|Image by FidlerJan courtesy of morguefile.com|
Isn't it funny how, when you're going through a challenging time, things come to your attention that could possibly provide a way through?
I had three things show up this week.
The Wrong Turn
The first is David Farland's post on Beating Writer's Block. The first point he made in particular got me thinking. Was there anywhere in my story that felt "off"?
And the answer is, yes, there's one thing that niggled at me from not far into my first draft. I kept ignoring it because it affected the ending only. I thought if I left it alone till I was actually ready to write the ending, I'd discover something along the way through the novel that might resolve it.
Lesson No 1 - don't ignore the niggles!
When a niggle rears its head, talk to it. Find out exactly what the nature of the niggle is and then brainstorm how to resolve it.
I've found a potential solution that not only works with an idea I had for the ending before this, but also does away with a tertiary character and gives her role to a secondary character in my protagonist's life.
Let's call that a goal achieved for this week. :)
The second article I read was about how to be a happy writer, on the Writer's Village blog.
There are those who believe that only if you're writing every day are you a proper or true writer. Everyone else who does not meet this standard is not a serious or committed writer. They're dabblers. Hobbysists. Whatever.
(This came up before in a slightly different way in a post by Jami Gold on the two different types of writers - the Professional-Author, who pretty much HAS to write every day if they want to have a chance at a financially-successful career, and the Artist-Author who isn't in it for the money but for the need to communicate. The money is a very welcome side benefit, but it's not the reason they write. The link to that post is here: http://jamigold.com/2014/01/know-your-goals-artist-author-or-professional-author/)
I left my thoughts on the Gemma Hawdon's blog post and briefly, this is what I think:
There are as many ways of writing as there are writers. To say that only serious writers write in a particular way is damaging. It's like trying to fit round pegs into square holes. The writer who doesn't physically work on her WIP every day is no less committed to writing than the writer who does write every day.
Some writers need to step back from the writing to get a feel for what's been written, and to get a feel for what's to come. Some writers, I suspect, do not think in words. They are more right-brained, so feelings, shapes, colours, characters, textures, and everything else that makes up a scene is a picture or feeling and needs to be translated into words. This type of write needs time out to just immerse themselves in their inner worlds and try to make the intangible tangible.
And good luck to them in attempting to do that in a busy, busy, "go faster", "do more" world.
The point is, whatever method a writer uses to write, be it plotting or pantsing, typing or long-handing (!), writing every day or striving every day to make the intangible tangible, we are all writers and we have more in common than we do differences.
Lesson No 2 - I am still a committed writer, no matter how my writing method differs from other writers or how long it takes to produce the polished work.
Shakespeare in Love
I watched brief moments of Shakespeare in Love last night. Great film.
It got me to thinking about how the Shakespeare in the film was spurred to a frenzy of inspiration after meeting Viola. The time spent not writing, the time spent being fully present in each moment he was with her, the time spent feeling ALIVE, is what fed his inspiration.
Lesson No 3 - Slow down. Live fully in each moment. Live with Heart. The time spent not writing is just as important - if not more so - than the time spent writing.
Goals from last week:
- Create a piece of artwork each day - did this for 3 days and loved it!
- Relax in a relaxed way each evening - yes, most evenings.
- Set my writing goal for the next day - no.
- Write in my journal, 15 minutes a day - yes, for my personal journal and yes on two or three occasions in my writing journal
- Comment on my team's blogs - yes.
Bonus Goal: Looking at the Niggle. :)
Goals for next week:
- Write the Fix for the niggle down on paper and examine it from all sides to make sure it works
- Continue to create a piece of artwork each day
- Relax properly each evening
- Get to bed by 11pm at the latest
- Write in my journal, 15 minutes a day
- Comment on my team's blogs
What writing lessons have you learned over the time you've spent honing the craft?