Trying to change is sometimes not worth it
books in a stack (a stack of books)
The best advice I ever received was to stay true to myself, especially as relates to my writing process. I’ve tried two different times to change the way I work based on advice from friends that are also writers. Friends who think the way I write is crazy- I usually write 4-5 chapters in order, then the ending comes to me and I write the last chapter, then the second to last chapter. AND, I might even write a scene that comes to me and insert it somewhere in the middle. I do not do an outline. I let the story lead me. New characters pop up and cause some havoc with the protagonist. If I planned ahead, I’d never have the fluidity to have the story “happen.”
The first time I tried to change, the joy was completely sucked out of my writing. I took an online class from a member of my RWA chapter. All the rules and instructions tied my brain in knots, so I had to let go of the teacher’s lessons and go back to my way. The other time I tried to change was very recently on the advice of another RWA chapter mate. She edits each chapter as she goes and then moves on. Tried that. Got bogged down at Chapter Two. Couldn’t move on. Edited the hell out of Chapter One.
That’s when I finally took that advice. Be true to your own process. So, I’m back to my wonky, wild, weird, writing style (How was that for alliteration?) and I am humming along again on my newest manuscript. Next time I’m tempted to change, someone please remind me that it probably isn’t worth it.
So, I had a mad dash- more like a sprint- the last four days as I added 15,000 words to one of my manuscripts. I now have to make a decision about what to do next. I have a chapter and a half on the new WIP that I have been ignoring lately as I wrote two short stories and then this craziness of 15,000 words. I didn’t even leave the house the whole of last weekend as I worked like a little beaver on the additions.
Now, I need to decide if I’m gonna start that new story about a dream lover inspired by www.heligan.com and the lost gardens there or if I’m going back to Surfer Bride. Or perhaps I need to work on edits on the short story I want to submit to www.storysouth.com since their deadline is approaching. Decisions, decisions.
Have had a very busy week at work and have been beat every night. Been in some pain with my right leg for some reason, too. Trying to figure that out. Need to keep moving and stretching it out. Have nothing for pain besides Advil. So, all in all, not feeling much like writing. I HOPE to get some real progress this weekend. I AM on Chapter Two but only about 480 words into it. Let’s hope the old leg gets better so I can sit comfortably.
Updated my website tonight and it took forever. I’m sure no one reads it just like no one reads my blog here, but since I had not updated that sucker since August, I decided to do so. I really need to be working on my WIP but this was something that needed doing as well.
I am better today. Feel actually like doing a bit of writing. That sickness kicked my butt for a few days. Since this is a long weekend, I hope to either get in some writing on the new WIP or even better, edit the other two that I want to pitch at the Silken Sands Writer’s Conference in March.
Speaking the Silken Sands Conference: here are the details: http://www.gccrwa.com/silkensands/ Should be a grand time. My chapter members are awesome and a fun group to hang around. Come and join us. March at Pensacola Beach is lovely!
Here is the beach on Dec 24, 2009