Creative minds are rarely neat...

Monthly archives for September, 2012

We Pause Our Regularly Scheduled Programming for an Announcement

As much as I had a ‘plan’, this plan went as plans tend to do – not as they are supposed to.

My lovely girl, Zenna, had a little of 15 pups. As you may have guessed, that is a lot of puppies. We have lost four and are battling to save another four by hand rearing them.

So all my plans for getting Fading Echoes finished over the school holidays? Well…

Zenna with her first born pup. She didn’t quite know what to do with him, so she cuddled.

This is The Mouth. She grumbles, rumbles and throws a ruckus… unless she is sleeping on my husband, in which case she falls fast asleep.

Too Many or Too Few?

Do you write one story at a time, focusing all your time and effort on that one story or do you like to write two or three (or even more) at once? Is one or the other the ‘right’ way to go?

I usually have a few story ideas bouncing around in my mind when I choose one and decide to have a go with it. That doesn’t mean I ignore the other ideas. Note cards are oh so useful that way. I’ll write down all the ideas and go with one from there.

However, does that mean I’ll stick with that one? Not necessarily. I might switch around a few times before I really settle down into one story. The settling down process could see me with many pages written/typed in each story idea or just leaving the other note cards in my idea drawer. It all depends on the story.

When I was younger and always “busy” with everything in my life, I often kept about five stories going. I didn’t really stop any to finish one so much as I paused with others for a brief amount of time.

Is writing more than one story the makings of foolishness? I don’t think so.

Obviously when you start narrowing down to the end of one story and then get into the first edit, you should probably focus on one story. That way you don’t get mixed up or confused in any way. As for just the writing of the first draft…

…why not? If you can keep everything straight, then go for it.

Do you focus on one or many when you write?

Writing vs. Editing: Leaving Your Comfort Zone

In my novel writing class, we have been talking a little bit about the writer vs. the editor. Do you edit while you write or write it all out and work the rest out later?

While I have always loved creative writing, my inner editor has forever been right there on the journey, too. I even got my start in ‘freelance’ (if it could be called that) editing in high school.

Editing has always been my fallback mechanism. If I don’t want to write – as it’s always a matter of want rather than ability – then I’ve always gravitated towards editing. While that is a good thing in one view, it’s actually a procrastination technique that many new writers use to avoid writing.

With editing, you’re not putting your heart on the line. When you’re writing, you are.

That’s not to say you don’t take risks with editing. There is always the risk that you could edit the wrong person’s manuscript and get an earful (or worse) because of it. Or, when editing your own work, you run the risk of getting caught in perpetual revisions that ‘protect’ you from taking the risk of moving on with your own work.

Pay attention to when the editor comes calling.

Does s/he attack you most viciously when you’re just starting? Then ask yourself what about starting a new story is scary. Are you afraid to fail? Do you compare yourself to other authors in your genre?

My editor rears her head when I’m in the middle. She tells me about how boring my writing is. Sometimes it’s more just questions about how I think I’m going to resolve all the messes I have been creating.

Or perhaps it’s the end. Does the thought of wrapping everything up together intimidate you? Do you think you can’t do it? Or is it just hard to bring everything you have created to a close and you’re not ready to let things go?

The thing to remember about your editor intruding on your writing space is that your editor is not a bad thing; s/he just needs to learn that there is a time and place. The time and place for your editor is not while you are writing.

All the Ideas…

I was cleaning in our spare room the other day in an effort to make room for the new elliptical and get rid of the masses of junk we have in there. While going through my things, I found my old journal from my early teenage years. Of course I couldn’t just put it aside for the moment and continue cleaning…

Reading through, I found an entry with something that made me laugh out loud:

“I’ve been writing a lot lately. I have so many ideas – I don’t know how I’ll be able to write them all! I don’t know how people ever get writer’s block. I have too many ideas.”

From the mouths of babes, hm?

Think about it: When (if) you have been writing stories since childhood, do you remember ever getting writer’s block as a child?

Obviously, from this diary, I certainly didn’t. If anything, I had more ideas than I had time to deal with – even during school vacation when I was still too young to legally work.

I recently had a story idea flood from attending Conflux and it’s a good thing I finally have a system for those things. I couldn’t help but think about the past months of struggling to find a balance between paying the bills and being able to maintain my creative writing.

I didn’t worry about that as a kid. I just wrote. Whenever, wherever – I just wrote my heart out.

Perhaps I needed to find my old journal and read that entry. Maybe taking a few lessons from my younger self is the key I’ve been looking for…

What’s Taking So Long?

“Nearly two months? You haven’t posted in nearly two months?! That’s blog death…”

No, I haven’t died and neither has my blog. I promise. Though I do admit that I have been silent for too long. (In more than one way…)

Quite a few people have been asking me lately what’s taking so long in regards to Fading Echoes. After all, in this day and age of self-publishing, I should be able to pop them out left and right… right? Well, not so much. The respect for how long it (can) take/s to write a novel may have gone out the door with all the brilliant authors who can produce them quickly (hats off to you, good authors), that hasn’t changed how long it takes me to write a novel.

I started as a full time student in July, and things have kept quick pace since then. Out of school hours work time is, admittedly, more than I expected. I am usually very introverted, as I have social anxiety up to the point where I have needed to be walked to class a few times and have had to leave class early a couple times due to panic. All of this has left me quite exhausted.

Beyond that, we come to the grit of the issue: depression.

I have struggled with depression since I was a teenager, fearing those dark spaces in my mind and feeling the utter hopelessness that is deep depression. I know what it’s like to start questioning what the point of it all is and fearing that there might not be one.

As much as I have managed it, there are still times when I am deep in depression and cry when I look at my work because I feel it is so bad. I have enough self-control not to delete anything when in those moods, but I certainly don’t get any writing done during those times.

I by no means want this to be a post about “I was gone from blogging so long because…” nor a rant about anything in particular. I more want to say, “I’m here.” I understand the authors who, despite the instant nature of self-publishing, still take longer to write their novels. I understand the authors who have times when they can’t bear to look at their work lest they delete the lot.

I’m here, and I understand. You’re not alone. And, sometimes, knowing that is the best news out there.


Dark Echoes: Cover of the Year!