Another something or other. Still trying to wake up, even though this is obviously quite a late entry due to some unavoidable circumstances this morning. So arises the question of how to get started; it’s always been a problem for me. I love writing, but the act of getting warmed up, of truly getting to the point where I’m ready to dig in, has always been the hard part and why I sometimes avoided writing in the past. It seems I need something like 1,000 words just to get warmed up, so if I don’t vent my writing spleen on something else before I get over that thousand-word-count, I can run into problems when I’m working on fiction itself.
I’ve tried every trick that I can think of, but it seems that nothing is a good substitute for just getting into the flow of things and taking a lengthy warm-up. I kind of see it as analogous to an athlete stretching out before a game. But boy is it frustrating.
Now 40% or so into the rewrite of the novel. Slowly coming to realize that the terms “rewrite” or “overhaul” may be a bit disingenuous, as this is, essentially, a new novel with similar, but not the same, characters. Oh, sure, I’ve re-purposed a scene or two here or there – but never more than a few paragraphs at a time that, in the end, had to be rewritten to fight the new scenarios. I also dug out a few paragraphs from an older work, ones that I knew perfectly fit the scene but would have to be re-worked yet again.
So, no, “rewrite” is not the right term. But neither is it an entirely original work. It’s something somewhere in between, and I kind of enjoy that fact. I enjoy being able to take some of the better facets of my earlier work and fit them together into a new whole, like taking bits and pieces of discarded clay to make a new sculpture, I suppose. It’s not a perfect metaphor, but it’s close enough for me, dammit. Especially on a Friday morning when I’m just a little too tired to be nice and taut.
I suppose that’s something that has been troubling me of late, as well – the use of my writing capital. I’m getting an idea of my limits when it comes to creative writing, and I know that while I can burn intensely, it’s typically for very short periods of time that wear me out. When I emerge I’m exhausted, and have to recharge. This becomes a problem when there are so many projects that I want to work on – not to mention writing these entries. I like to use these entries as a warm-up exercise, so does it really make sense to laboriously edit them when that time could better be used on other pursuits? But then am I really putting my best foot forward? It’s a conundrum that’s driving me a little crazy.
In the end, I suppose I have to accept that this is not going to be perfect – not even close. It’s going to be the natural outcome of writing in a stream-of-consciousness, forever the first draft, unless it’s something that I want to write specifically to educate (both others and myself). Those entries are a little different, and take quite a bit more time to create. I’ll treat those with the respect they deserve. There’s only so much writing capital to go around, after all.
Today’s link comes courtesy of L Scribe Harris – it’s the blog Magical Words, a very popular collective of authors who share incredibly useful tips. Not sure how I’d never heard of it until yesterday, but there you go. I’ve already wish-listed their writing book, and could read that site until my eyes roll out of my head. Worth a read!
- New Stories While Rewriting (gabrielletheauthoress.wordpress.com)
- Stuck? Move On. (makingbabygrand.com)
- The hard work of writing: in brief, it’s damn hard (conqueringthealphabet.wordpress.com)