Feb. 18, 2010
This is the beginning of my attempt at implementing the things I'm learning in the book, A Novel Idea. It's like being at a Writers' Conference, specifically for writers of inspirational fiction, of which I am one. It's written by many of my favourite authors. One day I would love to attend a real conference on writing, and meet some of these authors. But for now, I'll learn on the cheap, and try to improve.
So, one of the lessons I've learned was to get some routine into my fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants writing. I tend to wait until the muses strike. I need to be "intentional" (how's that for a buzz word?) about my writing. How much of what I write ends up here depends on content. I just moved and my commute to work is much longer. It includes 45 minutes each way on a commuter train. It's at off hours (one of the benefits of shift work), so there's not usually anyone looking over my shoulder. To give you an example, from where I'm sitting, I can see only four other people. I like the privacy factor when I'm writing, not that I have great secrets to tell, but because my writing is MY writing at this point.
So I purposed that I would use the commute on my way TO work in the evening as my uninterrupted writing time, and use my return trip in the morning a my uninterrupted reading time. That way, I'm more alert for my writing, and the reading in the morning keeps me from missing my stop. Plus, I love reading. So now I can experience both of my 'loves' each day.
Another lesson I learned was to write fast. My tendency as a perfectionist is to write maybe one scene and edit and edit and then edit some more. I need to learn to turn off my internal/infernal editor and just get my words on paper. It's hard to come back to edit nothing, so I need to keep writing, even if it's no good, so I'll have something to edit. Can I do it? Time will tell. Have I already become so set in my ways that I can't change? I hope not.
Another suggestion that I'm hoping to implement with each of my stories is the plot skeleton suggested by Angela Hunt. I need to establish the framework of each of my stories, so that I can add flesh to those bones later on. As it stands, I have vague ideas of where each story is going but with few exceptions, I'm making it up as I go along. After I've answered those questions about inner and outer conflict, etc. I can put it in paragraph form. This will then be the synopsis of each of my stories. I say stories because, yes, I have more than one. I have seven babies, at various stages of gestation. I haven't experienced writer's block. I have no shortage of ideas for books, I just need to set six of them aside for now and focus on only one. I need to birth one of them, just to know I can do it.
I always did like the freedom of taking any one of my 'babies' that interested me more than others at a given moment, and writing a scene as the inspiration hit. But if I'm ever going to move my writing hobby into something more, it seems I have to discipline myself.
What is the goal of my writing overall? I want to use my writing to glorify God, and tell the stories He puts in my heart to share. In my wildest dreams, I'd love to be able to write full time and make enough money to give up nursing. Secondarily, I'd be happy, no, ecstatic to have at least one book published. I know that I'll continue to write even if none of those things happen, because I am a writer. It's who I am. It's what I do. I have to write. Those words have to come out or I'll burst.
I still refer to what I write as my stories because to me, it'll only be a book when it's published. Am I an author? Not yet. But I am a writer. How do I know? Because writers write.