And the Plot Sickens: Lack of Novel-Reading, Writer’s Block, Minimal Driving Practice, and Other Back-to-School Problems

And the Plot Sickens: Lack of Novel-Reading, Writer’s Block, Minimal Driving Practice, and Other Back-to-School Problems

Part of a writer’s job is grabbing every opportunity to read novels written by their peers, whether they’re critically acclaimed, as in New York Times Bestseller, or underground, just getting started. I love reading, but I seem to be reading more of the news from CNN than novels. In my last post, I said I was still halfway through Misery Loves Cabernet by Kim Gruenenfelder, a 2009 romantic novel about a Hollywood personal assistant named Charlie, who has trouble deciding whether she should get back together with Jordan, a photographer who’s working on a movie in Paris, or start a new relationship with Liam, an Irish producer for Charlie’s client Drew’s new movie. I started reading the book at least a couple months before my grandfather died, and out of the 358 pages printed in there I’m on page 258. To be honest, I really should’ve been done with it a long time ago and moved on to another book. But instead, I’ve been over-thinking about a lot of things regarding my future.

I received my driving learner’s permit more than a month ago, and I practiced my driving only twice–with a driving instructor and my stepdad. I drove fine on both occasions, but my stepdad was a little impatient when I nearly hit a curb and approached a little too close to a car ahead of me even I didn’t mean to do any of those things. “Driving is a very serious matter,” my stepdad said. Well, of course I understand that driving is a very serious matter. Otherwise, why would I be such a nervous wreck? I thought to myself. I haven’t done much driving for 21 days, and I think I blame both myself and my stepdad. I blame myself for not getting up very early in the morning to practice driving around town with my stepdad, and I blame him for having minimal sense of time, or lack thereof. I would rather have someone with thrice as much patience and time-management skills as my stepdad to teach me to drive. That way, I’ll be able to pass my driving exam with flying colors and obtain a car of my own in order to drive myself to school and exercise the same social freedoms as everyone else my age. Failure to do so may result in me dropping out of college, remaining unemployed, never getting married, and living with my parents for the rest of my life–all the derogatory autism stereotypes in the book that I DON’T want to live out.

My classes start tomorrow, and my Intro to Ethics class is an online course. I upgraded my laptop to Windows 10 for free, and although the interface and new features are wonderfully sleek, there’s only one problem: Norton. The version of the Norton anti-virus software that I had in Windows 8 is not compatible with Windows 10, so I had to download a new version that’s provided by Comcast (or Xfinity, as the company that licenses Norton, Symantec, advertises). The reason is because, until very recently, my stepdad was a Comcast customer, and every time he buys a new computer he has to install and activate a Norton software provided by the cable company with an account and pin of his own. Now that my mom is the new sole Comcast customer, I’m left with two options: either I create a Norton account and pin under my mom’s name (anything she has to do online, I have to do it for her, anyhow), or create a Norton account myself. Once in a while, my stepdad would ask me if I have been keeping up with the system scans. I have, but if he asks me again and I tell him that I had to download a version of Norton compatible with Windows 10 as part of the upgrade, he might get upset. I have to talk to my mother about this issue before my stepdad does. Such is the curse of being one of those college students who still lives with her parents.

As far as my writing goes…
Like I said some umpteen times before, I’ve been working on my first novel for over a year now, and I feel that I’m suffering from writer’s block because no matter how good my writing skills are–at least to people I know very well–I’m scared that my novel will turn out to be inadequate when it’s published and available to the general public. On top of that, I’m not sure when I’ll ever get it done what with all the studying and other things I have to put up with. They say to write one page a day, but my genius brain thinks it should be more than that. If anyone has any tips on how I can overcome my writer’s block, I would greatly appreciate it.

In fact, I will wholeheartedly appreciate any advice you, my readers, would provide me on all the issues mentioned here.