Monday, July 13, 2009

What I learned last week…

I learned that a writer (or at least me) cannot survive in edit mode alone for very long.

For the past nine months or longer (I seem to have lost track), all I’ve been doing is reading and editing then re-reading and doing more editing. It’s been draining and a little bit depressing. It’s been easy to get down on myself, thinking maybe I don’t have what it takes to be a writer. I started second guessing what I wrote. Wondering about character development, world building, and pacing. Have I done any of it well or is just okay. All of my insecurities have come rushing to the surface.

So last week I put book one aside and went full force into a couple of new projects. It was amazing, almost thrilling. I was back in the creative side of writing. Where you’re flushing out the story and just putting words to paper without thinking about commas and semi-colons. I wrote 5000 words for the second book in my series and 2000 on another project. Now a lot of it may be crap and I’ll have to spend months re-writing but it was nice to remember why I wanted to be a writer in the first place.

To tell stories.

13 comments:

strugglingwriter said...

"To tell stories. "

Yep, it's good to put something away every now and then and start something new. Just don't forget about the first project forever. (I'm saying this half to you and half to myself)

JKB said...

Excellent post. I agree with this completely. :)

Lazy Writer said...

I have been feeling much the same way lately. Maybe I'll follow your lead and put editing aside, and just write. You are right. The creative part is the fun part!

Patti said...

SW: Trust first project is never far from my mind.

JKB: It's nice to hear that someone else has experienced this.

Patti said...

LW: I've missed that so much and has actually given me some renewed energy to go and tackle the editing with a bit more energy.

Heidi said...

Yay!! It's absolutely necessary!!

I found the same to be true during the query phase. I could only query for so long before I needed to be writing as well.

I'm so glad you're moving along on your projects so well!

Patti said...

Heidi: That's a good point about querying. I'll remember that when I start in September, hopefully.

Jenn Johansson said...

Great post, Patti! I couldn't agree more. I have to intersperse bits of writing with my editing or I would go crazy and lose motivation. So glad you got to take a break! :)

jenniferneri said...

I am the same way. I am usually doing both at the same time on more than one project. The creative process and editing one used opposite sides of the brain...have to keep them both busy
:)

Patti said...

Jennifer: As if we all aren't busy enough. Now we need to keep up with both editing and writing.

Dara said...

I'd been working on my last novel for three years or more and got burned out on it, mostly since it consisted of revising and not really writing anything new.

It's for that reason I've been focusing on my new novel because it's getting me back into the creative process more. It's a nice break, like you said. I'll still have the other to work on when this new one becomes too frustrating--that's why I love having more than one active project at a time :)

Jessie Oliveros said...

A change of pace is always good. But don't wory about not having what it takes. You are a great storyteller, and someone is going to see that.

Patti said...

Dara: I can see by your excerpts that you're enjoying the new book.

Jessie: Thanks for the vote of confidence.