Thursday, July 12, 2007

I think I Need to Think

The last few months I have been very motivated to write. After several years of feeling as though I'm whirling around in circles with no beginning or end, I feel as though I'm headed in the right direction.

I finished a book in May and feeling pretty good about it, started on a new one. I'll admit that I struggled everyday to write it. I kept blaming my difficulties on the unusual circumstance that I created a synopsis before beginning it. Yes, I'm a by the seat of my pants writer. So, there was my excuse for feeling as though every word I put down had been chiseled from my brain. I finished the first draft and although it's way too short, I know I can go back and add words to tie up loose ends and pretty it up.

So, instead of laying off and giving myself time to stretch, what did I do? I started another one. I want to complete three books this year and thought that while I have this motivation going, why not go for that third one? Well, I'm about 20,000 words into it and feel as though I'm jogging through quick sand with chains around my ankles and bricks on my shoulders. And I thought the last book was hard!

It came to me that I haven't given myself any down time. I usually come up with an idea, introduce myself to my characters and then allow them to tell me about themselves...but I usually do this away from the computer. I get to know my characters and their story while I walk, clean house or just sit and stare out the window. But that's not what I've done with this story. I'm trying to force it and that just isn't working.

So now I'm pulling back. I've apologized to these interesting people that I've been trying to write about and told them they can tell me their story when they're ready. I still have hopes of finishing three books this year, but I realize now that I need to think before I write them.

What about you? How much downtime do you allow yourself between projects? Do you need 'think' time before you start on another one?


JoAnn said...

Christy, I think think time is pretty darn important. I know the only thing that actually gets a book written is hands on the keyboard, but if you haven't thought things through, it can be frustrating and bring things to a grinding halt.

Just the opinion of one who probably should curtail her think time just a tad. :-)


MaryF said...

For me, most of my completed manuscripts have been short stories and a few articles, but I can tell you this if I don't just relax a bit in between and allow time to let my imagination "germinate" it useless.

The time varies too. My goal is to get a book manuscript done by November. *sigh* so who am I to give advice.