Saturday, July 5, 2008

Sshh, my brain is sleeping

I just realized I've missed a couple of days on the blog entries--although I've been putting lots of word count into the Q3 story process document over there on the sidebar.

The other day, I mentioned motivation and a Holly Lisle article. This is the one. I'm not saying we should all go out and make enemies to drive us to greater and greater writerly heights. But you know, I think we all have those people in our lives who, even if they mean well, spout those little remarks and lacks of faith that can either drag us down or push us. I've been lucky the last few months--most mornings I wake when my alarm goes off and can hardly wait to get to the computer and slap down the words to shape out that next scene, even when it's hard going. But on the days when I just can't seem to get myself going, the magic mantra of "Oh yeah? Just watch me" gets me moving.

There's a fine and dangerous line to tread, between writing just because I love it and feeling I should prove myself, those two things that I think must be necessary to become a "real" writer. I've crossed over onto the wrong side of that line before, and it about buried my writing impulses for good. I think, though, that being aware of the line's existence is helping me keep my balance; I know it's there, so I can glance down and make sure my feet are firmly planted in the center. I can use the updraft from both sides to keep me where I need to be.

This morning, for instance, I woke up and tried to make myself think about the current story and realized that I do not yet feel a passion for it--curiosity, yes, but nothing that makes me really like and care about these characters. I've been writing it because I said I would. And that's fine, because I read somewhere that the first draft is usually the getting-to-know-you draft; by the time you get to the end you're finally really getting to know your characters. And then you can go back in the second draft and rewrite so that those characters you know say what they really meant to say all along. Sometimes the biggest sparks come out in the actual writing, the little truths that magically make everything about the story make sense. So as I continue my process on Monday, I'll be remembering to look around as I write that first draft, and not just drudge through it because I said I would.

That's the plan, at least.

But not until Monday, because I told my brain it could have the weekend off. It didn't realize how exhausted it was until it got away from the work and laid down for a little nap, but it is now sleeping quite deeply and does not wish to be disturbed with anything even faintly resembling shop talk about those stories, thanks much. That's fine, I did approve the vacation days, after all. And quite possibly, when the brain returns on Monday, it will be all full of renewed creative energy.

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