Writing

Sticking with it

My revision is coming along. I’m pleased to be able to report that I woke up early every morning this week and worked on the revision. I’m now about two-thirds through, and I’ve surprised myself many times when I’ve found new and better ways of doing scenes just by pushing away my apprehension of scraping what I had before. (“Save As” is a wonderful thing.)

This morning, after doing some revising of what I had revised yesterday, I’m a bit stuck again. But I figured that at least I worked on it, and now I can take a break and do a blog post instead. It’s like that pool of creativity thing; you have to replenish the pool. So, I’m going to try to replenish the pool this weekend, so that Monday, I can get back to it and fix the problem I’m having.

Meanwhile, I’ve been haunted by another idea for a novel, this time a young-adult story. It’s something that has been floating around in my head for about 15 years, and for some reason, it has come to the forefront again, sometimes shouting: “WRITE ME!” I also had a new idea for a picture book a couple of weeks ago. And this morning, an idea that I had about six years raised its head.

It’s a funny thing. You can be totally engrossed in one story, but others pop into your head. You start thinking about them, get excited about them, and sometimes, the new idea can seduce you away from the project you were working on. I found that happened a lot in my early years of writing, especially when I was in the more uncertain middle. If I was floundering, another idea would rise up and I’d lose interest in the older one. I’d start working on the new idea and then … yep, I’d flounder and get seduced by another idea.

The problem is that, in everything piece of writing we do, we’re going to have ups and downs, days when the words we type or write seem perfect and days when we can barely think of “and”. But perserverance is key if we’re going to be a success, because before we can sell a book, we have to finish writing a book. And before we can send out our finished book to agents and editors, we must — at least should — revise the book, from the beginning to the end, sometimes four, five, more times until it’s really, truly ready, the best that it can be.

So, what to do when other ideas are oiling up and flexing their muscles in front of us (feel free to substitute that with putting on lipstick and fluffing their hair, or whatever turns you on)? Pay attention, write down what the ideas are telling us, then put the notes away for a later date. We want those new ideas and welcome them with open arms, but we don’t have to do anything with them yet. We’ll need those ideas when we start submitting our current work (because the best thing to get us through the waiting-for-an-answer period is to start writing something else).

But for now, our older idea, the one we have been nurturing and growing is the one we should stick with, see it through to the end, no matter how many times we flounder.

So, I’m writing notes about ideas and putting them away. I’m sticking with my middle-grade novel.

What are you sticking with?

Write On!

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