A Case of Week Two
November 12, 2010
Here is an entry from the official dictionary of National Novel Writing Month:
Week Two--noun--malady afflicting writers in the second week of creating a novel within a four-week period. Symptoms include: lethargy, despair, nihilistic perspective (i.e. "I'm too tired to finish my novel and I don't know what I'm doing and it's not going to amount to anything"). Victims of Week Two often curl into the fetal position and whimper about shallow plot and two-dimensional characters. Beware--Week Two is highly contagious.
I have had a serious case of Week Two this past seven days, but don't worry. I'm getting better. My writerly immune system broke down when I had three really long days last week and didn't contribute a single letter to my 50,000-word goal. That was bad. Then, I wrote 4,000 words in one morning. Then, I skipped a day. It was about then that I lost all hope in my novel and began to say things that everyone who suffers from Week Two says. "Why did I start this crazy endeavor? It's pointless. I hate my characters. I'll just quit and not tell anyone."
Fortunately, there is an antidote to Week Two in the official dictionary as well:
Antidotes: (1) Write more. Paradoxically, the very act of writing puts off the despair brought about concerning the quality of that very writing. (2) Week Three. The passage of time and accumulation of added input from other writers often has enough force to carry the victim into the creative wellness needed to complete their novel.
With week three in view and some writing time built into the weekend, I think I've kicked my case of Week Two. I hope you can too.