Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Another New Dawning: Keeping the Writing on Track

This morning, I sit here with my cup of hot coffee and I look out the window to see a fresh blanket of snow has covered the ground. I hear the plows out there scraping the roads, paving the way for the morning commute, but I'm not worried about that right now. I know I have an extra ninety minutes to write. Some mornings I journal, mostly to get anything that's playing in my head out there on the page. I want no distractions to defeat me in my work.

But this morning, I'm free of distractions...pretty much anyway. I did check in on school closings, and so I was aware of the morning headlines too. But I didn't linger. I had my assignment in mind.

Setting a deadline has been a great thing for me. It's given me a purpose and forced me to look at things I'd never looked at before: word and page count specifically. I never wanted to be so glossy, so caught up in the specifics of pushing forward like that with my book. One of my writing partners has been nudging me along, though. She's given me a deadline for the first time with this book. Last time we sat down together, I told her I didn't think our deadline was realistic. I mean really...the end of February? C'mon. I have a full time job to do.

She stood firm. I objected...you have this book almost written, I said. You know all your plotlines, your writing comes out perfect from the start. She laughed at me. Yeah, right, she said. Who has it all figured out, really?

I was thinking about that today...as I approached my own work. I realize the pitfall I'd taken and stayed in for years. The US and THEM theory. Others look so great, so polished, so complete. It's been my critic living large and well-inhabited in my brain. I haven't been working, really working on a regular basis, producing pages...I'd been back-tracking again, trying to polish and perfect. So today, as the dawn was breaking, I was pushing my seven not-so perfect pages out there. And I found, just like  I always have, that a lot of gifts come when characters are placed in an uncomfortable situation and allowed the time to interact. Tonight, I may change it up a bit...but tomorrow, I know, I've still got to push forward if I want to make some kind of reasonable point of completion on this.

Life, writing...go figure; an actual deadline would be the thing to get me unstuck! Progress, not perfection is just what I need.


Annie said...

Beautiful post, Gael! I'm happy for two reasons:
1) I get to read your book soon (because it IS a book!)
and 2) You've reminded me to get out of my own way and plug away at my own WIP!

gael lynch said...

Ann! Thanks for the vote of confidence! It's Jame pushing me along, and I'm so very grateful for that. You equally inspire me as well, that's for sure! I can't WAIT to read this WIP of yours! It's amazing! Keep going!

Smileyblueyes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Smileyblueyes said...

Go girl! I'm rooting for you from my perch....write from your heart, and it will be wonderful. I await your new delivery. Oh, if you need me to stir up any memories to color your tale, let me know...teeheehee.

gael lynch said...

And boy, aren't I lucky that your brain is so filled with memories! I'm almost afraid of what you've got stored up there. What FUN we had! We're due to see each other in 2012...hmmm. How can we pull that together? Thanks, as always, for your support and inspiration. Firing up the Murphy in me and pushing ahead!

Penny said...

I love you! I miss you! And thanks for the reminder! XOXO

gael lynch said...

I'm so glad you're back on the blog circuit, Pen! I so love your work. And...you've also started new pages! I can't wait to read your latest and greatest! I miss you too!