Allow me to expound upon this point.
Once upon a time, I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up. This means I looked into a variety of things. Some things I still wish I could do, but those doors are pretty much closed, now.
But the writing door was still open.
I thought I’d get writing done while I was pregnant. Nope. The muse didn’t just leave me when I got knocked up, she took the damn laptop, the notebooks and pens with her, too.
I thought: “Hormones. It’s hormones. Once the kids come, I’ll be able to write while they sleep.”
Oh… owww… I pulled something from laughing too hard. *snicker* Dammit, I was so cute and ignorant when I thought that crap.
Anyway, still no writing. I tread water and struggled to keep to babies from killing me and eating my brains like adorable little demon-zombies until they went to half-day preschool.
Woo-hoo! Free time! Three hours of free time to write and plot and…
Well, at least the house got cleaned.
Then the Muse came back and returned my writing gear and I started writing again like a drug-crazed speed-demon.
Then I slowed down and once my brains stopped leaking out of my skull, I began to look around and think – “Let’s look at this writing thing. Is this a career/business path I want or am I just a hobbyist?”
I did my digging and a little research and decided that it would be possible to do the career gig. I’d need to save money and plan and write and build up a backlist of books so I could release them in a timely enough fashion that I don’t have readers threatening to find and disembowel me with my own pen (or worse yet FORGET I EXIST), but yeah, okay, it’s possible. Some discipline (and more flexibility than a yoga master) is required given the nature of my family, but it can be done.
And here we are, starting up year three on this gig. I regularly put in a monthly deposit in my savings account for editing and licenses and what-not. I have a goal date set up for my LLC . I read, I research, I write. I exercise DISCIPLINE in that I try to write EVERYDAY thereby moving myself a teensy bit closer to my goal, everyday.
Days like today are hard.
Some days, you just don’t want to work. It doesn’t matter how much you love your job, your story, whatever – some days you just don’t want to work. And you can’t blame it on a doctor’s appointment throwing off your ritual or a car accident un-fenging your shui or having to wait for a plumber because the dishwasher is doing its best to also wash your floor.
Nope. It’s just one of those days.
Fantasy book 3 mocks me. I’m up to about the 180 page mark and it mocks me. Everything I’ve done is a logical progression to this point. Everything makes sense – my characters know their motivations, I have the map roughly outlined and there’s a rest stop here and I heard about this nice restaurant here, and we’ll end up here.
But it isn’t going that way. I could be stuck in the dreaded Swamp Of Something Or Other, but if I am, then my card method to get out ain’t working, and that argues a different problem or the need for multiple different solutions for the same problem.
Assuming I have the same problem and just need a different solution, I cast my mind back through using my way-back machine in my head (which may or may not be accurate – I will be 40 soon…) and I look for other things I may have done around about the time I had the last episode of slowly spinning swamp-water in a morass.
What else did I do?
I wrote on cards. I wrote on dead trees with real pens. Using script, even (as a side note I absolutely love the handwriting samples one can sometimes find of the Victorian and Edwardian ages. I sometimes think about practicing so my cursive will look like that and then I giggle and go back to figuring out how to text a friend of mine “hello” with a smiley face). I used music. I cycled through my music. I acquired new music. I read books. I worked on a completely different piece that required little to no hard book research. I talked to myself. I screamed at the kids. I dreaded the coming holidays. I…
Hold up. What was that last bit?
I wrote on cards… blablah… I used music. I cycled through my music… blablahblah…. I worked on a completely different piece that required little to no hard book research.
True, it was a Contemporary Romance that’s a little on the thin side (300 pages is thin when you think nothing of 650 behemoths) that totally lacked whodunits, paranormal squirrels, stalkers and so forth, therefore it lacks “popular market appeal,” but it was fun to write. And while it may be a bit on the “fluff piece” side, there’s this next one that’s been vaguely teasing at my brain for a while now, but it’s been so very vague beyond a few scenes here and there…
So I take it out and start puttering with it. Something like 40 pages later I realize I’m writing it all out of order, but that’s okay because I’m writing and I can suss out ‘what the hell is going on here’ after the fact. The point is that I am moving in a somewhat forward direction. I am developing new characters in new situations and working to keep them consistent within their molds as I cackle with maniacally evil plans about how to best mess with them.
The moral of the story: If you can’t cackle maniacally while writing, you may not be doing it right.
Well, no. That isn’t the moral. The moral is always try to find a way to move forward, even if your brain resists.
But cackling manically and doing crazy shit as you move forward sometimes helps the overall momentum.