Thursday, June 25, 2009

SCRAP WEDJ (Write Every Day In June)

I'd planned to Write Every Day in June. Repeat in July. Produce first draft by August.

I've been researching for more than a year. And I've done this book writing thing before. So I figure I should be able to do it again.

But sometimes it can be so hard to go to the places where my stories live. It might be a physical issue - the story's setting may have deteriorated from a dynamic, living campus to a pile of rubble. Or been replaced with a meadow of weeds and wildflowers. My lethargic imagination has to recreate the place.

And speaking of lethargy - right now I'm experiencing a whole different set of emotions than my character is dealing with. So frankly, who cares about his problems?

Not me. I've got my life to live.

I am pretty sure the struggles I experience today will someday nourish another story. And I'll be glad to have them in my bones to draw from. But right now they're not helping me.

At least I don't think so. But maybe they are. Perhaps my character needs to feel what I feel for a change. His problems might not be the ones I think they are. Maybe at the heart of our varied life experiences lie the same set of disillusionments, similar questions, and shared hopes.

Is it possible that, instead of trying to go to my character's time and place, I should invite him into mine? Wonder what he'd think if he could spend the day with me? Would he like me? Would he talk to me? And if he did, would I listen? Or would I interrupt him with my own opinions? (Bad habit I'm trying to kick.)

After a year of school visits, social networking, and trying to write a little in between, I'm concluding that it's time to live my life. Clear out some clutter in my office. The attic. The basement. Mulch the yard. Spend time with family.

My character can talk to me while I work. I'll ask him how my clutter compares to his. And how would he meet my challenges? And what is he passionate about?

Maybe if I listen to him for a change (instead of telling him what to do) I'll actually find his story.


  1. Enjoy the sabbatical and surprising ways your character may enter your world. Sometimes we all need to step back and focus on "ourselves" for a while. It isn't selfish, it's just good living. Enjoy living YOUR life!!!! Love ya! :)

  2. Yay for good livin'!

    Thanks for the encouragement. You're the best!

  3. I had a teacher in grad school that said when you have a problem in life, especially one that takes you away from your writing and creativity, you should hand the problem to your characters and let them deal with it. I thought of that reading your post today. Sounds like you're on the right track. Good luck with it!