Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I'm On Fire

I don't know what's in the water I've been drinking, but suddenly I've become consumed with the desire to write again. And not just piddly here-and-there sentences, but big things, like chapters, and journal submissions.

I'm already working (occassionally) on the journal submissions I was working on last week. Don't have the same momentum for that project as others, because, honestly, I have NO (zero, zilch, etc.) confidence in my ability to write nonfiction. Frankly the thought of submitting my writing to any journal of any kind terrifies me. So I've put finishing these submissions off, not because I can't finish them, but because I keep deciding they're crap. Ironically, filling up the internet with my bloggy blathering doesn't bother me in the least, but those same thoughts, in book form, written with ink on paper, with a binding and everything... I'm just going to go have my panic attack now, thanks.

And then, of course, I'm still working on 900 Miles/Wayfaring Stranger/Untitled Appalachian Novel (catchy title, isn't it?). That was going swimmingly... I was going along writing it all loosy goosy and was happy as a clam until all of a sudden I had a thought that tied a whole lot of unconnected plot threads together, and have been researching my head off the last few days (Incidentally, if anyone happens to know how much nursing school would've cost in 1916, I'd be eternally grateful). Then, as I was working on that, I spontaneously came up with the perfect ending dialogue, followed by the perfect first sentence that got the whole first chapter rolling in a new, and better, direction.

I was grateful to have made that much progress, but earlier this week, I was reading a copy of Writer's Digest, and stumbled across an article that got me thinking about How Home Improvement Saved My Marriage again. I really love that book, but I knew it was flawed and for the life of me, I couldn't figure out how to fix it. But today I was at Kira's, telling her about this article and the new insight it had given me (my character's point-of-view was weak, and her motivation was very ill-defined). All of a sudden, like my muse finally got impatient enough to smack me in the head, I saw the problem very clearly. And just as quickly, I figured out a very easy solution to this problem, and knew immediately how to get my novel back on track. Tonight I spent the entire evening cutting 30,000 words from the manuscript. It was what I had to do, and the book is already better for it. I'm optimistic that coming up with 30,000 better words is going to be a breeze, now that my plot isn't bouncing around like a deranged kangaroo on a pogo stick.

Now, to find some time to do the work. Tom is already pissed off at me because I've been slinking away at night to work on my writing. He says he feels like I'm avoiding him, which I'm not (at least intentionally). I just so rarely get these bursts of insight/mojo/call-it-what-you-will, that I feel this real urgency to act on it when I feel it.

But tonight, I've done enough, and I'm going to go be social now.

1 comment:

  1. woo-hoo! during my writing time yesterday, i doodled something i'm posting shortly. take a look in an hour, it'll be apropos, i swear.


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