Friday, May 8, 2009

Enjoyed the Wallow. Now...Back To The Writing

Well, it seems that having a really good grumble, rant - whatever you want to call it - helps you get through an unproductive 'life is tedious' period. I've completed 8,000 words - three chapters - since Tuesday's self-absorbed blog. Obviously, Boadicea is back from R & R.

They are good chapters, not requiring much correction, which isn't to say I won't have bunches of typos later, but they are not there now - I swear! As usual, the chapters now wait for the inevitable visit from Typo-Imp, who arrives to do his dastardly stuff just after you've decided that your copy is perfect. (He looks a lot like the infamous green Nicotine Devil in the ads. I think they're related.)

But sometimes it happens this way, doesn't it? You throw the words down so quickly, leave it all to gestate overnight, knowing you'll come back tomorrow, or even later, to review it and make your revisions - and then you find that's barely necessary. I wish writing went this easily all the time. I'm on a Writers' Roll; I just can't get the words down fast enough. My friend in Oz had complained about waiting for each chapter (she has access to the whole thing as it develops), and I pointed out that she'd be better off waiting until several more chapters were complete, rather than reading one at a time, sometimes weeks apart during a slowdown. This week she has three in a row!

Dear Melissa pointed out, along with Embee, that we should embrace these grumpy breaks and just allow ourselves to wallow in the misery of being unrecognized and unappreciated - whatever our art - but then get back to it. Well, it worked, guys. Thank you. I am feeling much better.

There is an amazing must-read book, Art & Fear, by David Bayles and Ted Orland, which covers a lot of this. My deepest thanks to Darcy Pattison for recommending it to me. Of course, when you're in a blue funk, it's hard to pick up a book. You don't deserve it, you whiner, you say to yourself. You're way beyond self-help books, right? Well, after those uplifting comments on Tuesday, I went back to it and read pertinent bits. Here is the last paragraph, which in no way will diminish your enjoyment of the book:
"In the end it all comes down to this: you have a choice (or more accurately a rolling tangle of choices) between giving your work your best shot and risking that it will not make you happy, or not giving it your best shot -- and thereby guaranteeing that it will not make you happy. It becomes a choice between certainty and uncertainty. And curiously, uncertainty is the comforting choice."

(I knew that. I'd just forgotten.)

Query stats: 16 Pending, 2 Partials, 7 rejections - total 25.

Have a good one. Be kind to yourself.

 

9 comments:

Melissa Marsh said...

I am so glad you're feeling better, Fran. Your writing output is amazing - well done!

ElanaJ said...

This is so true. Sometimes it's okay to take a day off. Even if it is to wallow. Thanks for reminding me of that.

Fran said...

Elana, I'll need reminding again, don't worry...

Fran said...

Another 2700 words today, Melissa. Have to keep at it while I've got it...

Embee said...

I graduate next Friday and I've promised myself that without classes to interrupt, I'm going to write this summer. I still have to work, but I have days off from that. I WILL WRITE!!!!

I'm always impressed with your writing statistics....it inspires me and challenges me to compete. And I'm nothing if not competitive.

Glad you're back in the swing of it!

Casey said...

You've done wonderful! It's funny, every time I write to my critique partner to whine and complain, my output improves greatly thereafter. Well, for awhile, and then we repeat.

Fran said...

It's true, Casey. I'm fine now. Until next time. Are all writers/artists a bit bi-polar, d'ya think?

ddpattison said...

We cry; then, we work.
I'm SO glad ART AND FEAR was written and glad it helped you!

Darcy

Fran said...

Your suggestion came at just the right time. Thanks so much, Darcy.