Monday, January 7, 2013

Back To It

Happy Epiphany!  During this last weekend of my week-long work break, I've had a small epiphany of my own.  I told myself I'd get back to my novel, and I did.  Yay, me!  During my last long spate of novel work, I'd been bright enough to outline the manuscript chapter by chapter so that I'd have some big-picture sense when I returned to it.  What I was not bright enough to do was to give enough detail to understand where I was planning to go in the scene that I'd left mid-sentence.  Of course I managed to hash out something new (maybe better, maybe not), but gosh, I wish I could have just kept that momentum going.

Like Jill, I often find my enthusiasm for a project tempered by long delays due to my "work-for-hire" projects (e.g., my job, my kids, teaching).  I freely give myself permission to take a break, or I would lose my mind.  The effect, of course, has been far too little writing of my own in this last decade or so. 

I am not one to make New Year's resolutions, but I was struck by this article that a few friends recently shared on facebook:

Takeaway messages for me:
1) No more facebook -- not while writing.  No Words With Friends, no email, no news, no Internet.  Period!

2) While my last big epiphany was the importance of outlining, it is clear to me that I need to outline in much more detail.  This is what I already do in my job, and it is well known to be the most effective way of producing 5 hours of television per week (or even one hour of television per week).  I'm not sure why I didn't realize the appeal of this method sooner.  If I wrestle with the intricate details of plot first, it makes the actual writing process about a million times less onerous and time-consuming -- with a ton less deleting, too.  I don't have to be a slave to the outline, of course, but having it makes the act of sitting down to write feel infinitely less painful. 

3) I need to write during my productive time!  I have previously noted that this would be after 10 p.m., which is fortunately when my children are in bed.  Unfortunately, it is when I am now dog tired after rising at 5:30 [not my body's natural rising time -- at all].  New plan for the new year: brief evening nap, then rising and writing for 1 hour without Internet or other distraction. 

Wish me luck, as JoAnn would say.  And good luck to you all, too! -- Jeanne Marie

Reminder from Carmela: There's still time to enter our current book giveaway for a chance to win a copy of Keep Calm and Query On: Notes on Writing (and Living) with Hope (Divertir Publishing). See  last Wednesday's post for details. 


Carmela Martino said...

Thanks for sharing that link, JM. I found that blog post a real eye-opener, too. An evening nap and reboot sounds like a great solution for you. Good luck!

Jill said...

Good luck, JM! Hope the nap works for you.

The Pen and Ink Blogspot said...

That nap thing may work. Sounds good. You deserve both the nap and the writing time. Another tip; I just read Kris kahrs Kidlit Alphabet post on Pen and Ink and was moved to look in my manuscript where I found 89 uses of the word just. I removed all but 19 of them. 19's not too bad in a sixty thousand word manuscript, is it?

Linda B said...

Sounds like good changes in your writing life. I like hearing how others manage their days. We tweak & tweak & somehow it comes out all right! Best to you in your new ideas for the evening writing.