January 11, 2013

This Is How You Do It

While I was on vacation, I didn't forget how to write in terms of craft. I didn't significantly lose track of my place in story, at least not once I'd reread the chapter in progress and the notes I'd left for myself. Ditto for the character's voice.

What I did forget was how to write in terms of how to actually sit down and do it. Or maybe it would be more accurate to say I forgot that writing is never a thing I especially want to do.

Well, sometimes I do want to write. For example, if I'm in the kitchen getting something to eat before a writing session, I often think how nice it will be to get back to my desk and dive in to the story where I left off. This feeling can last all the way up until I'm sitting at my desk, at which point I would rather do almost anything except start typing sentences into my manuscript.

It's like this pretty much every day. But generally as soon as I've managed to type anything at all, I'm hit with tons of ideas even better than what I was planning, and I can't wait to get it all down. In three words flat, I can go from loathing to loving writing. It's not the writing process I would opt for, but it's gotten me through all these drafts.

So it took a few days to remind myself that when it seemed like the prospect of writing was the worst thing imaginable, that was just another day at the office. As usual, I had to force myself to write, and then it was fine. That's just how to write.

Good Stuff Out There:

→ At Beyond the Margins, Chris Abouzeid ponders The Mystery of Names: "Why does one name light up in the author's brain while dozens of others seem dull and unworthy? J.K. Rowling chose Harry Potter's name because she wanted something ordinary. But there are hundreds of ordinary English names. Why not Henry Miller? Or John Smith?"


Henri Picciotto said...

Apparently Thomas Mann said: "A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people." But I think the real issue is that fiction is more difficult, in the ways you describe, than non-fiction.

Lisa Eckstein said...

I've always loved that quote. Not sure if the issue is fiction specifically, or that writers tend to be perfectionists about every word they write.

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