Saturday, July 3, 2010

Finding My Ground and Trusting the Process

Revision sure is a tricky old friend. It requires great thought and tremendous dedication to the process. When I first got started on my latest revision of this current WIP, I had to settle back in, outline a bit, but prepare for the unexpected.

Getting myself out to the cottage every day is not a problem. In fact, that's the easy part. I set up a plan, reread the previous day's work and fire up a new chapter to get started for the day. But it's the unevenness of new ground...ideas that pop into my story that really starts to make me itch.

The other day, I wandered into the house for a cup of tea, a seltzer, a sweater...to switch the laundry, etc., etc., etc. I've come to the conclusion, that I don't mind word-smithing, layering more detail or adding to a conversation. But when ideas come out of left field...well, I just fight it. I don't know what it is. Honestly. Am I afraid I'll have to write a different novel? Am I afraid the new ideas will ruin my chances for publication? I have to say...in my heart, I'm a storyteller, so that can't be the reason for my angst.

Fortunately, the answer to all of this lies in my writing group, and my wonderful mentor, Patricia Reilly Giff. Many friends and family members have offered to read my work. They know books, they're readers of course...and I completely respect them for the types of books they enjoy. But...a seasoned writer can call me on it when I'm dodging the fire in my story. My partners in crime know my pitfalls, and they always get me back on track. They keep me focused, so my eyes don't wander too far, and they force me to make my work pay-off for the reader.

Right now, I'm marinating and simmering...sometimes coaxing the flame in order to keep that one idea lit. But that is the process. And for now, I just have to trust the tender nature of the process, my writing partners, and that elusive Muse...because she eventually shows up each day. Most of all, I have to trust myself and simply write the best book I'm capable of...a word, a paragraph and a single page at a time.

2 comments:

Brian Miller said...

this is a great post for me...i have just started seriously writing...and it is good to hear from one that has been there or going through the process...thanks for finding me. smiles.

gael lynch said...

Brian, your blog is awesome! What a treat! I've learned more about myself in the process than I ever would've thought. It's all good! Smiling right back at you! I'll be watching you and your climb to the top.

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