This image sums up my thoughts on the writing process completely. No great work was ever written in a single session. No afternoon’s worth of work is going to make or break the piece. It’s okay to have off days, to have days where you don’t feel like touching the book at all. But it’s the days when writing that book is all you want to do that are truly special! That’s what this weekend has been for me. I hope what I’ve written this weekend has produced those small pieces towards an amazing work. Either way, I’ve had a ton of fun!
I didn’t touch Calm Like Home for three weeks while it was being beta read. I wanted to take a break, come back to it with fresh eyes, reread it after having some time away so I could catch things I didn’t let myself see before. During those three weeks, I received amazing feedback from my betas. I was astounded at how helpful and supportive their comments were. Their words energized me, made me want to come back to the story, to make those finishing touches before moving it forward.
Only being away form the story was a lot harder than I thought it would be. Coming back after a three week writing hiatus was a challenge. I had a lot of false starts and unproductive evenings staring at the computer screen, unsure where to even begin. I had all this great feedback, all these new ideas, but had lost touch with the novel, was unsure exactly how I wanted to fit it all in. I felt drained, sapped, completely lifeless. It was in such contrast to where I had left off. I had gotten into such a rhythm leading up to the beta reading stage. I missed feeling it just pour out of me, spill onto the pages, words cascading out of me like waterfalls. I felt out of touch with the characters. I was no longer wrapped up in their worlds. They felt distant. I just wanted to get back to that place, to rewind, to dive back into the creative process so that it felt natural again. So the characters felt alive again.
A change of scenery finally did the trick. I went to Barnes and Noble to pick up some books and ended up sitting in the coffee shop with my laptop. Something about being in that place, wanting to see my book lining those shelves one day, inspired me. My fingers sprang to life. Suddenly making revisions didn’t seem so daunting. I had clear ideas about how I wanted to revise certain scenes, finally had some direction. I’m happy to say I’m back at it. It feels so good to be writing again, to re-connect with the characters, to dive back into their world. I can’t yet say if the break was worth it, I haven’t done my epic reread yet. But I will say that I am so happy to be writing again!
I just want to take a minute to say how wonderful my beta readers have been! I feel so truly grateful to have received such helpful and thorough feedback. Their comments are insightful and make me think about the book in a completely new way. I have also gotten some fantastic new ideas from their suggestions about how to make the work even stronger, which is what it is all about. Sending Calm Like Home out into the world was a little like sending my baby off to college. I was nervous and excited and hopeful all at once, but I couldn’t have asked for a better group of supportive readers to give me feedback. I cannot wait to share what comes next!!
Wow!! I am so excited I was nominated by Books for Fun for the One Lovely Blog Award!! I am thrilled! I love being able to share my thoughts on reading and writing – two of my favorite things!
There are a few rules for accepting the award, and here they are:
- You must thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog.
- You must list the rules and display the award.
- You must add 7 facts about yourself.
- You must nominate 15 other bloggers and comment on one of their posts to let them know they have been nominated.
- You must display the award logo and follow the blogger who nominated you.
Here are my 7 facts:
- I think pretty much everything is better with music.
- The Wire is my favorite tv show of all time.
- I’ve read 31 books this year – about half of which were audiobooks. Love them for my commute!
- My favorite of those books was We Were Liars. I still think about it and keep recommending it to everyone I know.
- My favorite wine is sauvignon blanc.
- I have seen all the Harry Potter movies but haven’t read any of the books yet. 😦
- I am writing my debut novel Calm Like Home. Release date TBD.
Here are the blogs I nominate:
- You’re going to have a lot of false starts and rewrites. That’s okay! It’s part of the writing process and it ultimately makes the story better.
- You are going to have moments you think your writing is garbage. Keep at it. A moment of inspiration will come and you might even transform the garbage into something amazing.
- It’s going to take a lot of hard word and dedication. It’s also going to take giving up times of inspiration because something else requires your time and attention. You’re going to have to plod through family dinners or work or grocery shopping when you’d rather be writing.
Remember writing something great is about a series of met opportunities and moments of inspiration. Any one writing session won’t make the difference. It is the complete sum of your effort that creates something special! Have fun!!