Sunday, January 14, 2007

Ya' Gotta Have Heart

Erik Ivan James gave me a very good and gentle reminder yesterday to focus on the words my heart wants to write. Very good reminder, especially from a man who can write with such heart!

He's so right, too!

It makes me wonder how I'm perceived. See, I blog to learn. I know I sometimes come off as knowing what I speak of; it's a bad quirk from teaching so long.

That doesn't mean what I write is always true. And I'm really waiting for you guys to tell me I'm wrong. I really am! I want to learn, so I don't mind changing my opinion (or defending it, really).

My writing must go up a level. It really must. I can't do that magically or by talent; I've got to shove and kick myself, push myself off cliffs and put myself in situations where I have to get better or die (well ... close enough, LOL).

So you guys, coming here, talking, and letting me conceptualize, communicate, and organize my thoughts and ideas is ... ohmigosh ... I can't even say. Thank you, thank you, thank you, from the bottom of my heart. I truly mean that.

I'm a pantser and a heart writer, believe it or not. So I come here to force my brain into analysis and to try to grasp and understand and de-mystify the mystical stuff we writers do. I know I have to study the greater writers, but I struggle with how. I struggle with picking apart what makes something work or not work in someone else's novel.

I ... er, need to get smarter.

(Reminds me: David White, another Killer Year author, talked about memory and writing a novel in his blog. Definitely another of my challenges!)

So you know me, I'm always tackling my shortcomings head on. That's why I'm here. And of course, I seem to be here to ramble, too. :-)

Where was I? The point of this?

You guys get my technical thoughts. My heart? Well, that goes into my writing computer. My problem?

My brain works on this computer, and my heart works on the other. I can't seem to get them to work at the same time. How do you guys do it? How?

Maybe it'll have to be the same as I am with music. I can't really apply something to the piece I learn it in, not if it's a big technique or big change. I have to learn it so well that it becomes ingrained, second nature, and so I can do it without thinking. So I have to pull this analysis out of ... er, and then I have to stuff it into my subconscious.

I can't think and do at the same time.

How do you do it?

6 bonus scribbles:

StarvingWriteNow 1/14/2007 08:01:00 PM  

Okay, dear, you asked for it.


Okay, back to reality now. The heart and the head are about as opposite as they can get. I kind of divide the work up for myself. My heart is in charge of the idea, and my brain is in charge of taking the idea to a finished product. If that makes any sense.

BTW, I picked up "Nice" through the library and read it last night. It was different, and I enjoyed it. The ending was a little weak, but not awful. If you have a Cuyahoga card put it on hold.

Holly Kennedy 1/14/2007 09:13:00 PM  

I'm a perfectionist so I battle with heart and head all the time. Even now, on my 3rd novel, it hasn't gotten any better. I do what I once heard Terry Brooks say at a conference -- I pretend I've invested in BUM GLUE and don't let myself get up to do other things, procrastinate, etc., until I have a rough draft of whatever I'm aiming for. Then I work it and rework it and... you get the idea. It's different for everyone, though, isn't it? All the best from an author who's been there. And hang in there, it'll happen.

spyscribbler 1/14/2007 10:50:00 PM  

Oh cool! I'll have to have DH get that for me. (He's in charge of library stuff; I just rack up fines, LOL.)

That sounds logical, starvingwritenow. That sounds smart. I'm puzzling over how to learn from music so it'll help my way with writing.

I was just telling two of my students today that as they mature, they should learn things artistically first, and then let the music dictate technique.

That must apply to writing, too. I just have to figure out how. It sounds like what you're doing, starvingwritenow!

Gosh, aren't the arts cool?

spyscribbler 1/14/2007 11:06:00 PM  

Holly! Fellow perfectionist! LOLOL ...

That's one thing I haven't learned how to do: rework. I edit as I go, but ... I've rarely ripped into something and really given it a good, wrenching edit.

Bernita 1/15/2007 08:17:00 AM  

You think so much like me...

writtenwyrdd 1/16/2007 02:33:00 PM  

Such a lovely way to consider your writing. Heart is for me the important part of what I write. The Evil INternal Editor is what insists I take the good stuff out. (Well, it feels like taking it out; I'm really just refining it.)