I have a novel, I have the rough, rough first draft – created during NaNoWriMo. And I was delighted with it, it was, of course, brilliant and interesting and insightful.
Then I began thinking about it.
- I thought about it while watching Back to The Future for the 55th time.
- I thought about it while creating blogs (there is a lovely, deadline based – immediacy to blogging).
- I thought about it while cleaning the house.
When I collapse on the couch and choose to watch Back to the Future again, am I lazy or researching?
When I wander around the house muttering about dust, am I wasting time or considering the complex plot points that are apparently more complex than necessary, or am I wasting more time?
When I blog about writing a book, does that count as “real” writing?
Does thinking about the book count as writing the book?
We all ask these questions as we push and pull and examine our forming plots like ameba under a microscope. Sometimes I think If I leave the little creatures alone in their dish, they will morph into something interesting without help or even further observation on my part.
This is the hope.
When I was younger, I could never understand the idea of an author taking ten years to create their book and story. Now I get it.
It’s easy to think about my book as it is to make excuses: I have to teach at night and am too tired to write. I have to diet and now I’m too hungry to write. I’m cranky because my brother is visiting from out of town, I’m busy wishing my sibling would return from where he came. I must let the dog out. I must pick up after the dog.
I’m good at this.
What can we do when we are circling, circling around our imagined book, not writing but slowing walking a maze, withe the work at the center. Thinking is good – I’m a big fan of thinking.
But I also know, even as I walk a maze, that walking and thinking are poor substitutes for actually putting something – anything – down on paper.
- So I sat down and created about a minute of dialogue.
- Then I sat down and described one scene.
- Then I realized that the heroine needed to be in more danger. So I described the danger.
Did writing this blog put off the writing the story? You bet.
Just wanted you to know you are not the only writer hiding in the shower for 45 minutes or until the hot water runs out waiting for that ultimate moment of inspiration.
We’re all doing it. And on behalf of all the writers in the shower or cleaning it, good luck.