If you’ve been following my Twitter feed this past week, you’ve already figured out I’ve been in a special place. An angry, depressed, worried place. I didn’t like it there. And I realized I’ve spent far too much of my adult life there. Maybe too much of my kid life there, too. So, I’m done with that. (Or at least, I’m going to try very hard to be done with that. This will take time and reprogramming.)
I realized I was having trouble with that novel I was working on because I had too many chapters and too much stuff and not enough of it was relevant and I’d lost site of what was relevant. So, I made an outline. Yeah, I know, I should have done that before. But. But! I kind of needed to write my way into this character so, maybe I had to do it that way.
Either way, fuck it. Yeah, that’s my new philosophy. I’m not going to worry about why I have 80,000 more words than I need. I’m not going to fret that I should have finished this years ago instead of trying to have a “career” that was apparently as pointless as those extra 80,000 words. It’s not like I have a working time machine.
See, I’ve always had this underlying part of my personality that just wanted to cut and run. Always. But the dominant part of my brain always told that part that getting food and shelter was way easier with parents. Way easier with an education. Way easier with a plan. Be responsible. Do what you’re supposed to. All that.
Except the people I know who did those things are all drowning in house debt or student loan debt or trapped in jobs they hate because they have spouses or kids or pets or no sense of how miserable they really are because they’ve been guzzling booze or popping Prozac like Pez. (Maybe that’s a new market for Big Pharma: toy pill dispensers. Might make getting Little Johnny to take his Ritalin easier.) And the people I know who did some of this and some of that and quit jobs when they felt like it and tripped on mushrooms when they felt like it and did whatever whenever are either still doing that or they’re buying short sale houses with the profits from their drug sales.
Which is not to say I’m going to start selling drugs because I’m not. I’m just saying, I’m tired of doing the “right thing” while everyone else does whatever they hell they want to.
See, I mentioned that little part of my brain that just wants to run. That part of my brain that’s Megan from Brian Wood’s LOCAL. Honestly, that might explain a lot of my main character’s past — and I do hope you get to meet her one of these days because she means well but she’s not “good” and she’s grown on me. She’s a runner. Part of it was bred into her. Her mother’s a runner, though not in the athletic sense. She gets bored or lonely or runs out of men or money or marijuana and she hits the highway. This MC, she’s also a runner physically, something I wish I could perfect, but alas cannot. So, she’s basically got a lot of my “crazy” parts. The survival parts my sister has put to the test far more often than I have.
Thus, I realized all those 80,000 extra words were apparently some sort of demented therapy. And I’m starting to use my own creation as a not-s0-great role model. Which sounds nuts. Then again, Davis’s philosophy is pretty much, meh, I’m still alive. It could get worse. And in these “trying times” (been listening to The Shakers’ new CD too much, too), isn’t that pretty much the bottom line?