Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Back on Track

I am very excited to get myself back on track with my writing projects. 

This week, I somehow found the time to read the first three chapters of my new novel and mark up the edits.  This morning, I was able to finalize the edits in my electronic version.  I can't wait to share the chapters with my writing partner.  I feel like these two chapters are as perfect I can get them.  They are done (except for whatever suggestions my writing partner may offer).  I can feel the excitement of this in my entire body, like an adrenaline rush.  If I could jump up and down, I would.

This feeling, knowing I nailed it, is why I love to write and why I know I'll be successful at it.  It's like heroine to me.  I can't imagine feeling a more pleasurable high.

Back toward the end of winter, I wrote about how I did an extreme detailed design for this novel, the way I used to do detailed designs for software development projects that needed to be handed off in pieces to multiple developers.  This novel needed it - I knew the ending and need to be careful to twist the plot and characterization just so. 

The design sucked the fun out of writing for me initially, but I have to tell you it has saved me. 

Life circumstances have caused me to put this novel down several times over.  Because I mapped it out before I wrote the first word, I can pick it up and start right back where I left off.  Moving forward, I will always do the detailed design up front for longer stories.  My former boss will be very proud.  We used to joke about how I should map out my ideas for stories using sequence diagrams.  I didn't go to that extent on the design, but I did map out all the characters, setting, and starting lines for each chapter.

Initially after I did the design, I thought I had ruined it for myself, that I had sucked the creativity out of writing this novel, that I may never write the first word, but it hasn't ruined it at all.  I love the feeling this story has a solid structure around it. 

We are going on vacation soon unless my doctor visit today reveals something that makes me unable to do the drive, which is entirely possible.  My husband was very sweet to offer that I can sit on the beach and write for the whole week.  I can sit under an umbrella and breathe in the ocean air and write whatever I want for as long as I want. 

My plan is to edit the next four chapters before we leave, bring a printed copy of it with me, a copy of the design, a notebook and a pen.  I want to write as much of the rest of it as I can over the next few weeks, whether that is on the beach or here in my home.  It seems like lately, as soon as I say these plans out loud or write them down, something out of my control happens that takes me off course again. 

I sincerely hope we are done with the drama and the illnesses.  I will have to work around the surgeries we have planned for two out of three kids, the attention they will need during the recovery time, and whatever therapies or additional tests my new doctor has in store for me after my appointment today.  And my family needs fun this summer - we definitely need it more than ever - that's got to come first for me.  I just need to find a few hours a week to write.

How do you manage to keep writing when life seems to be working against you?

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