Saturday, August 15, 2009

Discovering your process is a process

I do not believe in writer's block. To even write about writer's block indicates that 'block' is not real. I do believe in creative standstills, where you're facing a writing problem (i.e. what should my character do next? how do I make such and such more believeable to the reader).

I also understand it when you get out of your writerly rhythm.

That seems to be the place that I'm in right now. The real world has crept very far into my conciousness, for one. I've also been in editing mode for quite a while now--the 'let's make everything pretty' mode.

I've also let myself sink into "What will my writer's group think if I don't do XYZ?" I've debated about what novel to continue with, whether I should remain in editing mode and submit an old novel while I rework it. That plan included working on something new at the same time. However, I can't switch modes that quickly. I can write two things at once, or I can edit two things at once. I cannot edit one thing while working on another thing. This is a new discovery.

So, addendum to the new plan: revert back to the old plan. Write, write, write.

Then I guess next year will be edit, edit, edit.

4 comments:

  1. That's really interesting, to make that realization about yourself.

    For me, I can only work on one thing at a time. Which took me a while to figure out.

    And I also figured out that the submission process is like a soul-sucking vortex from hell :-) Really zaps my creativity until it's an ashy pile of dust.

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  2. Great insight, Jenny. I, too, seem to be able to write two things at once, as long as they are very different. I am trying to edit two at once, but am finding I really need to concentrate more so switching takes time.

    Fleur, both looking forward to and dreading the soul-sucking vortex. Ashes, huh?

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  3. You know, with every submission cycle of a novel (I've had more than I care to admit), I think I won't let it affect me. I'll just send it off, and get back to work. But every time, I feel frozen, waiting. I learned about myself that that's just the way it is.

    Hate that. I hope you Pirates have more iron nerves than I do. And find agents faster :-)

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  4. Very interesting how every writer is different. I, too, do not believe in writer's block. If you can't go forward on a story, do another one. But it might happen if you are on a firm deadline with a publisher for a story. That's the only circumstance I can really invision it. Anyway, I'm practicing discipline on myself. Of course, it's really fun to write and not so much fun to rewrite. So, I'm forcing myself not to write anything new this month, so that I can continue to edit. Even though I already have my next book in my mind. Next month, look out! I won't be done editing, of course, but hopefully I'll be more in a rhythm. I hope to finish editing in 2 months. We'll see.

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