Monday, July 19, 2010

If You Write, It Will Come

Hello, all!!!

I know it's been a while since my last post (man! it sounds like I'm in confession!), and I'd like to say that's because I've been writing up a storm and not procrastinating, but no such luck........

However, I have gotten back into the groove of things, and the last few weeks have been remarkably productive!! (We'll, I've been productive... the weeks themselves are just as productive as they've ever been.) I finished the chapter-that-took-me-months-to-write and am more than halfway through the next one! For those of you keeping track, that means that I have a little less than a chapter and a half of my first draft. *squee*

While things are chugging along just fine for me, there are still a few little things that I need to figure out. I know how this is going to end. I know certain events that need to happen. I know how certain characters are going to react to those certain events. But I don't know this: how am I going to get there? I know Steps 2 and 3, but Step 1 still eludes me!

So why am I so hung up on figuring out Step 1?

I know of some writers who have everything outlined and planned out ahead of time, and that's awesome, but that's not me. I used to call it "pantsing" but that reminded me of 5th grade, so I was glad when Jeffe sent me an article by Jo Beverly called "Once More into the Mist"*. In it, Beverly describes her writing process as "going into the mist", meaning she has a general idea of where she's going, but is not quite sure how she's going to get there.

That is so me! I know something's going to happen**, but when it actually works itself in, it often takes me by surprise! And watching it unfold is often like reading it in a book (that I haven't written).

Which leads me to the point of this blog: I've been stressing about Step 1 so much, I forgot one important Janelle Writer Rule: If You Write, It Will Come.

I realized this rule a few minutes ago when I saw the blank page. My fingers were poised over the keyboard, but I wanted to know Step 1. So badly. I really, really want to know!! But I wanted to know so badly that I couldn't write!!

Then it hit me--it will work itself out. When I get there, Step 1 will be waiting for me. Just like it always is. When it starts happening, I will think, Oh. That's why Forr---(oops! You can't know that!). It will finally make sense! And all will be right with the world. Well, sort of. ;o)

So I just need to write and trust in myself as a writer. If I write, it will come.

Now to actually go write so Tamy, Jessica, and Adri will stop whipping me into shape!! (Which I totally appreciate, by the way!!)

What about you? What do you do when you don't know what to do? ;o)

*I wish I had a link to the article for you because it is absolutely amazing, but I only have a scanned pdf of it. If you would like to read it, let me know, and I'll e-mail it to you.

**This, of course, does not include the things and characters that come out of nowhere, refuse to listen to me the All-Knowing Writer (yeah, right), and surprise the hell out of me! You know, the stuff I talked about in this blog or this blog.


Delia said...

Congratulations! Don't you just love it when you slog through a tough spot? I'm a pantser*, too, and I find that nothing gets me moving like a solid deadline. Have you given NaNoWriMo a try?

*I like that word, it's fun. Pantser, pantser, pantser. Now you try. ;)

Jeffe Kennedy said...

Glad the article was so helpful! It really helped solidify things for me. I'm thinking of giving a workshop someday called "Misting with a Purpose." I like it, anyway!

Kelly Breakey said...

For me outlines are a necessary part of my writing process. I need to know where I am going when I start. That does not mean that I don't learn new things as I write. But I always have a map for the trip I am about to take.

PS If you find that article I would love to read it.

Anonymous said...

Hey, found you through WriteOnCon. Great blog! There's a quote I love that fits perfectly with what you're saying (If I could only remember where I read it, that would be even better, lol): "Don't wait for your muse to come to you. Go to her house and drag her home by the hair!"

Weronika Janczuk said...

Glad to hear that you're back in a rhythm. Congratulations! Writing is the toughest thing ever, and I wish I had some advice to give, but I'm still struggling immensely myself.

Good luck!

Morgan Lee said...

Omgosh, this is soooo me too, and I couldn't have read this at a better time. No. Seriously. :)