Slow progress…

If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.

-Toni Morrison

My progress has been slow, slow, sloooooow…

First off, I’ve been spending a lot of time gardening. I’ve had to or some strange “jungle” would have started growing around the house. It’s that time of the year when you have to cut the grass for the first time – seriously, it’s been growing so fast thanks to the sun and the morning dew you can almost see it growing! -, weed the vegetable garden and the flower beds and get them tidy and ready, prune the rosebushes and everything needing to be pruned… It amounts to hours and hours spent breathing the nice warm spring air (here, the temperatures went from almost freezing to summerlike in twenty-four hours, from one day to the next – very odd and a little bit scary too). But it hasn’t been a waste of time. The rich air, the smells of the first flowers – there’s nothing like it to boost your creativity!

So, yeah, I’ve been progressing… but a tad slowlier than I thought I would.

In addition to all the gardening/fresh air, I wasn’t happy with what I’d written months ago, after all, so I’ve been re-writing almost all of it. Not all of it as in “from the beginning of chapter 1 to the end of chapter 5” – only chapter 5. I don’t know if my muse had deserted me the first time (it was probably vacationing in Hawaï, as far away from me as possible – that b*tch!) or if I’d tried too hard, maybe a little of both. The fact of the matter is I remember writing the first draft of chapter 5 without taking a look at the first four chapters beforehand – I had intended to do so after I finished it, which never happened. All I know is that when I re-read what I’d written back then, it sounded so… er… uninspired and mechanical.

Yeah, “uninspired and mechanical” are the right words to describe it. When has my writing become so dull, so uncreative?

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not vain, I don’t think everything I write is always oh-so-perfect. If my writing was perfect, I’d have fans all over the world and more money than a sane person can spend in one lifetime. The truth is, I’ve always been afraid to lose my creativity – I’ve been a creative person since I was a child. I’ve always had to express my creativity in one way or another – if I don’t write, I draw, or I make photomanipulations, or I make jewelry, or I paint watercolors, and so on… So, in other words, with no creativity, I’m not me.

But I’m digressing again.

Concerning chapter 5, I knew at first that I had to cut out part of it (you know, the whole thing about giving away too much too soon). Then I decided the best thing to do was to start afresh. I didn’t delete the first draft – no, I saved the file to a folder and created a new file. There’s always something to learn from something you did wrong, right? I like to believe there is… Or why have I been keeping all those barely finished watercolor paintings over the years? lol

Anyways… I saved a copy of the not-so-good chapter (I’m trying to be positive here… ok, ok, it’s an understatement, I’m shamelessly trying to boost my confidence) and I started afresh. And, you know what? I’m kinda happy with what I’ve written so far. I haven’t been able to write as much as I’d have liked to, but I’ve been writing.

Every single day.

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Giving too much away…

It is perfectly okay to write garbage – as long as you edit brilliantly.

– C.J. Cherryh

 

You know that feeling when you are merrily typing away and the words flow from your mind to your fingertips. You are in your happy bubble and it’s like nothing will be able to stop you and it feels like it’ll last forever. Of course, it never lasts forever – if you’re lucky, it goes on for an hour or two, then things slow down again – but the feeling is so exhilarating!

Then the creative flow trickles to a stop and you proof-read what you’ve just written… and that’s when you realize you’ve been giving away too much too soon. *insert a big – no, make it a HUGE – sigh here*

Yeah, it happens. It’s not always that easy to know, as you are writing, whether you’re giving too much away or not enough… That’s why going back to what I wrote is so important to me.

Oh, I’ve heard about published writers who say they never proof-read any of their writings and I’m sure you’ve heard about them too. They don’t use character sheets. They don’t have a storyline, with the plot and sub-plots nicely planned ahead… They just write and let the words tumble freely from their mind to the page, the story going one way, then another, as different sub-plots make their way into it…

Seriously, I don’t know if they are awesome or careless and sloppy writers. Most of them admit they don’t have any idea of how their story will end. And it’s true you can find as many good endings as bad ones.

Now they could all be big fat liars… Your guess is as good as mine. I know I wouldn’t want to be their editor. Too stressful, thank you. 😉

Anyways, I read and read again everything I write. Maybe I do it too much but, hey, that’s the control freak in me! So before I began adding to chapter 5, I read it again, and I realized that I may have been giving away a bit too much, too soon. So I cut a part of it.

That leads to my question: what do you do when you realize you’ve been giving too much away? I mean, do you delete the part that doesn’t belong there? Or do you cut it and paste it into another file? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Can you guess what I do? Come on, I know you can…

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