I laughed when I pulled out this card from my deck for writers. Cling to the Impossible. It’s what I’ve been doing all month as I steal enough time from my days to crank out 50,000 words for National Novel Writing Month, but especially now in the home stretch.
Both my NaNoWriMo novel and the experience of writing it are fraught with all the usual demons of my life. Maybe they’ll sound familiar to you: characters who don’t cooperate, who can turn on you in an instant, then surprise you by making the right decision; obstacles that make you trip, keep you from your goal day after day, make you lose sight of what’s important and how to get there; voices that tell you you’re not enough, that it’s a fluke you ever got recognition for anything you’ve accomplished, that you might as well pack up your toys and go home.
When you’re a writer, you must Cling to the Impossible anyway.
It’s the final few days of NaNoWriMo. With or without a commitment to this month of madness, you probably have your own sense of a final stretch in your writing life, or your life for that matter. Are you committed to crossing the finish line? You don’t need 50,000 words to get there. You just need to put one foot after the after, one word after the other, one scene after the other. Take a moment to see what you’ve accomplished, and throw out any time line that’s making you crazy. Goals are meant to be reevaluated. Don’t Cling to the Impossible if it stops you in your tracks.
What is it your character clings to that seems impossible? Maybe they won’t reach the carrot. Maybe it truly is impossible, and yet it keeps them going anyway as the reader shouts No! No! Where are the places your character’s determination backfires? Where do they Cling to the Impossible in a way that makes the readers scream Yes! Yes! (forcing you to take it all away, unless it’s the ending, of course)?
Every day you pick up your pen, you begin again. You get to dream or revise the Big Dream. To Cling to the Impossible. How could a book get finished any other way?