Saturday, March 3

On Starting Over...Again.

So I'm starting this novel for the third time. I keep on starting it, getting a few thousand words in, and realizing I want to change something huge--like the POV or something.

Unlike previous novels, which I would always want to "reboot" when I got to the middle or so, I'm not second-guessing myself when I start over. I just keep on writing until it feels right. On this third try, I think it feels right, because I'm finally excited about the story, and my writer-brain is kicking in. You know, the part of your brain that starts creating dialog or devising plot elements when you're watching TV or driving. I love my writer-brain. I missed it so, for the many years it was gone. The past year-and-a-half, during which I found what I truly love to write and my writer-brain returned from its lengthy vacation, has been truly wonderful. I find myself once again looking forward to writing and using it as a reward--e.g., "You can write once you've cleaned the bathroom."

I think that the lack of second-guessing means something. It means I'm progressing as a writer, because I'm willing to take risks and "waste time" until I get the freaking thing right. Rather than vacillating over this choice or that one, I just plow through with fingers crossed, knowing that I can change it all later. Revision has become a huge part of my writing.

This is a weird, rambly post. Sorry for that, my brain is in a weird place right now. And I'm off to clean the bathroom.

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If you don't feel that you are possibly on the edge of humiliating yourself, of losing control of the whole thing, then possibly what you are doing isn't very vital. If you don't feel like you are writing somewhat over your head, why do it? If you don't have some doubt of your authority to tell this story, then you are not trying to tell enough. --John Irving