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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Into the Wild

Wasn't it Hemingway that said writing is easy, all you have to do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed?

I've got the bleeding down. Where's the easy button?

August was supposed to be a month of relaxation--a few weeks off from the writing to spend quality time with hubs and the kiddos. I released Angel Unleashed at the end of July so some downtime was in order.

That's how it works, right?

Apparently, to my brain, it does not.

It won't shut up, just keeps harping and harping at me to get on my lazy bum and slap some wordage on the page.

Demon Undamned, book three in the Deadly Sins series, has been plotted since Angel Unborn (book one). I know every dirty, rotten thing I'm going to do to my characters and all the consequences they'll face. *smiles maniacally* I could write this story with my hands tied behind my back... except for the whole needing them to type thing.

Somehow, I always forget (block out?) how hard a first draft is to write. Sure, I know it all (ask my husband), but getting it out in a coherent manner to look like what's in my head isn't near as easy as it sounds.

Picture this--*WARNING! SLIGHT EXAGGERATION DEAD AHEAD*--you're standing on the edge of miles of jungle, far as the eye can see. The treasure is smack dab in the middle. You know where it is, just not how to get there. It's hotter than Hell's a...er, um, basement. Bugs swarm around your head like a radio stuck on static. Sweat drips into your eyes and coats your skin, inviting every honking leaf and spiderweb to cling to you. And unless your ears are playing games, something very large and hungry just growled over your shoulder. Your mission, should you choose to accept it (heh, heh) is cut a creatively entertaining and maybe somewhat treacherous path through the wilds. Oh, and make it noticeable enough the reader can follow along but not so obvious that looters get to the treasure first and leave you empty-handed.

By the way, you're armed  with a pair of bobby socks and a spatula.

Go MacGuyver all over it, you big, bad bundle of writerly awesomeness!
 Or, curl up on the jungle floor and let the bugs eat you.

Yeah, that's what a first draft is like. You know what needs to be done and the only way to figure out how is to simply do it. But it's intimidating. It's exhausting. And frankly, I'm a little scared of myself.

 What motivates you best? Guilt? Got some! Excitement? Got that covered too. Share with me your motivational how-to sparklies.

Or, if you have none, I also accept dark chocolate...


  1. Andris,
    I can totally relate because I'm struggling with a first draft now. I'm hoping once my kids return to school next week I can buckle down and get it done. I think the thing that motivates me in most situations is a deadline. Would that be fear-based? Maybe, but I know I'm often running around trying not to miss every day deadlines like renewing car tags, getting the pets licensed, paying bills...

    I wish I were one of those people that gets everything done early. My daughter helps to some degree. She badgered me until I bought her school supplies a month early and tonight is Open House at her school and I'm not freaking out about getting to the store before tonight. It really does feel good, so I don't know why I don't plan ahead more often. :)

  2. Samantha,
    I used to procrastinate EVERYTHING. The stress of it finally turned me around. Now, I only procrastinate half of the stuff I need to do. Lol. Fear is probably my best motivator too. Perhaps I should go walk on the highway and then I'll be able to write all the words! ;)

  3. I just started the next book in my series and know what you mean. I know the story, what is going to happen, etc., and if it played out as I type as well as it does in my head, it would be great but for some reason it isn't happening. I find myself distracted by the To Do List of other things I also need to be taking care of. I stay motivated by thinking about the things I want from a new couch to a kitchen renovation. If I don't keep writing, I won't even have groceries :). But seriously, I have pictures of rewards on a bulletin board (the original Pinterest), even if it is a trip for ice cream, for when the book is published. I will admit - the kitchen renovation is there too. Might as well dream big :).

    1. I'm so glad I'm not the only one having trouble with this right now, Jane. I'm easily distracted--especially if the distraction is fun. :D I want a bigger house but that's so far off that it isn't a great motivation for me. I need something a little more immediate. Sigh.

  4. LOL! Andris - I wish I had words of advice. But I'm currently working on six different writing projects. As soon as I finish one it's like cutting off the head of Hydra - two more sprout up in its place. I'm almost afraid to work on anything because I can't handle any new projects. (I'm sure that sounds crazy...just try living it!)

    Anyway, good luck! And if you have any extra when you're done, send it my way.

    1. Well, I really wish you had words of advice, too, Ava. You've really let me down here. ;) Oh my Lord, I don't know you can contemplate six writing projects at once. The thought makes my head spin. Ack!

  5. What motivates me is getting further into the book. Beginnings are hard for me!

    If you find that easy button, throw a sister some coordinates!

    1. Deb,
      I would have to agree that certainly helps. Enthusiasm for the project picks up the further I get into it. It's the getting into it I'm having trouble with!

  6. While I don’t write books, I do try very hard to write a thoughtful review of each and every book that I read. I have to admit that getting started and expressing myself is not easy at all. Perhaps I anguish over it too much but I want to be thorough and fair.

    1. I agree, Connie, book reviews can be so hard to write. Even when you love the book, it's hard to find the right words to convince others of its awesomeness and to give it a try--especially without spoilers! I think turning anything from an idea into reality is a hard start because once you're going, you can't stop without quitting. And I don't like to quit. :)

  7. Andris, too funny! I love the bleeding part.... That's what I hate about having to submit a synopsis up front. I have no idea what the mss is going to turn out like! :) I'll be into the new mss, thinking the whole thing totally sucks, and how come I ever thought I could write, and then I'll get the copy line edits back on a nearly ready to go book and think, wow, I did do it--before. And that means I can do it again. I have to remind myself of this repeatedly though!!!