. I didn’t get then. I get it now.
I’d like to issue an official apology to Charles Dickens: Charlie, I get you now. Winter in Great Britain sucks. It’s cruel, cold, and dark.
This Sunday, M+P and I went to the Columbia Flower market and got caught in a rain storm that turned from a mist, to a drizzle, back to a mist, then to a downpour. Pretzel got soaked, and gave me the sort of look that said, ‘mother, you taking me outside right now is a level cruelty which should be banned by the Geneva Convention’. I have a dramatic dog.
But the point is, we all got soaked. My trainers were soaked. My sweater was soaked (despite having an umbrella. Always carry an umbrella with you in London). My dog was soaked, even though she made us carry her the last two miles back home. I was freezing, in spite of drinking two steaming hot oat chai lattes.
I got home around 3pm. And then guess what, the sun set like half an hour later. And I felt like, well… it’s the evening, may as well stay in and watch Netflix all day. Which is what I did. Because it felt like 7pm, and not mid-afternoon. But hey, it was cold and wet, and raining out. And it was just me and an angry little dog, who lay atop a giant pile of blankets all day, just giving me the cold shoulder. We were all in a mood.
I’m writing a short story now that’s been on my mind in July. It’s going.. not at all. Hence why I’m here, procrastinating one type writing with another. And I’m trying, I really am. I’m listening to others’ criticisms about my writing and working on my pacing (people told me it was too fast before). I even wrote an outline – it has scenes and everything! And yet, writing dialogue makes me actively want to vomit from anxiety. I hate every single word I write. I go over a scene in my head and write it and rewrite it. Do I start it by a balcony, in bed waking up, near a door — padlocking it? What is the best way to introduce a character? Should I have a distinct narrative voice? If I introduce eight characters in one scene, is it too much?
I know it’s boring to hear me rant about this, but writing it all down feels.. cathartic? I don’t know. Maybe I’ll write it all down here, then I’ll get over it, and then I’ll stop complaining. I’ve been worrying about it so much that I woke up at 2:30am last night, couldn’t go back to bed, made a half-assed promise to myself to write with honesty (whatever that meant) and tried to get back to sleep. Then I woke up again at 5am.
It’s been a while since I had anxiety dreams. Normally I only have them before a big trip, or if I’m really stressed about a meeting at work. This just seems to be a crisis of my own making.
Anyways, do I start a short story with an argument between eight people? (though I think I can cut it down to five if needed) or by introducing the main character? How do I write believable dialogue? How do I built a good pace?
Those are the questions that’ll keep me up at night tonight.