Things I Had (Unfortunately) Forgotten

The last six months have been a study in apathetic hell for me. It's true. The hardest part was not knowing where my Great Big Fat Loss of Motivation had come from, and having even less of a clue how to get rid of it.

Somehow in the last month, I've gotten better. It happened piece-by-piece, because of some people, some blogs, and some filled plot-holes. That in and of itself isn't special, I suppose--writers find themselves in inexplicable slumps all the time, it might even be considered a routine part of the process, THE TIME OF GREAT WAILING AND GNASHING OF TEETH. But being reminded of things necessary to my own personal process, and reassured I'm in fantastic and massive company for committing certain literary atrocities, well that was good.

So, to be a little more specific, and to give myself a go-to for when I'll regrettably forget again (because I will), Things I Had (Unfortunately) Forgotten.

1. If you're looking for the Bondo, you've done something wrong. Because sometimes glossing over vital information (plot-wise, char-dev-wise, logically, whatever) is a lot like trying to fix a totaled car with Big Boy Silly Putty, a seriously half-a**ed job. And when some part of your inner writing guru knows this, but you ignore him or her anyway, you get stuck. Maybe in rubber cement, and that's no dignified way to go. So, instead of slapping on the Plaster of Paris, either leave that piece of art be for a while and go work on something else (you never know when one scene will tell you secrets about another), or admit to yourself something there is really messed up (A.A.--Author's Anonymous) and dig your heels in and don't come back up for air until you've wrestled that demon back into the netherworld.

2. If you have younger children, summer is always going to be less productive for you, and that's okay, as long as you don't use it as a crutch.

3. Change is not the death of something, but the birth of something, and there's no reason to be terrified of it, or to think the need for change translates to utter failure. In other words, don't be so stubborn or prideful you can't see the novel for the one-liners. In my case, I was really freaked out by the idea my anti-depressants would kill the writer part of me and I'd have to choose between a healthy mind and a healthy talent. I let that change rob me of my confidence.

4. Fear of failure is failure itself if you let it be. No, I mean it. Think of it like claustrophobia. Instead of small, enclosed spaces, you're afraid of small, closed minds, particularly your own. The cure is to shut up and keep truckin' Like my good friend MISH! often tells me, "It doesn't matter if you're writing crap, as long as you're writing something. You can always go back and fix it." Standing still is giving up, and when was the last time that got you closer to your goals.

5. It's Not ALL About Me: Wait, I mean, it IS, but also, I'm not the only one I should be depending on. I'm talking beta-readers and critique partners, people who give me feedback and provide me with different angles to view and arguments that may just lead me back onto the organic path when I go tramping through the bushes. A lot of my betas are/were my target audience, teens. Teens have super busy lives, and again, summer is a killer there. Also, MISH! up there, my main squeeze when it comes to talking out snafus? She spent the summer starting up a business, a indie bookstore which caters exclusively to young readers, in UTAH (check out Fire Petal Books). Without feedback, I go crazy, seeing the same old things the same old way over and over again. What happens when you can't see a resolution, only rotation? You get too sick to look at it again. I've been feedback-starved. I'm going to have to find more/new betas and crit partners.

So there's that.

Personal Note: While I was out, I celebrated my tenth wedding anniversary with my husband. There were diamonds involved, as well as amazing food, a rather damp outdoor concert (still awesome), hardcore sleeping in, and souvenir coffee mugs, because we still have the two mugs from our honeymoon.


Post a Comment