Saturday, November 1, 2008

I'm Editing!

I'm editing. I know in itself that's not very exciting news, but honestly it's big news to me. I'd gotten so accustomed to finding other writing-related jobs to do that I'd become an expert on generating diversions to stop me from writing fiction. This editing I suddenly find myself doing is the closest thing to real composing in months.

Blogging isn't the same thing. Blogging is work. I don't know too many writers who enjoy it. Blogging takes dedication because you have to pull personal data out of your brain. Storytelling requires simply writing down what your characters do. If their actions and goals are exciting, all the better. If they aren't, well, that's where editing comes in.

I'm a writer. More than that, I'm a storyteller. I've been procrastinating for so long that I'd begun to wonder if I'd ever finish the other 5 manuscripts I'm so close to finishing. Close as in: except for number six, four are probably one draft away from being marketable.

I've been busy promoting Dead Witness since its release July 2ND of this year. Then I started this blog. For me, it takes hours of revising. And just recently, last week in fact, a few friends and I started a new joint blog. Which I'm proud to say is going strong.

But all that means hours and hours of prep work. Not to mention the critiquing I do for friends and colleagues. Then there's my all time favourite pastime: reading.

You get my meaning. I'm good at procrastinating. I've made a fine art out of making excuses. And now that I'm editing again, it's amazing how invigorating I feel. I'd forgotten just how wonderful it is to see my fingers coursing across the keys. My brain's coming up with juicy new ways of energizing my scenes. It's as if my old friends, my characters were off on vacation and decided it was time to get home and back to work.

Experts call what I've encountered as writers block. I don't like using that term because it implies a deficiency. Like a clot in the brain, stopping information from traveling from the cerebral cortex down the arm, past the fingers, keyboard and onto the screen.

Besides, I needed to get caught up on a lot of other important issues. Like spending three weeks with our youngest before he was shipped overseas to Kandahar, Afghanistan to serve a seven-month tour. Some people can work under this kind of pressure. I needed to formulate a positive attitude first. It was only yesterday that I concluded it wouldn't do to fret about Cory's duty in the middle east. He's good at his job, he's well trained, and I need to trust that he'll make it home safe.

So, the question remains, what was it that set me on this fabulous creative journey? I have to think on that for a while. It may have been the recent opportunity to read a draft of an unpublished work by Martha Engber titled Winter Light. It's the haunting story of a fifteen year old burnout. Suffice to say, I think you'd be wise to put Martha Engber's name on your watch list. She's an outstanding literary writer who will eventually catch the eye of a publisher. Then you can say, "Joylene told me so."

Meanwhile, all this negative talk about blogging begs the question: if it's so hard to do, why am I doing it?

That's a question for another day.

1 comment :

  1. Yay! Keep at it.

    I don't believe in writer's block either. I fall out of the habit of writing if I'm not inspired, then it's difficult to get back into the habit. To regain inspiration, I must make myself write--fiction, not blogs or emails. Then I rebuild my habit, habit becomes addiction, and I'm back to my usual, happily-obsessed-with-my-work self.

    Is that a good thing? Ha. That's my question for another day.


    Oh, but an addendum to this. I used my blog in a more creative way than usual for a Halloween posting. I had fun, and it fed the habit. I should do that more often.


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