A lot going on today, so if I write any fiction, I’ll report those numbers for today and tomorrow in Monday’s Journal.
Topic: Preaching to the Choir, Part 1
Yeah, Parts 1 and 2. I was going to post the whole topic, but it came in at around 1500 words, so Part 1 today, Part 2 tomorrow. (grin)
By “preaching to the choir,” I mean reminding folks of things they already know, but maybe of which they can use an occasional reminder.
I received a particularly interesting blog post in my email, one that reminded me of myself in too many ways. And I’m convinced those points strike all of us at one time or another. I guarantee you, every one of them has struck me before and most (if not all) of them were reported right here in this Journal:
1. Starting and restarting — After a layoff, particularly a long layoff, it’s difficult to get started again.
I’ll venture a guess and say that’s true. But it’s also a myth. It’s true only because we buy into it.
In truth, the only way to start is to start. If you have a work in progress, read over it to get back in the flow, then trust your subconscious and just write the next sentence. Then write the next sentence. Et cetera.
So it’s hard to start or restart only as long as you give the fear of starting or restarting the power to stop you.
2. Writing at pace — Maybe I can’t write as much or as fast as I did before.
All other things being equal, of course you can. Maybe you have to build up to spending the number of hours in the chair again, but if you did it once, you can do it again.
And if you don’t, so what? As long as the characters are telling you a story, does it matter how slowly or how fast they tell it? Let them entertain you, and have fun.
3. Impostor syndrome — the sense that you’re only pretending to be a writer, that you can’t really write well, but that you can fake it well.
If you put the words on the page, you wrote them. We’re all copycatting someone, and most of us are copycatting several someones. Again, so what? Your characters are telling you a story or, if you’re unfortunate, you’re directing the characters as they struggle to tell you a story. Either way, you’re the writer.
On the other hand, I still wonder almost every day whether I’m only writing to prove to myself and others that I can. You would think after 32 novels and over 200 short stories that would be behind me, but no.
4. Impostor syndrome redux — the sense, while reading back over something you’ve finished, that someone else wrote it. You feel a “disconnect” with the story.
The easy answer for this one is “Once it’s done, let it go and move on to the next story.” Easier for some of us to say than to do, I know, but there it is.
The way Dean would answer this one (and I agree) is with a question: Why are you moving backward? Life is short. Move forward. Problem solved.
5. The search for perfection — Why most folks who move backward do so.
They go back to “fix” (meaning “to perfect”) something they’ve already written and published, with the intent of re-releasing it.
A few questions to consider when you’re faced with this trap, this time drain:
a. What’s fun about trying to perfect something that can never be perfect?
b. How much new writing could you have done in the time it took to go back and “perfect” something that’s already published? How many new stories could you have told? How far along would you be in your next novel or series?
c. Do you enjoy watching a ball game when someone’s already told you the final score? Do you still want to go see a newly released movie when someone’s already spoiled the ending? Then why do you want to revisit something you’ve already written?
6. The characters are being resistant — as an excuse for not getting into the flow again.
The characters, like most humans I’ve met, are actually eager to talk about themselves, to tell their story. So maybe you’re being resistant because you’ve lost the ability to trust your subconscious.
The fix? Put your fingers on the keyboard and type the next sentence that comes to you. Just do it. Then type the next sentence, then the next and the next. Don’t stop. Don’t think. Just type. It gets easier as you go.
Back tomorrow with Part 2.
See “A Fun Harlan Story” at https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/a-fun-harlan-story/.
See Joe Hartlaub’s “Nextdoor” at https://killzoneblog.com/2018/08/nextdoor.html.
Talk with you again soon.
Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 980 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 980
Writing of Nick Spalding 1 (novel, tentative title)
Brought forward…… 17778 words
Day 1…… 1449 words. Total words to date…… 19227
Day 2…… 1611 words. Total words to date…… 20838
Day 3…… 3169 words. Total words to date…… 24007
Day 4…… 3077 words. Total words to date…… 27084
Day 5…… 2146 words. Total words to date…… 29230
Day 6…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXXX
Total fiction words for the month……… 47349
Total fiction words for the year………… 295646
Total nonfiction words for the month… 15880
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 114166
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 409562
Calendar Year 2018 Novels to Date………………………… 6
Calenday Year 2018 Novellas to Date…………………… 2
Calendar Year 2018 Short Stories to Date……… 11
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 32
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 6
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………………… 193