Hey, guys! This isn’t going to be a thing I do after every chapter, like Plotstains, because I think the odds of me rambling on and giving some sort of spoiler away is tremendous if I do. I like rambling about my characters and the reasons why I do certain things, but… It’s not fun if I just explain these things to you guys instead of letting them play out. I might do a perspective type post of my own at the end of the Arc, though. So look forward to that.
The reason I decided to write something in the aftermath of this chapter is that I feel I actually have some insight to offer on how the current world situation has been affecting me and my creative process. Especially since I’m an extremely anxious person and I know anxiety is commonplace amongst writers; and artists in general, so maybe there’s some value in what I have to say.
I’ve suffered from anxiety since I was a teenager. A lot of it involves social situations, performance anxiety, very rarely I’ve had generalized anxiety where it comes out of nowhere and it isn’t attached to a situation. However, it’s always been severe enough to cause physical symptoms; insomnia, stress-related stomach problems, migraines, etc… And due to the state of the world lately, these symptoms were hitting me pretty hard in the couple weeks prior to April 1st. Bad enough that I actually told Plotstains on Discord I wasn’t sure I’d be able to finish the chapter on time. And for the first half of it, I had to pretty much push myself to work on it and I did. I figured if April 1st came around and the chapter wasn’t up to our standards, we’d delay it. And for the first week or so, I was still convinced that would be what we’d have to do.
Now, the point of even bringing all of this up is that I was extremely unhappy with this chapter at first, but I kept at it. I would go back in between writing sessions and add detail to scenes because they were initially just dialogue (which is the easiest part for me) and, slowly but surely, I started to feel happier and happier about it. Especially in the last few days of working on it when my anxiety finally started to let me see things with a little more clarity. It’s not perfect, and it’s still just a fun fluff piece (for the most part >.>), but I’m just as proud of it now as I am any other chapters we’ve put out so far.
Now, Plotstains talked about all the ways to stay active and remain positive despite everything that’s happening. And while I absolutely stand by that as well, if you can’t do that every day, or for a week at a time here and there… I’m here to say that it’s okay.
There’s been a lot of talk, especially among writers on social media, about how important it is to keep writing, some going as far as saying the world needs creative people to step up right now. Whether or not that’s true, don’t let it be a source of pressure and stress. If you need to set your WIP aside to just do things that make you feel better, then that’s what you need to do. If you’re not satisfied with what you produce while in low spirits, then don’t let it discourage you. You’ll either come back to it later and realize it wasn’t as bad as you initially thought, or you’ll have a clearer mind to fix it.
About the chapter itself… I do hate Plotstains a little bit for that paintball scene; not gonna lie, but I wasn’t surprised. The main reason I didn’t add the paintball battle in the first place was that I felt the chapter was getting long—in fact there was another scene I chose not to include for the same reason—but I wasn’t entirely sure if I’d managed to get away with leaving it out. Turns out I hadn’t. And in moments like these, it pays to have another pair of eyes on your writing. If something doesn’t work, it’s best to find out before it goes public and not after.
It would have been smarter of me to have written it out anyway and then cut it if needed; but I was the one up until 5 am, so hey… Lesson learned. Probably. Maybe. 😛
There’s so much more I’d like to talk about. The little things I’ve managed to insert into this chapter especially. And that’s why I think I should end this post here. I’ll see you guys here on the 16th. Have a good Easter Sunday. Stay home. Stay safe. Remember to wash your hands.