A Monday Admission

“There are times when nothing goes as planned…” Does that sound like an echo? Yes, I started my last post with the same words. Unfortunately this sentence doesn’t end as the previous one did, because I didn’t get my writing done. I had great intentions of visiting friends and family during the days, and catching up on my writing each night, as I’ve often done in the past. But it didn’t happen, although I haven’t exactly been standing around gathering moss. (Sorry… I needed an excuse to share this photo.) 🙂

So my Monday check-in becomes a Monday admission: the grand total of my weekend’s writing was the revision of only a half chapter. I’m hanging my head in shame. I’m contrite, but at least I’m honest. These last few days I’ve travelled, visited, and taken photos of various scenes along the way.

Today’s highlight was beachcombing, and thanks to the sharp eyes of my much-experienced “beach bum” daughter and her son, with help from my husband, there are even treasures to show for it.

So, while I’ll dutifully check in today with my March Madness and Seekerville Speedbo friends, and admit to no writing, I’m not counting this weekend as a total creative loss. Indeed, it’s been a time of re-creation and refreshment and I don’t doubt eventually my writing will benefit.

(That’s my explanation. Don’t you dare ridicule it!)

How about the rest of you? When your writing gets derailed (and I don’t doubt it occasionally does) do you count it as wasted time and get discouraged? What gets you back on track? 

~

Reading and Not Writing

My bookcase has a shelf that is packed and stacked with books on writing. I’ve counted over fifty volumes, all ordered alphabetically. (Okay, okay, by now you know I’m not a neatnik so just ignore the occasional ones that are out of place.) The collection is punctuated with titles by authorities such as Berg, Cameron, George, Geraghty, two Goldbergs, King, Lamott, Maass, Morrell, Mayer, Stein, Swain, Watts, Yolen and Zinsser  – each one a well-read trove. Sometimes too well read.

 Bookshelf

I love to read but reading can become an obstacle to my writing… a convenient excuse to avoid facing the blank page. I don’t usually recognize it as such because I’m intent on studying technique, learning by example or instruction from successful authors.

 

In a writer’s world there’s a time for learning and a time for utilizing the knowledge. If I wait to write until I think I’ve learned all there is to know, my storytelling skills will stagnate. I need to be able to get stories out of my head and onto a page. When I’m reading I’m not writing. There has to be a balance between the amount of time I spend engrossed in someone else’s story and the time I spend producing my own. Finding it requires self-discipline. Yuck! That’s such an unpopular concept, but if I expect to accumulate 90,000 words and eventually call myself a published novelist I’m going to have to put down the books and get back to work.

 

(I’ve been talking to myself here but if any of it sounds familiar, feel free to take the applicable bits with you.)