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Monday, November 21, 2011

Calling Me Back

So much has happened in the past year.

My life barely resembles itself anymore. In many ways, I'm more than cool with it.

In others… I wish I'd maintained my drive.

Writing. <--------That's the big one.

Pendomus needs to be finished… as it has needed for the past couple months. Technically, I have only 4 chapters to tweak. FOUR.

That's all that is standing between me and the query process… and yet… I hesitate.

Can I even do it? Can I pick up where I left off and keep going? What if after all this time away… I've forgotten how? Can a writer forget? What if I'm the first? Oh, god… *hyperventilates* *searches for paper bag*

To my fellow writers… Has this ever happened to you? Life comes at you sideways and the amazing story you're working on has to be set down. Set aside until other, those more pressing issues have been dealt with?

How do you recover? What's your process?

A part of me wonders if I should just say SCREW IT!

No… not letting go of the story. But letting go of the other versions I've already written and just writing it fresh. I have two endings that need to be melded into this third and final version… in order be more cohesive. To be right.

The problem is… there are parts I really liked from those other two. Parts I wanted to make sure I kept… but it's blocking my creative flow and making it much harder to return to it than it should be.

On the upside… all this time away has me missing my world. Missing my characters... and that's been giving me new ideas. Book two is right around the corner… I can feel it. But I need to get this one out first…

So I guess I need some advice.

If you were me… chaos running amok… how would you look at Pendomus? What tactic would you take to accomplish the end goal of getting it complete?

Would you give yourself a timeframe… a deadline (oh, there's that dreaded word I've been missing all these months… Heehee)? Or would you just wait until a little more of the dust settles?

I need something reasonable to work towards! ;)


Eliana Isabelle Grace said...

Sit, read it over. Take breaks as real life *makes* you. Wade in and let it come tou. Bit by bit :) it's what I *should* have done.

EmmyAhrens said...

It's almost as if we are sitting in the same chair heading in the same direction on a really really winy road in terrible weather. That's a strange image...anyway I would say you don't want to push yourself to finish your endings; I've sat down and tried to make myself write when I just wasn't feeling it, and it doesn't work, nothing comes out how I want it.

Do your best to focus on what you need to do in your life to get things "right" or as right as possible. At the very least, that might get the flow going again.

I've only recently started writing again and I love getting back into that world.

Just my things that work for me, good luck my dear! Can't wait to read Pendomus :)

Krista said...

I would suggest creating a new file - copy and past all the stuff that you really like - even if it is just a sentence or two. Maybe put in some headings of highlighting to make it easy to skim when you are looking for something.

Then start fresh. Read over what you have in your 'to save' file often. As you are writing your new draft find ways to work in what you love without compromising the whole.

I am sure what ever you do will be right in some way or another. Either for the story or for your learning experience. Best of luck :)

Kelly Stone Gamble said...

I don't know how to break the spell, wish I did. It just 'happens' for me when I get to that point--one day I wake up and I'm ready.

Have you had someone edit your book? I find when I am corrected the little things, the larger things seem much more fun and get me motivated to move on to them.

Pavarti said...

I do this too. I hate endings. I always want a meteor to strike and just kill everyone so I don't have to write the end.

And Everyone Died - And Then It Rained.
The End

give yourself a deadline, write everyday, even if it's on something else, and remember, this is art but it's also a job. Now shut up and go write :)

Carissa Elg said...

Thanks for the comments, everyone… It's been so hard to focus. On much of anything. Life has been too chaotic. Things keep slipping through the cracks… and it's mostly because I am only one person. I'm hoping once this move is over with, things will start to settle back down so I can take control of it all again. *sigh*

I need to get back to writing daily… I really do.

Lyn Midnight said...

Boy, do I know where you're coming from! I've been frustratingly trying to finish my own book, but I keep having these breaks from writing... gah!!! So I was gonna say, put it aside for a few weeks to gain some distance, but then again maybe that's not such a good idea. Sorry for being incredibly unhelpful, but I've NO IDEA how one goes about focusing on story when life happens around you. Good luck, Carissa! <3

Anonymous said...

I'm having to deal with something similar of sorts and it's sucking the life out of me. However, what's helped me remain focused on my projects is, as simple a solution as it may seem, music.

I have a playlist dedicated particularly for the very purpose of inspiring me. It's nothing fancy like a smart playlist picking all the 5-star-rated songs in my music library. On the contrary, it's just a playlist of songs that as soon as I put them on, they throw me back into the writing mood.

Two songs in particular instantly propel me back into my story: Yellowcard's How I go and The Beginning of a Partnership from Shakespeare In Love's score. Once they start, it's like a trigger that sparks my imagination anew to carry on with my work.

IDK, try it out with a song that is near and dear to your heart. Maybe it'll do what you've been looking for!

Gareth S. Young said...

I've taken several spells away from writing and left piles of unfinished work in folders or computer files to gather dust. For me, getting back into it is the act of having a clean page in front of me.

Going back to something that has been dormant for a while, I'll read over it to get a feel for the characters, pacing and tone but always start again on a clean page. You have two endings written? Start a third. (And a fourth if you need to). It's important first to just write. It might not be good to start with, it might just be raw ideas being spewed onto the page but you have to write it down. And when it stops coming to you, walk away. Read a book, listen to some music and then come back when you're ready to write again. Eventually, I find the cogs all start to interlock and slowly the machine takes over: the writing becomes automatic.

You can't be afraid to write crap. You can't be nervous about setting aside whole chapters that aren't working quite right. None of that matters though if you're not writing so:

Sit down. Take a deep breath and start tapping on the keys (or scratching on the notepad) and just write.

And before you know it, the ideas will be coming faster than you can write 'em down.

You'll be fine. It's what you do. You're a writer.

Anita Grace Howard said...

OH, heck yeah, I've been there. I'm sort of there right now, because I've "started" three different books for proposals for book 2 of my contract, and now I'm in limbo until they tell me which one to write. I'm secretly hoping they'll pick the one I'm most physched about, but if they don't, I'll just have to buck up and write one of the others. So I've wondered if the passion will ignite once I start.

You're not alone!

If I were you, first, I'd wait for the holidays to be over. THEN, come January second, I'd dive in and never look back. Yes, give yourself a deadline, or at least have someone reading the changes who will hold you accountable to getting it done. Sometimes we just need a little extra incentive to kick ourselves back into gear.

Once you get started again, you will rock it baby! No one can write this story like you can. You know that. So get in there and do it. Your characters are depending on you!

BTW, Happy Holidays, dear friend. I know you've had a crazy few months. But a new year is starting, with all sorts of new possibilities. I wish you much happiness and success in 2012!