Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Write Stuff: Process and Perseverance

As I've had to revise my goals for the year to reflect the new direction of my WIP--transforming a category length romance into a single title length romance with suspense elements--I've battled back a lot of doubt in order to focus on fixing the story. Again.

I've whined. I've had angst. I've been frustrated. I've moaned.

Part of my angst is born out of knowing how much time I will lose when my DH goes into the hospital for his hip replacement. Instead of hours to wrestle my manuscript into shape, I am faced with snatching moments here and there where I can work on a paragraph, a scene, a line, a thought or an idea.

And at first I thought this loss would suck. Yes. It would suck big time. Why? Because I am a Time Queen. I see time as domino blocks. One block neatly lined up with another block until a long line is formed. And I am setting the blocks down. But one false move and the blocks tumble into each other and crash down. Oh, I've been seeing my blocks of time crashing into each other and falling away with each new interruption and distraction I see hovering in my future horizon.

Sigh. Not good.

That's why I was desperate to FINISH the revision by the 31st. Now I realize that was a monumental boulder to place on my shoulders and I have removed the burden by giving myself permission to take my time and let the story evolve.

I admit I've whined about it to my CPs. My CP in VA was firm with me when I said this didn't happen with the third MS. It was so much easier. She gave me a talking to and said I moaned just as much with the third book and wanted to move on as well.

She's right.

But her words also reminded me about how that book was revised. Where and when, too. I revised (for the third/fourth times) my third MS during a HUGE move. I literally snatched time to write and revise for almost six months. I was forced by circumstances to write in short amounts of time and be away from my MS for large amounts of time.

That book went on to become a MAGGE FINALIST. Hmmmm. Brain Jolt.

Hmmm indeed. Once again, due to circumstances, during my 3rd/4th revision, I am forced to write in short amounts of time and be away from my MS for long amounts. Hmmmm. And the truth is, whenever I do sit down to work, I can see the problems more clearly. I am more amenable to *gasp* cutting them out and shifting them to other spots. I see the big picture more clearly.

Hmmm. LIGHT BULB MOMENT. Apparently, when I am in this part of my revision, my right brain needs a lot of time out so my left brain can take a scalpel to the material in short, straight and deliberate cuts. Meanwhile, during time out, my creative right side of the brain sends me inspiration and ideas and gives me scenes to work on.

Wow. I am beginning to surrender to the process. I know I will solve the issues I'm facing in this WIP.

This is where my personal religious views come into play. Whenever I beat my wings in my cage, I get NOWHERE. But when I pause, surrender to my surroundings, I see the door is open and I am free to fly.

*Please remind me of this illumination when I start to whine during my next book's revision*
*Oh, I hope I don't need to endure a major life hijacking to get to this point*


Gwen Hernandez said...

Letting go is good. Light bulb moments are great. Your CPs can be your continuity when you forget. Keep plugging and we'll be here.

Christine said...

Ain't it the truth. Getting through the bumps and grinds of writing ... managed to lay down some words this weekend. Getting ready to print out some pages to work on through next week.

Ellen B said...

I had a lightbulb moment this weekend too, Christine, but it was about plot rather than process.

Must be something in the air! I hope your lightbulb moment carries you a long way :)

Christine said...

Ellen, it's already such a hard time of year to write as it's winter blues season for sure. Any progress, forward or with plot or character is a victory!

Glad you had a light bulb moment!

KarenG said...

Sometimes we just want life to go away so we can spend all our time writing....but then what would we write about lol?

Christine said...

Karen: I've got plenty to write about based on "life" LOL. And now... back in the saddle I go...

M.V.Freeman said...

Those small amounts of time, can be bits of gold.

I did get one big thing accomplished, but now I am back to my revisions. I Think I am going to take a bit of your advice, and try to work quick and smart, and quit letting my personal stumbling blocks get in the way...

As for are very true about it all. Accept what is, and then run with it!

Excellent post! So true!


Christine said...

Thanks Mary. I hope you got your PRO off... I know that was a huge goal for you and I am so excited you managed to pull together all the paperwork. That's the hardest part!

Wish you were here... tea time!

M.V.Freeman said...

Yes Tea!!!
That's what I need! :-)

And it was my pro--so we'll see what happens.

Here's for perseverence, and not deleting the whole MS in a fit of disgust! *raised a tea cup as a toast--or glass of wine*