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Monday, August 18, 2008

Finding a writing groove

You all may recall that for the past several months, I've been jumping through the agent hoop, working on round after round of revisions. Yay me. At RWA, I went to a spotlight and found out that they do not want books like #2 in my proposal. Oops. That left me spending the past couple weeks scrambling to change my proposal, taking out the bad book and inserting another book.

The problem: #2 was a complete, new book is in process.

So I figured, just in case editor sees new book idea and wants that as #1 book, I figured I ought to get a little more done on it. Which is what I did over the weekend. YAY me.

It took a while to get back into my groove. I've been editing so long, I almost forgot how to write. I mean, I can still put a sentence together with the best of them. I just couldn't let go and let the words flow, crap or not. I kept hearing Anne Lamott in the back of my head telling me it's okay to write a crappy first draft. And Nora Roberts telling me I can't edit a blank page.

So I wrote.

I wrote crap. I deleted a lot of it. I fought with my internal editor, and I am emerging victorious. I have a workaholic hero who wasn't supposed to be a workaholic, except I'm finding that in that structured man with a plan there is a compassionate heart I didn't realize existed when I originally planned this book. I didn't realize how deeply committed he is to justice and mercy, the driving values behind his workaholicism. Maybe those things don't seem to fit together, but for some reason, with this hero, it makes him who he is.

And I realized, that even if it started out looking like a great big pile o' poo, it's coming together to create something even more spectacular than I could have ever dreamed. Which made me remember why I love writing so much.

I should be getting to bed now, but after having spent a few hours doing the work that pays the bills (and I am not knocking it at all, because I do enjoy it), I need to do the work that makes my soul sing. Because that, my friends, is what the writing groove is all about.

4 comments:

Jan Parrish said...

I'm so glad you have your groove back now!

heather said...

Oh, how I understand this! After editing and editing and editing, it took me a while to get back into that crappy first draft. Just write! I kept telling myself. Revise later. Write something. Anything. Even nonsense words.
I read once of an artist who painted her canvas black and then with other colors just so that she wouldn't have a blank canvas.

Robbie Iobst said...

From fertilizer comes beautiful gardens of sweet smelling flowers!

Eaton Bennett said...

I did not realize that you are in the process of submitting novels to be published...how exciting! I understand your statement "the work that makes my soul sing", that is what makes all the ups and downs worth it. :)