And so it begins

While I had been doing really well with my writing during Mom’s stint at home, since she’s been back at the Health Center, my creative juices dried up and my productivity has been nil. I’ve also felt depressed. I thought it was from the weather (gray, cold, snow every other day), but I now know it was because I wasn’t writing.

Writers don’t write because they want to. Writers write because they HAVE to. And yesterday, I WROTE. The kind of writing I most love to do: book-length fiction.

In the last six months, I’ve put out some short fiction and done some freelance work (currently on hold while both my client and I focus on other projects). What I haven’t done is work on a novel. I sent the last one off to my agent two days before my mom’s initial surgery back in August. And that’s been it.

Yesterday, I scratched out the first four pages of the shitty first draft of my next mystery. It’s pretty bad. My openings always stink. It will be rewritten and rewritten again and again over the course of the next year or so. But I’ve given myself permission to let it stink. Just get it down and get on with it. The rest of the book will never get written if I obsess over the first few pages.

I’m excited to be back in novel-mode. I’ve been taking notes for months now. What I don’t have is a detailed outline, which I’ve used in the past. Instead, I have the first few scenes mapped out, the plot point that will happen about midway through the book, and the big twist at the end figured out. In between are huge chasms of the unknown.

For those of you who don’t write, let me explain. There are writers who are outliners and there are writers who are “pantsers” as in “writing by the seat of their pants.” I’ve always been an outliner, although my outline is more like a road map of how to get from Point A to Point B. I tend to choose a roundabout route, but at least I know where I need to get to eventually. I know who did it and how he (she) did it before I ever start.

Such is the case now. But my map isn’t nearly as complete as it usually is. However, with time at a premium, I decided to start out anyway. I’ll probably outline as I go. Kind of like building the road in front of you while you’re on it. At least I’m putting words on paper. Or on the computer screen as the case may be.

Anyhow, the bottom line is, I’m not feeling depressed anymore. I had more energy yesterday than I’ve had in months. Creative juices must contain mega doses of caffeine.

Don’t suppose the fact that the sun was out and the birds were singing yesterday had anything to do with it, do you? Hmmm.


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