Can’t Always Get What You Want

So the real question is, does time spent not writing still count as writing? I mean time when you’re not actively writing but are turning the story over in your head. Because while I didn’t physically write during this past weekend, I did make some significant progress on the novel rewrite, assembling the next chapter in my head. I feel like that should count for something, in some small way.

This period in my life has been very interesting, creatively speaking. When I first started this “comeback”, I started out with a hand recorder, dictating story ideas and then entire scenes as I drove. Eventually that stopped working and it was strictly writing on a netbook then transferring it over to another computer. Then handwriting. Then writing on the iPad. Then writing with music. Then writing without music. Now, it seems, I’m back to the voice recorder -> transcription method.

What lesson to take from this? The first is the importance of persistence. This is the longest sustained period of writing since…well, probably the mid-2000s. The second is the importance of listening to my brain when it’s time to shift methods and media. It’s becoming clear that the loss of momentum in the past has been tied to becoming disenchanted or bored with using a specific method of writing. Do I understand why I’m like this? Not really. I suspect it’s tied to my ADHD in some way, but figuring out the exact “why” of it is irrelevant because it’s not going to change. The best thing is to be aware of when it’s time to start shifting methods again. I am aware that, based on my typical annual schedule, in the next month or so I should shift back over to just wanting to write sitting at a computer with incense and a candle burning. *shrug* It’s weird, but it’s me. At least I know who I am, I suppose.

Reading has slowed down just a hair. Could be the heat, could be because I’m not reading anything that really excites me. Maybe it’s time to start looking for something more exciting. Already decided to drop the novel Haven because, as interesting as it may be, the poor grammar and sloppy writing is just driving me crazy. I often read in order to be inspired and learn something new, and it drives me crazy to feel like I’m editing someone else’s work rather than learning. Another lesson to learn: don’t push out any sort of first draft as a book to be published. What a mess.

Today’s blog to check out is Of a Writerly Sort, by Gabrielle (the Authoress, natch). She’s a recent high school graduate who is working on getting her career off the ground. She popped up as a link last week and I’ve been checking out her blog since then. Definitely worth a read! It reminds me of how I was at that age and how much I would have loved to have the chance to maintain my own blog about my writing. Be sure to check out the first chapter of her novel, available for preview and currently under edits. Definitely worth a read!

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  1. Whatever works; whatever gets the creative juices flowing!

  2. I have to say speaking into my iPhone when I can’t sit down to write has been a revelation – I need different forms of media too, but this particular one has gotten me out of a spot many times. I don’t have that ‘I don’t have time to put that thought/line of poetry/chapter outline down’ excuse any more. The trick for me with the voice recorder though is making sure I actually transcribe what I speak. Oh, and back up the recordings. I dropped my phone in the sink this morning. I’ve had it in a jar of rice (according to internet wisdom) since it happened, and will be fishing it out and switching it on with fingers crossed this morning. Haven’t backed up for a month – that’s quite a few voice memos lost. Am working on a zen state in anticipation of the sad moment when I discover it’s all gone.

  3. Oh geez, I hope that works out! Have you tried backing up to evernote? I use a little hand recorder, but if I forget it, I record straight to Evernote so I have it on the web, too.

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