My Process Rules Me

So, I’m remembering now why I follow my normal writing process even when I’m on a detour.  I need it. Desperately.  It gives me time to think something through plot-wise, so I can concentrate on the words themselves and the images when it’s time to be at the keyboard. Also, I don’t spend as much keyboard time staring into space and feeling unproductive.  Strangely, that feeling discourages me from enjoying what I get done, and hampers my perspective on what I have done. That’s irritating, really, because even on a bad day, I do enough that I should be proud of myself.

Also, I’ve discovered that my brain doesn’t care why I was up at 3:30 in the morning on Wednesday. It’s been punishing me and my creativity anyway, even though it wasn’t voluntary.  I got 2,085 words done that day, and even that much was a struggle (but I was not giving in and going to bed until I had my 2k in, damn it!). Last night was a little better, largely because I only woke up once during the night, but I still only wrote 2,350 words, which should be good enough but isn’t.  It’s not 3k or more.  Yeah, yeah, you got it.  Lost perspective entirely.  Driving myself crazy.  Again.  And yes, I have noticed your stunning lack of surprise. :p

But I do sort of know why, outside that whole disastrous night’s sleep. Part of my writing process, when working on draft, is to do a more detailed outline of the chapter before I actually write it.  I even have these little coil notebooks and mechanical pencils I use for it.  That’s where I plot more or less what goes on in that chapter, thinking about how it fits in the big picture and what I need to happen. As I said, it allows me to worry just about the words when I’m writing, so I end up doing more, and (in my opinion) doing better.

For All Stitched Up, the last chapter I did that for was the first half of Chapter 18.  I’m about to start writing Chapter 27.  I totally pantsed the detour, and now I remember why I don’t pants anything anymore.  I don’t enjoy writing that way, I don’t get as much done and I feel dissatisfied with the quality of what I did.  I can and do more or less pants short stories on the rare occasion I write them, but for novels, I find it painful and unpleasant.  Note to self, remember that next time you think you don’t need your little notebook, that you can get more done by skipping that step.  Stupid self. 😉

That said, I’m still at 85,558 words over all, and about 3/4 of the way through the outline (I think, hard to tell with the detour).  Told you this one would be long.  Worse, I know for a fact it’ll grow in the editing, just like everything else does.  Oh my.  Um… yeah.

So, that’s the update for today.  I would like to mention to those who nominated me for awards recently, I haven’t forgotten, really.  I keep meaning to post them, but then Devan calls and… yeah, I’m lost then. You will all understand and forgive me when you meet him, I swear.  I am going to get to them soon though, really.  This weekend (probably).  I really do appreciate the thoughtfulness, and that you want to share me.  Honest, I do, even if it takes me a while to post them.

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About Julie

I'm a writer and photographer. I always have something with me to take notes for ideas or writing projects I'm thinking about or have on the go. I also like to go around with my camera and take pictures of anything that strikes me as beautiful or evocative. I'm perpetually working on one story or another, while waiting for enough distance to judge the last one (or more). I'm always working on several projects at once, developing the next book, even as I'm editing the last. Beyond that, there's always plenty of scraps and twists of ideas rolling around in my head, eventually turning themselves into full blown stories.
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8 Responses to My Process Rules Me

  1. Em says:

    I’m sorry to hear that you haven’t been sleeping. I certainly hope that sleep dep isn’t a huge deterrent to writing or else I’m going to have a problem…

    Still working through Bound…we need to sort out how you want me to get my edits to you.

    • Julie says:

      Um, I suspect the easiest way is to scan the pages with comments on them and email me the file (black and white will do to keep file size reasonable) if you have access to a scanner. I really don’t want you to have to mail that sucker to me. 😮

      As for sleeping, I suspect I’ll sleep fine tonight, since I’ve got myself back into my usual routine and process more or less. And the impact of not sleeping depends on why I’m not sleeping. If it’s from stress, yes it does. If it’s from writing until the wee hours, then no, no it doesn’t. 😀

      • Em says:

        Well I think most pages have some comments (though sometimes it is just a single word note or something like that). I do have a scanner…but I’ve also been using the post-its you gave me rather than writing on the actual piece. Hrm. Maybe we’ll have to set up a skype date or something…
        And yes, there’s a difference between staying up all night writing and staying up all night just laying there.

        • Julie says:

          Hmm, Skype. Yeah, I guess I should at least try that at some point. *glares at built in camera on both computers* We all know how I love cameras pointed at me… 😉 Only for you, I swear. 😀

  2. Ottabelle says:

    Gotta learn to go easy on yourself.

    • Julie says:

      lol, I agree, but it’s terribly unlikely to happen. I’m okay though. At least this time I’m *not* beating myself up over writing 2k and change. That’s progress 🙂

  3. 4amWriter says:

    Writing on lack of sleep is tough to do. That’s when pantsing always worked for me, because I didn’t have to worry about thinking of structure, I just wrote words, just to get them down.

    However, I do understand how much pantsing can take your story off track. More and more I realize that as I start a new WIP.

    • Julie says:

      I think the problem really is that pantsing doesn’t work for me in the first place. Add that to lack of sleep and it was bound to get messy. We’ll see how that part of the draft came out when I get to it on editing. I don’t think that’ll be until December, as I have too many claims on my writing time before then.

      For some people, that off track is wonderful and leads them to good things. For me, it’s an exercise in waiting for the whole thing to derail. But again, that’s what works for me. My policy is always that you should do whatever reliably gets you to The End. 🙂

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