Tuesday, January 12, 2010

What Have I Done To Myself?

If I had made any New Year's resolutions this year (which I didn't, thankfully), it would have been to go with the flow more. Anyone who knows me knows that going with the flow is pretty much a foreign concept to me. Truly, I'm the sort of person who tries to will things into being through sheer determination.

There's this little pep talk I keep giving myself. "There is a rock, surrounded by the rushing river. You are not the rock, holding back the flow. You are the river. You are the flow." Only as I'm saying it, I know it's a load of New Age bullshit, because I am so the rock. I've always been the rock. I'm always going to be the rock.

So it should surprise no one that even though I promised myself that I was *not* going to be psycho-novel-writing Mommy again, that I was *not* going to fight against the flow, and I was *not* going to start obsessing over a new novel, that has proven to be impossible for me.

I'm up to 30 pages of my novel. It's only taken me a week and now I've reached the point where I'm committed to my characters. They've taken up residence in my head. They're talking to me constantly. They're interrupting my other conversations with real people. And they've forced me to write an outline.

It's the freaking point of no return.

When type-A, obsessive-compulsive writerly types trot out the outline, you know they're committed (or need to be).

There's no turning back now.

But the problem with writing outlines (and writing novels, for that matter) is that the story doesn't come together very neatly at first. Scenes occur to you, you try to put them in a sensible order, but then your left wondering "How exactly did we move from point A to point C? What is point B?"

And then you stare at the unhelpful blink of the computer cusor. You tear your hair. You pace. You growl.

The only thing you come up with is a string of colorful expletives to describe your writer's block.

So frustrating...


  1. We sound quite similar, you and I, although I am dithering much more about my writing - and spending too much time on the blog. And feeling guilty cos I'm on the computer so much. I'm the bloody Rock too - have no idea at all how to be the River.

  2. I love your analogy - most days I feel like the bit of riverweed cought in the rock - not the rock, but not flowing either! I'm exactly like you - lots of promises and still end up shouting at kids today because i wanted to get blog stuff out of the way so i could sit and write for an hour tonight. The good thing about being the rock though.... is you are the cornerstone of your family. that has to count for something.. right??

  3. I wish I could give you the recipe, but unfortunately, this spinach souffle is the frozen, premade variety. I'd have no idea how to make a spinach souffle from scratch if my life depended on it.

    Sorry. :-(

  4. aha, letting go of the writing has made the flow the writing, eh? and then as soon as you recognize it, bam! the wall.

    hello! this is my writing process CONSTANTLY! my muse and yours are currently sharing shots of tequila as they mess with our heads and hearts. LOL!


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