Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Plunging through the Fear

Truth is, I write best when I've got a lot on my plate. It's sort of like all or nothing. Either I'm putting out 1,000 - 10,000 words a day, or I'm piddling away for weeks on end. During the intense studio time of the year, all I have time for is piddling.

I've been trying to get in some plotting, trying to write a synopsis before finishing. But today I knuckled down and wrote, because intense studio time is over, and plotting is helpless for me. I need to just write.

And the first day back of writing-writing (as opposed to brainstorming and thinking and piddling) is really a killer, let me tell you.

After writing a bunch of dumb stuff, and in a panic that I've forgotten how to write, I pulled open my last story to see if I can actually write, and try to remember how I managed it last time. I read a little, and thought:

Who wrote this? How did this happen? How did these words get on this page? How did I put together a coherent story, especially with all of these threads?

And how come these sentences sound ... strong ... and I'm stringing a bunch of little weaklings together today? Am I, like, a totally different writer, now? Am I a different person? Was I inhabited by an alien, who actually wrote this, and not me?


Hopefully, after I do another long session of crap tonight, I'll find my inner writer again.

And then one of my students came in to her lesson today, one who's been avoiding a piece because she can't quite play it yet.

Mostly because she's afraid she can't play certain parts of it.

She stammers out a bunch of excuses.

I feel like saying, honey, I SO know where you are. You can't kid me. I've been where you are a thousand times.

Instead, I say, you gotta practice through the fear. You'll be amazed how quickly you get unstuck if you just plunge on through the fear, if you just sit down and work it out methodically.

Or, in the worst case, if you just squeeze your eyes shut and do it anyway.

So I pushed her through the scary parts, and she's feeling good.

So now I'm off to follow her example.

Ever get these feelings?

9 bonus scribbles:

Anissa 6/03/2008 10:26:00 PM  

All the time. Especially during revisions. I'll come across a segment that I can't believe I wrote, and certainly feel incapable of replicating. But eventually it does come back.

Here's hoping you find your groove soon!

Edie 6/04/2008 08:20:00 AM  

I always get that in the beginning, then once I'm in a rhythm I'm usually okay. But with my wip, because I'm constantly interrupted by other things, everytime I get back, I have to read through the beginning. By the time I get to the place where I write again, I'm in the editing mode instead of "screw the perfect writing and just get this sucker down mode."

Zoe Winters 6/04/2008 01:10:00 PM  

I think I'm crazier the longer I don't write. But I have to push through the "But I don't feel like writing" in order to reap the benefits of getting my mind into a deep concentration on something besides every little niggling worry around me.

spyscribbler 6/04/2008 01:36:00 PM  

So true, Anissa! It feels bizarre. I can't get over how it always feels like someone else must have written it.

The groove will come. I just hate this stage.

spyscribbler 6/04/2008 01:37:00 PM  

I'm SO glad I'm not alone, Bernita! I try not be Neurotic Writer, but I guess it's just a matter of hiding it. Or not, LOL.

spyscribbler 6/04/2008 01:38:00 PM  

Edie, I'm like you, I have to get in the flow by reading from the beginning. I write so much better when I have days to JUST write. Sometimes, I feel like I just piddle in between those all day sessions.

And you're right, the editing mind is a different one.

spyscribbler 6/04/2008 01:39:00 PM  

Zoe, I have trouble focusing, too. I don't do distractions well. I'm overwhelmed easily. Sometimes, when I sit down to write, I remember a million other things I need to do!

Melanie Avila 6/04/2008 02:24:00 PM  

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.

I recently looked over my wip and couldn't believe I'd strung the story together the way I did. It actually reads like a, well, a story!