Talking About Quiet

Actual manuscript of actual sh*tty first draft (Any Annie Lamott fans out there?) of first novel.

Actual manuscript of actual sh*tty first draft (Any Annie Lamott fans out there?) of first novel.

Except for a brief mention on my other blog (read it here) I’ve been quiet about this writing project for awhile. Mostly because it’s been tough going, which also means it’s given me ample opportunity to coach myself.

The thing that has made the revision work difficult recently, is the same thing that made it difficult just after I finished the first draft. While I wrote it in a linear, logical manner (sit down every day for a month and write 2000 words until it’s done), I can’t seem to revise it in a linear, logical manner. Now isn’t that funny that I would think that time alone would make a process that didn’t work two years ago, suddenly work. Well, it hasn’t been enough.

Then I had a muscle spasm in my neck. I was on the couch for days. Couldn’t write or type. It gave me lots of time to think, and coach myself through my editing block. During this time I realized that I just needed to do something every day. It didn’t really matter what. Explore the story, the characters, the writing.

And even more importantly I realized the goal in this isn’t necessarily to have a published book, although that would be nice, but to share stories through writing; essentially become a writer.

Once I was able to pick up a pen again, I started writing. I’ve been approaching the story from all angles — keeping the writing all together in one place. Adding layers and learning about the story I really want to tell.

I gave myself the freedom to NOT do this the right way, but rather do it in the best way possible for me.

Are there projects you’re stuck on? Things you want to try? Think about your purpose for doing something, why you want to do it. Then really get in touch with those positive feelings, so you can actually feel them in your body, and then let yourself take one small, comfortable baby step at a time.

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