Aug 06 2010
Part of successful writing is figuring our your own particular writer’s quirks, and then either finding a way to use them to advantage or to work around them when they become blocky. For me, for whatever reason, one of my quirks is getting past page 10 of a story or chapter. Obviously, this problem doesn’t arise when I’m writing flash fiction or chapters shorter than 10 pages. However, for those stories and chapters that fit the parameters, I’ve found that if I stop anywhere ON page 10, I have a huge problem getting the story momentum rolling again. In learning workarounds for it, I’ve discovered that I can either write through to page 11, even at the very top, and break the psychological barrier against further words. If I don’t have enough energy for that, then stopping at the bottom of page 9 will produce a similar effect, as long as the next time I sit down to write I get just over a page’s worth of words or more.
I am obviously getting healthier; this has been a rough week physically in many ways (including a mammogram), yet I’ve managed to take care of self and family decently well and also fit in several pages of writing. I’ve missed one self-imposed deadline but am finishing the story anyway (having successfully passed the 10-page-hump this morning, whee!)
I am ditching all but one of the other self-imposed anthology goals in order to focus on a story that’s been building for most of a year, that I am hoping to submit to the second volume of the anthology I was published in previously. The deadline is looming soon and I think this story is finally ready to be written. It is nowhere near as easy a story to write as my recent ones have been, thus the long slow build pre-writing. I really hope it turns out as nicely on the page as it is in my head, even getting close to that goal will make for a very good story indeed. If I need breaks from that story while writing it I have the novel and a back-up anthology goal that I can try for in-between writing the big-scary short story.
What are some of your writer or artist quirks, the roadbumps and loopdeeloops that your brain throws in front of the creative process? What ways have you found to work around or otherwise use these hiccups to your advantage?