Sunday, November 8, 2009

Rediscovering Your Writing

I've mentioned on more than one blog that ideas come to me at lightning speed and I have way more now than I will ever use in my entire lifetime. Every once in a while, I love to go back to my idea books and files and reread these, sometimes very long and detailed, prose outlines to see what I've got, or what I can haul in to work on next. Sometimes I'm pleasantly surprised by the ideas and can visualize them fully realized and produced. Other times, I'm looking for an idea to expand for a special project and just so happened to have one plotted out and it's only a matter of rewriting and fleshing out to get it to the point I can submit it....and then there are those other times....

I'm talking about when you pick up a book you've written that is already in print or ebook and you reread it and surprise yourself by how good a writer you really are. For me, this happens when I'm having the biggest doubts about my craft and ablilty. To thumb through pages that I've produced and worlds I've created and think I might be regressing is so depressing I want to hide my head under my pillows and not surface for a week.

Does anyone else feel this way?

Have you ever opened a book you wrote say a year or two ago and thought..."Wow, I was really on my game then. What the hell happened?" - Yeah, I'm at that place now. Though I think the books I write now have the occasional gem in them, I'm not convinced I've been on my game for the past 6 months or so—which I guess in the long run is good, since I haven't written and submitted anything within that time period. All the submissions I've made recently have been books I wrote about two years ago and for one reason or another, I sat on.

So, what's the problem? Why don't I seem to have the groove lately. Why are my characters only one-dimensional instead of the deep, fully faceted people I used to write?

I have no answer for this. Is my creative instincts going on the blink? God forbid.
Or have I simply run out of words? And if so, what do I do with all these ideas if I have no words left to flesh them out?

*Insert frantic panic inducing music here*

I'll tell you, it doesn't help that I came home this morning after working three 12-hour shifts in a row, and was so exhausted I slept from 9am-6pm. Yeah, like I got a lot of work done in my sleep. (But then I dreamed about David Boreanaz from Angel and Bones fame - so not all bad!) - however, I just wasn't as productive as I'd hope for today.

But enough bitching. I'm going to take a shower, put on my new velour lounging outfit and start putting down some words. But before I go, I want to leave you with this. Sometimes, rereading your best material - even if you feel you've regressed - can be some of the most inspiring things you can ever pick up. Inside those pages you'll find you can and have succeeded. That you do have the capacity to create entire worlds, and interesting plots and characters who seem like real people to you and your readers.

Rediscover you writing as often as possible. It helps you keep going.



Mark Alders said...

I've never actually done this. Perhaps one day I will pick up a book (when I get into print) and read some of my own words.



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