Very few motivational gimmicks work for me. Money? Nope. Shame? I don’t even know what that is. Setting word counts? Fuhgeddaboutit. I’ve been trying to finish the first draft of Camp Expendable ever since NaNoWriMo was over, last November. There’s something about novel endings that puts up some kind of barrier in my mind. That’s probably because I don’t write the kind of books that gradually lead up to a single possible ending. Instead, my main protags hem and haw their way through life, and when presented with the opportunity to make a choice between several options, they freeze up and refuse to budge.
So it is with Expendable. As a result, most of the book has been through several drafts, while I’m still trying to write the last chapter. At least no one can say I haven’t been working on it. I knew in advance that the ending would be a problem, so, motivationally desperate, I started posting it on Write On, even before NaNo ended. That didn’t go badly — until I reached the last two chapters. The next-to-last chapter got posted after a delay of only about two weeks. The last chapter is still hanging. And so are my readers.
I buckled down to work yesterday, determined to finish the darned thing. I even thought, momentarily, about not letting myself go to bed until it was finished. A moment of madness that I rejected right away. I did manage to write about 600 words, and I went to bed at my usual time. It’s up to 2,700 words now, and there’s no good (justifiable) reason why I can’t bang out the rest today. And I will try. I know exactly how it ends. That isn’t the problem. It’s the words. I can’t find the right words. Sure, I can tell myself that I don’t have to get the words right the first time. I’ve slowly, painfully, learned to keep that in mind during NaNo. For some reason, it doesn’t carry over. I think it’s the perfectionist in me. It hasn’t died yet, and insists on getting its licks in however and wherever it can.
Today is the day. Get the thing finished, come hell or high water. Right after I wash my hair.