I was reminded gently this week that some people do like to see me natter on about writing.
Or at least, about moleskines.
Well, let me natter a bit about process. It may or may not result in nattering about moleskines, but if not, never fear, I will natter about them again later.
My process is different with this book. This scares me, but I am using this new process and only time will tell if it works.
In the past, I was a mood writer. I had to work myself into it, into that moment of passion, of anger, of agony, of grocery shopping boredom or getaway-riding terror. I’d mutter and pace and growl a lot, cuss even more, and finally work up a head of steam and the words would pour out.
When I was under a deadline, such things happened faster, daily, sometimes several times a day, because adrenaline was running and I was riding that tide. Otherwise, I’d write until I’d exhausted my muse’s connection and then I’d lay off, sometimes for days, before the next bit came.
And all in all, it worked.
This time, however, I am doing something different. I’m writing daily. I’m keeping track of my words per day, writing daily at least five days a week. Yes there have been times when the muse wasn’t there. There have been weeks when I didn’t write much, though I don’t think there were more than a couple when I didn’t write at all, and those were when I was ill.
Writing daily and watching the words is a very different experience. It means sometimes I’m flying on hope, not quite feeling it, uncertain that I’m anywhere near the mark, and writing anyway because I need those words to justify my work for the day.
Sometimes I worry that when I finish this draft it will be a steaming pile of excrement.
But then toni says things like:
Oh, I get that–I get that fear. Believe me, I do. And I understand why it’s there, because that method did work. That just doesn’t meant that this one won’t *also* work–it’ll just feel different. But my point is that your skills are not subject to your muse. Your skills are always there, and if you look at it later and it doesn’t build to the crescendo you want, you’ll have (a) recognized it and (b) be able to go in and fix.
You mean, I don’t have to have just one process. There might be more than one that works.
I teach this all the time, and I even teach, “The process that works on one book may not work on the next.”
I stand in front of people and say that all the damned time.
But I have to have somebody else say that to me, to remind me, damn it.
That just ain’t right.
But it’s better than if nobody said it and I was still wandering and muttering and cussing a lot.
I still do that.
So when she says:
Just write the damned thing. It will be fine.
I guess that’s what I must do. And it will be.
[next up (unless a different shiny topic leaps into my line of sight): tips for writing words daily, or how to avoid the thesaurus and find your bliss with brackets and holes]