Waiting for "The Call"

“Honey, it’s always crap. Every book I write is crap. It’s my job to fix the crap afterwards,” according to Nora Roberts. Well, I've got it half right. Still working on the "fixing it" part. "Trust your characters to be complex enough and to have enough emotional baggage. Force them to make hard choices." Advice from Michelle Styles that might help!

Writing in the cracks June 9, 2008

Filed under: Writing and Life — Autumn Macarthur @ 10:13 pm
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(Image from the Gluten Free Goddess)

Yay! The story pot is starting to bubble again, enough that I can dip into it for some fifteen minute timed writings. It feels good!

I think my problems this weekend were a creative temper tantrum, “If I can’t have time to write properly I won’t write at all, so there!” But actually, I can’t not write, it hurts too much.

I fully intend to make some changes, find a way of living that allows me to place writing more centrally. In the meantime, I’ll write in the crevices and cracks, in the fifteen minute gaps.

Fifteen minutes before I get up. Fifteen minutes on the train. Fifteen minutes in my lunch break (note to self- make sure you take your lunch break!). Fifteen minutes at bedtime. Maybe that’s what making writing the core of my life really means. Finding those fifteen minutes, again, and again, and again.

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No time to write… or just making excuses? June 4, 2008

Filed under: Writing and Life — Autumn Macarthur @ 11:21 pm
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I’ve decided to let up the pace a bit on the writing this month. I have a hellish month coming up workwise, with some close-to-impossibly tight deadlines to meet, and I’m massively stressed about it. Putting prressure on myself about writing was making me so stressed I couldn’t write at all. I am hoping that by taking the pressure off, paradoxically, I’ll end up getting more written. I’m going to read lots, but not put myself under any word count pressure. I’m not giving up, I’m just lightening up.

I have a firm goal of submitting at least one partial this year, hopefully two, and actually I will have written the whole story before I submit, because I need to do the whole first draft before I really know what the story is going to be. Ideally, I want to get writing fast once this current rush at the day job is over, as I hope that by mid-July things will have eased up at work. I’m considering leaving once I have this big job done, but that would be insane, to stay while things are tough and leave just when things are easing up! But I just had an appraisal which criticised me for being too energetic and enthusaistic- the very things I see as my best qualities. Maybe I can turn into Ms Glum-Just-Doing-the-Bare-Minimum at work, and save the energy for the wriitng- it’s the other way around right now- not helping me achive my dreams, at all.

My ultimate goal is to have something ready to submit by the end of September, then to submit another partial by the end of December. I need to do a lot of simmering of plot and character soup now, so I can just write when I have time. I have so many stories and story people swirling around in my head! I will probably end up having most of November off with vacation I haven’t been able to take due to workload, so I will hopefully be able to spend all my time writing!

Or am I just making excuses? So many writers manage it in five and ten minutes bursts, while caring for young children, when snatching time between patients (not an option in my job, and my damned work ethic is too hard for me to try to arrange things so it is!), or in wriitng on the bus. I read this blog entry by Trish Wylie today. No excuses!