i'm scared to begin // in which aimee goes back to writing her depressing sci-fi

7:00 AM


It occurs to me that I haven't really talked about any of my own projects in a while, so here we go. You can all suffer through this with me.


I'm returning to Havard this week. (By the time you're reading this I've probably hopefully maybe already started writing the second draft. ....again.

The first draft has been finished for a good amount of time now, an amount of time I forget because I have no concept of time when it comes to writing. (I know it's been at least a year.) I wrote that draft in a whirlwind of emotions and new ideas and writing breakthroughs; a crazy anxious time when I seriously needed some distractions. I poured a lot of heart and soul and nasty icky feelings into those words. They weren't good. They weren't even decent, most of the time. But the characters live on in my head, people that I believe are important. I believe in them. I believe in this story. And I know that I should keep at it, because it might very well turn into something good eventually. (With enough work and sweat and tears.)

Are you starting to see my problem?

I tried to write the second draft this summer. I had new ideas, new inspiration, and plenty of time. I wanted to do something I enjoyed after suffering through another Pariah draft. It felt like the right time to get back to Havard and all my angsty Scandinavian sci-fi children.

I got about 15k before I hit a wall.

And another wall.

Another.

I restarted.

I hit another wall.

NaNo came around and I gave up.

The emotions and the personal connection and the expectation was high. Whether I acknowledged it or not, perfectionism was eating me alive with this story. It feels so alive and important to me that the moment I tried to put it down in my own clumsy words, I self-imploded. I tried to make it good and the thing "it should be" instead of following the flow of the story and letting it happen itself like I did in the first draft.

I tried too hard.
linkin park amuses me to no end and applies to every situation.
I'm trying again now. Which is weird, because it's a strange time of life for me. I'm anxious and insecure and generally...kinda bleh. Not drowning, not quite the way I was when I wrote the first draft, but closer to that than ambitious summer Aimee. So it doesn't make sense to try now, when it couldn't possibly work any better. It's a little more likely to be a terrible horrible burning disaster.

I am nothing if not a horrible burning garbage fire most of the time when it comes to my creative process so LET'S DO THIS THING I'M GONNA WRITE IT ANYWAY. 

The goal for this second draft is to make a mess. I want to let it explode everywhere. I want to find the joy of drafting, the wild throwing-around of words until I sit back exhausted and flushed and holding something lopsided and new and good. I want to cry over it and get sucked into it and more than anything I want to not try so hard. I want to work on stepping back and letting the thing be itself, letting the story unfold the way I have in the past. 

I just want to write for a while. 

I'm pretty excited about this. Also nervous. Also vaguely terrified. What if I run into walls again? What if the story actually sucks and isn't meant to be? What if I'm still screwing myself over? What if what if what if what if what if? 
oh leslieeee
This is a thing that's happening.

*deep breath* 

*screaming*

Even when I'm nervous. Even when this scares the living daylights what does that even mean out of me, I'm going to keep writing this. Because I love it. So...expect to hear a lot about this lil Havard story thingamajig over the next few months. 

What is this pet project of mine about, you ask? 

There is futuristic sci-fi dystopia Norway. There are super-soldiers. (Y'know The Winter Soldier? That Captain America movie that broke all of us? Think that.) There are menacing experiments. There is a shaky boy with anxiety who's not a hero and a brave girl and cowardly soldiers and heroism and blood and needles and war and explosions and death and tears and panic attacks and screw-ups and...basically I love all of it. It's a story about teenagers, and mental illness, I guess, and what it is to be a hero. 

Hopefully. That's what I would like it to be. (But as I keep learning, I never get to make stuff the way I want to be. It'll evolve into its own thing, I'm sure.) 

It's about real heroes and doing the right thing quietly and bravely, even when it's agony, simply because it's good. Good for the sake of goodness. 

I get the feeling it needs me more than I need it right now. 

I'll have more updates for you guys as I go, I guess. I'll post snippets on Twitter and maybe if you're lucky I'll post snippets here on the blog. Either way I'm not going to shut up about it. So. Get ready for my terrified screaming and loud typing noises. 

Crazy first-draft-ish sci-fi-writing Aimee is back. 

17 comments

  1. This sounds like a super cool story. I hope that you can make it work! Re-writes/second drafts are one of the scariest parts of writing, I think. First drafts are an adventure, but this is really where you start to figure out whether the story is going to "work" or not. Best of luck!

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    1. Ugh, I hate them so much. And also love them, because so much potential. But also I hate them. xD

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  2. Aah, it looks so amazing! I'm excited for any snippets you might post. Good luck with it all, by the way. Second drafts are hard.

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    1. This is unrelated, but dude you have to look up and listen to the musical 'Dear Evan Hansen' if you haven't already. Just do it.

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    2. Thanks man! I'll be throwing lots of snippets at you guys, because I'm just like that.

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    3. (Dude I hadn't even heard of that before but musical?? I'll have to check it out immediately)

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  3. Wow, that looks like quite the story you've got there, Aimee. Good luck with writing alllll the words!

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  4. YAS THAT YOU'RE GOING FOR IT EVEN THOUGH IT'S BEING DISAGREEABLE TO YOU!! Actually I sometimes find the more I care about a book the harder it can be to write?!? Or else it's super easy to write and I wonder what magic I've accidentally conjured or what even happened.😂 But yesss for not giving up on stories that have our heart. <3 I hope this is an exciting and (kind of) fun (shh don't laugh at me) rewrite as you spend more time with your smol adorable anxious supersoldier children.

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    1. Hopefully it will be fun because LOTS OF EXPLOSIONS. And I always have fun with explosions.

      I'm normal like that.

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  5. I know exactly what you mean - when I try to write, I can't write well; when I just write, my words turn out to be pretty good! Best of luck with Harvard :) it sounds fantastic, and that Pinterest board is gorgeous!

    Ellie | On the Other Side of Reality

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    1. Thank youuuu! I have so much trouble with the actual writing words part of writing, but here goes.

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  6. THE BOARD IS SO PRETTY! AND THE LINKIN PARK GIF WAS PERF BECAUSE I MENTALLY SANG IT THAT WAY AND THEN THE GIF! I hope you find your happy place with your second draft.

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  7. I am so freaking excited for you. You're going to rock this. <3

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hey. hey. talk to me. i'm a fan of comments and flailing with you. go for it.