Sometimes, when I’m writing, I feel like all I’m doing is just banging my head against my desk, trying to jar something loose.
I don’t feel like I’m doing anything at all.
That, of course, makes me feel like I’m wasting my writing time.
Which, of course, results in more, frenzied head-bashing.
Sometimes, it’s difficult to remember that even when I’m sitting there, not putting a record number of words on the page, that I am still writing.
I don’t know how it is for you, but I am a linear writer. When I get going, I go from “Point-A” to “Point-Z”, and I have to touch every letter in between.
I’ve never been the type of writer that can insert a “Hey, Put something really Cool here!” note to myself and keep going. For those of you that can do that, know that I admire you in a puzzled sort of way. I’m happy with my process and, what you can do is pretty cool, but I’m not wired that way.
What this means is that sometimes I get stuck. I’ll need a name or I’ll need just the right word, or something just isn’t sounding right and it stops me. I’ll get stuck there until I figure it out. Sometimes that only takes a few minutes, or however long it takes to fire up Scrivener’s Name Generator, or to head out to an online thesaurus or dictionary. Sometimes It’ll take longer, while I get up and pace, running it over in my head (I have a tendency to twirl a drumstick – that I got from the Fit For Rivals drummer the last time they played The Shelter in Royal Oak – in my fingers while I do this…Don’t ask, I wouldn’t be able to tell you anyway)
Sometimes it’ll take longer. Sometimes this thing will need time, like a particularly tough cut of meat needs a slow cooker. That won’t stop me from the head-bashing, pacing, finger twirling, etc.
The aforementioned head-bashing is part of the process. I’ll make lists (Longhand. For some reason, these lists are always longhand) and I know that the answer to whatever I’m struggling with is in those “brain-shards” that come off and end up on the page…or, at least, part of it is.
I’ll put this list in a notebook, that I’ll carry with me back and forth to the day-job and I’ll find that it bubbles to the surface every now and again, during the day. Every day until I figure it out.
Sometimes it takes time…and that’s ok.
During that time, though, theres a part of me that feels disgusted with myself for “Going Slow”. For “Not Doing Enough”.
“See that writer over there, knocking out 5 books a year?” This part of me will ask, “Why aren’t you doing that?”
The simple answer is that I’m not that writer.
Neither are you.
If you’re writing, if you’re finishing what you write, how you got there is how you got there.
That’s what’s important.
Nobody is going to buy your book because you write every day.
Nobody is going to pick up that short story because you don’t write during the week and you binge-write 10,000 words over the course of the weekend.
Nobody is going to offer to represent you and your book because you outline, or because you’re a pantser. Or whether you write using Word, or Scrivener, or Notepad, or even via pen and paper.
None of that matters.
There is no “Wrong” way to do this. There is only your way.
What people will pay for, what will make them want to champion you and your work, is an awesome story. Nothing more.
Write how you write. If you’re still figuring out what works for you, that’s ok. Keep going, you’ll figure it out. Experiment. Use what works and never mind what doesn’t.
Finish writing what you start. Getting to The End is all that matters.
Sometimes, I need to remind myself of this…
Time: 10:58 Am – ish
Music: Blind Guardian – Wheel of Time