I didn’t finish writing the first draft of It Begins. (BTW, I’ve come to despise that title, even for a working doc. It was always meant to be short-termed. I keep waiting for the real thing to pop up.)
Disgust, anger, irritation, and frustration all stopped me from finishing the first draft. This wasn’t working, it wasn’t what I’d envisioned (or anywhere near it) and more, it wasn’t satisfying, winning a prolonged grrrrr from deep in my throat.
WTH and WTF? I kept trying to write around the issue. What was it disturbing me? Didn’t like that beginning, so I added shit. Didn’t like that, so I took it away again. Rearranged chapters. Deleted story lines.
None hit the magic g-spot. Exasperation hounded me like a hungry cat. Finally, and at last, as I was in the bathroom, a huge freakin’ epiphany struck.
First, I want to note that a much of my best epiphanies arrive in the morning while I’m doing my washing, shaving, and dressing. I think that’s because the tedium of routine permits my brain to enter a prolonged idle. The stream of thought calms and new items percolate in.
The second strike of intrigue came as I walked, thought, and then started writing. The epiphany showed me that I was pursuing the wrong tack. But as I reviewed what I’d written in the first takes compared to what I thought that I was writing about, it seemed that my subconscious (through the vessels called muses) was pursuing the correct direction while my conscious mind slaved in the wrong direction.
I’d been thinking that I needed clarity. That’s what I’d been hunting, not a problem with the writing, but clarity about the story that I was trying to tell. Now it feels like clarity has been found.
Hope so, but you know, like many things, a victory is achieved on one day, but the same work is required on another. Which was what I think all my writing efforts demonstrated: I knew something was off, and tried writing through it to a solution. In a roundabout way, that’s what happened as the effort helped my thought process. Guess that’s what fiction writing is about, in the end.
Once my clarify was delivered, I felt like I was suddenly shifting into a new, unknown writing gear. Not surprising, right? That’s what happens when you overcome an obstacle.
Done writing like crazy for the day. Off to other adventures. Cheers
Yesterday’s writing session went well. Only five pages finished, taking me to two sixty, and closer to the story’s end. More of the final details flashed into me, which was really exciting.
I kept writing in my head in my après-writing walk, which ended up being two and half miles. I’d just kept writing in my head and forgot about the time or distance. I was ravenous by then, as it was after three and I’d not eaten lunch.
Books had been given to me for Christmas. I began reading one of them last night after watching the news, but had only read a paragraph before the urge to add a line to my novel jumped into me. Opening the document, I added that line and then experienced more ideas and wrote three more pages.
This morning, as I fed les chats, I wrote in my head and decided to add another line to the novel. So I sat down in the sweats that I wear to bed and wrote two more pages as I ate breakfast.
That seemed to satisfy the muses.
Breakfast is finished but I’m not dressed or anything. Must clean up, shave, brush the teeth, etc., so I can go out and write like crazy, at least one more time, and have a cuppa coffee. Haven’t enjoyed a drop yet today.
I take it all as it comes.
Well, I’m up the creek. No, it’s not a creek, but a river as wide and powerful as the Amazon or Mississippi Rivers.
It’s all about writing, of course. I’ve used many metaphors to explore and explain my writing ventures, progress, and process. All of them, despite being disparate, are correct and accurate. My writing processes changes as I go through different phases of conception, imagining, creating, writing, editing, and introspection.
Paddling on a broad river seems the correct metaphor, simile, or analogy for now. I have a firm idea of where I’m going, yet currents attempt to pull me into different directions. Swirling eddies trap me with bursts of vacillation about which way to paddle. Right now, the river of words and ideas are bright and shiny. Sometimes, though, the sun goes down. Moonlight and starlight might help then, but sometimes, I’m alone out there, lost in darkness, on the river alone.
Muses often help me out, throwing lines, shouting directions and encouragement. So does the habit I have now of reading interviews with published authors in my quest for a quote. Many of those writers have tales of being out to sea, up in the air, trudging through a hot, dusty desert, or locked in solitary confinement. They write about writing for themselves for years, sometimes being published but with little to speak of in the ways of sales or recognition. They continued writing because they’d discovered the joy of writing for themselves.
Then, suddenly, bang, an agent signs them. A publisher publishers one of their novels. A rave review punches through the public’s consciousness. An actor, director, producer, studio head, whatever, reads their novel, buys the rights and makes it into a movie. Overnight, they’re a sensation after years of writing for themselves.
The joy of writing for myself can’t be overstated. I’m on a river now because while there’s sounds and sensations, I’m mostly in solitude, communicating with my muses about where I’m at, what I don’t like, and what I do enjoy. I’m going with a flow. Although it might not seem like it from everything else written above, it feels like a process flowing with quiet confidence and satisfaction.
Your results and processes are probably different, of course. Or perhaps they’re the same, or you see some nugget of yourself in the now of your existence, doing similar to what I’m doing. No matter how your process works or changes, I wish you well on it.
The coffee is gone. Time to pack up and head out for a sweaty walk in the hot sunshine. It’s been an excellent day of writing like crazy.