In the past, I’ve been reluctant to write about my writing process, or lack thereof. I admire those who write blogs, documenting their failures and successes; giving advice to help ease the way for newbs like me. I don’t feel that I can compete with those writers. I don’t mean to imply that this is some sort of competition and that I am advocating my skills by screaming “hey, look over here! I’m a better writer than so and so over at blahblah.com.” No, my reluctance comes from the knowledge that I have nothing useful to add to the mix. I’m still trying to find my way out of the fog and find my voice as a writer.
This lends to a personality trait that some might call a flaw. I am a watcher, not a joiner. I like to stand on the peripheral, and take it all in – learn from what is going on around me, and silently, walk away. Not necessarily a bad thing, right? Maybe not. But in this realm of my life, I am discovering that this quirk is a clear disadvantage.
Recently, my creativity has hit a bit of a road block. Well, if I’m to be completely honest, “road block” seems to be a bit of an understatement. I have run headlong into a brick wall, spray painted with the words “You, a Writer? Dream on.” in big bold letters. Now, as I lie on the ground, thoroughly bitch slapped by self-doubt, and stare up at those mocking words, I am faced with a dilemma. Get up and try it again; or lie here, lick my wounds, and consider knitting as a safe alternative.
I will get up, of course. I hate knitting.
But now the question is: How do I prevent this sort of thing from happening again?
I need a platform that I can chronicle my failures and successes. I am learning that even though I am not a seasoned writer, my process is important. Even if only to me. Surely, by whining about my writing/plot/character problems, and sharing my successes, I will find a way to cleanse my convoluted creativity and unburden my mind enough to actually make a dent in this novel – a manuscript that has plagued me for the last year.
The answer: I will blog about it and torture my few followers. Brilliant! Misery loves company, right?
I am not one to make New Year’s Resolutions. I think they are a recipe for failure. I’ve only made one other in my life. I succeeded in that – losing 50lbs. However, I accomplished that feat, not by making an all-encompassing pledge, but by making small attainable goals for myself and then resetting them once they were met. I will apply the same school of thought to my writing process.
Current Word Count: 24,001
Number of Pages: 124
January 1, 2012:
Current Word Count: 24,940
Number of Pages: 129
Not a lot of progress made in ten days time. But, in reality, it is. In that time, I dove in and did a lot of word purging. A painful process, but a necessary one. In all, I wrote and rewrote some three thousand words or so. I also was able to realign some plot issues, create a new character conflict, and deepen a main character’s sense of purpose, clarifying her goals. Of course, as often happens in these situations, my character spontaneously goaded me into alluding to a twist; one that will be difficult to incorporate, but you never know. We’ll see where it goes.
Lesson of the week: Accepting that sometimes a fresh scene is poorly written and perhaps lacks the precise tone of the flanking scenes, but, at least, it is out of my head and “on paper.” I can fix it later – after I’ve typed those sweet words – The End.
What: 3000 words written; Including 2 new outlined scenes
Completed by: Next Sunday – January 8, 2012