One Last Postcard From Camp: Wishful Thinking

This month finds me at a bit of a loose end.

My Camp NaNoWriMo experiment was not entirely successful, nor entirely unsuccessful, so I’ve been left wondering where do I go from here?

Let’s break it down.

I didn’t finish Full Circle. That was the main goal of the month—to finally type THE END on this first draft—and that didn’t happen. It feels like I may have come close, but…I don’t know if that’s just wishful thinking on my part, or if it could possibly be true.

I do feel as though it may be worth my while to finish the FrankenWIP experiment, to follow this thread through to the end. It feels like, though this ending may need more finessing, it is, perhaps, heading in the right direction. Though I may need to circle the block a few times to find an open parking space or whatever, I am at least in the right neighborhood.

Of course, that could just be wishful thinking, too.

Back in June, I made a deal with myself. I had the thirty-one days of July to play around with FrankenWIP and do whatever I wanted—whatever I could think of—to try and finish the story.

Then—win, lose, or draw—the WIP would go into the metaphorical drawer for a while. If finished, it would stay there until January 2022. If not, it would depend upon any progress made on other writing projects (Don’t you love how I say that as though making progress on things is actually something I do?)

One way or another, this WIP was meant for the metaphorical drawer. Either because it was finished and didn’t need me to look at it anymore, or because I’d be so pissed off at my failure to finish it that I would need it to be in a safe space while I threw a world-class temper tantrum. ‘Cuz I’m mature like that.

But here’s the twist…I don’t actually feel the need to throw a tantrum at all. (I know. I’m shocked, too.) Don’t get me wrong—I’m not happy that I failed yet again to finish this stupid story, but I’m not nearly as upset by that fact as I thought I would be. I know it can’t be because I’m being some kind of reasonable adult about it (because that would never happen), so I wonder if that may be a sign that I have, at last, found the right road to the end and just need a little more time to get there.

Or again…that could just be wishful thinking. I could just need one more month. But I could just as easily need six more months. Or six more years. My ability to judge these things is really quite terrible, so I honestly have no way of knowing.

But all of this leads me to my current quandary: Do I stick with the original plan of sticking this WIP into a drawer for however long that lasts while I work on a different WIP? Or do I keep on keepin’ on, working under the assumption that the ending is just around the corner?

I’m leaning toward the latter right now because my preference would be to put a completed manuscript into the metaphorical drawer, but I don’t know that I trust my ability to make a smart decision in this circumstance. I mean, I also seem to think that Dr Pepper is a good breakfast beverage, so, you know…smart decisions aren’t exactly my strong suit.

So now I turn to you, oh wise readers. What choice do you think I should make? (Note: about the story, I mean. Not my very healthy soda addiction.)

Thanks for stopping by.

Stay safe & well, all.

17 Commentsto One Last Postcard From Camp: Wishful Thinking

  1. Do you maybe need some more time to mull it over? July only ended a few days ago. Or maybe thinking ahead and planning for November NaNo might help with the decision?

  2. Believe the ending is near and go for it!

  3. I’d push through if it were me, but most of my decision-making comes from weighing the fact I’m feeling good to get something done and I need to take advantage of that before pain hits again. Of course, that was my pre-surgery life. But I’d still push through because it’s usually wise for me to take advantage of my motivation to work on something since that motivation can be fleeting.

  4. Kate says:

    I’d push through. I’ve made the mistake of putting something in a drawer when I wasn’t finished and when I came back to it, I couldn’t for the life of me remember what my intentions were for the rest. So keep going while you know where you’re headed.

  5. Chrys Fey says:

    Sticking it in the drawer for a while might be a good thing. It’ll give yourself and your brain a break, which I think is needed right now. And…I think your characters need it, too. Maybe that’s why they’re being all silly and not listening. They’re on strike. LOL You could try it out for just a short time. Even a week and see how you feel afterward.

  6. J E Oneil says:

    Considering how masochistic we writers are, I think it’s a good sign that you’re satisfied with the progress you’ve made. You know you’ve put as much effort into it as possible! Go ahead and pretend its still July so you can finish!

  7. Jemi Fraser says:

    I’m SO indecisive over some things – but after reading this, I think you’re leaning toward finishing it and seeing where it lands 🙂

  8. I’m the type of person who never sticks to a plan. Oh, I might plan to work on one book and let another simmer, but really, I can’t focus unless I work on whatever my brain wants worked on.

    So, in a super unhelpful way, I say go with whatever your fingers want to type. 🙂

    And grats on getting some done, even if it wasn’t as much as you wanted.

  9. I’m in a similar moment in the book I’ve been working on right now. I’ve set a time limit. I’m allowed to work on this book until November. And if I still haven’t gotten to the end of this draft, then I’ll shift my focus (in part because I’ll have a deadline to meet!). I don’t know how you respond to deadlines (self imposed and otherwise), but I find them motivating.

  10. Go ahead and finish it. Why not?

  11. Julia Quay says:

    I vote for keep on keepin’ on. You’ve already put so much into this project. And remember Stephen King’s advice from his On Writing book? (I’m paraphrasing here…) That Muse is a basement guy. If you put in the work, he will come out and deliver the goods.

  12. Julia Quay says:

    And by the way, you picked two out of three of my own picks for best book about the craft of writing. Stephen King’s book and Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird are gems.

  13. Sounds like you need help getting away from wishful thinking to knowing. I’ve found that Steff Green’s books and courses (especially the Skeleton Draft method) has helped me from hoping to knowing when a story is working or not. https://www.rageagainstthemanuscript.com/
    Good luck!

  14. Liz A. says:

    Go with your gut. And it sounds like your gut is telling you to keep at it for a bit longer. The fact that you’re not throwing a temper tantrum at not having finished just yet sounds like you’re feeling your way towards an ending.

    And count on six more months of the struggle. If it goes less, then you’ve won. If not…

    Good luck.

  15. Tyrean says:

    I’m the last person to ask right now. I sent my WIP to my editor and closed that thing down on my PC, closed down another story, and then wrote a really angry story that came out of “nowhere” and has no end in sight. I don’t need another idea, but it’s good to have a “venting” kind of project. Or at least it feels good at the moment.
    I hope when I get the WIP back from the editor, the last edits will go well. hahaha…
    Best wishes on your projects!

  16. I’d be tempted to continue with it. But then, I’m really bad at putting things aside to work on other things – I need closure, until the point where I am literally throwing it out of the window, then I reconsider.

  17. Toi Thomas says:

    Thanks for stopping by my blog.
    Sorry NaNo wasn’t a success, but also not a failure- it got you on the right path, even if you are still deciding. Sounds like a win to me.