Some days writing is so rewarding and fun. Those are days when you wake up and have an epiphany about what to do next. Then you consider it more in depth and realize that all along you’ve had the seeds of this epiphany scattered throughout the work. It’s moments like this when you think, hey! I really haven’t been wasting time.
Which is such a hard thought to deal with. Who likes to waste time? To do work that isn’t a part of the final, finished product? And then, someone can work for years, writing pages and pages and thinking for ages, but unless that finished book, that story, is all laid out for someone to read straight through, how do you know they’re really doing anything? It’s not like a pizza where anyone can watch as it’s slowly assembled, cooked and served. Books take time if they’re to be any good.
My dh and I discussed this again last night. When he looks over, I am playing Sims 2 or Sudoku, highlighting in my “yellow book” or just watching TV. Well, what I told him is “Never accuse a writer of not writing or they’ll prove you wrong”.
Which in our case, means, I’m stuck on a scene, go read the whole chapter so we can talk about it.
He hates that. LOL He doesn’t like to read partial stories. But it at least proves I have some of it down. LOL
Well, for the record, my “yellow book” was Dwight V. Swain’s Techniques of the Selling Writer. Now, I’ve tried to read this book 3 times over the years. The first time I couldn’t keep at it because it was so info-dense I couldn’t grasp it well. Later, I waited until it was due back at the library to peek at it again. But, in July, my wonderful dh bought me a copy. Knowing I would keep it forever, (I mean, after having it recommended hundreds of times over ten years, I figured that out.) I took a highlighter to it. Turns out, that really helps to digest bits at a time.
So, 5, 10, 20 minutes at a time, I worked my way through it and finished it last night. And as I was reading, I was thinking and having epiphanies and enjoying everything he says in it. And throughout that, I could only wonder, why was it so hard to go through the first time? Probably:
1. It was a library book, so I couldn’t mark it or keep it long.
2. I didn’t mark it, so I was trying to swallow too big of chunks in one sitting.
3. I have since grown as a writer. Yay me!
So, my “yellow book” was a writing book. And Sudoku is good for seeing patterns. And TV is good for character arcs and Sims 2 is excellent for visualizing.
And all these things-that-don’t-look-like-working were the best exercises I could be doing for this morning’s epiphany to pop through.
It’s a good day.