Indecisive? Maybe.

HONESTLY, THE DAY AFTER I began this blog didn’t go well for me in a writing sense.  I’d spent the best part of a day setting up the site, writing the first post, then blabbing about it on Face Book.  There was no writing getting done on the novels, but I felt as if I was priming the pump, which felt good.

The blog was serving one of its purposes; it was keeping my writers’ muscles flexible. And of course I got the strokes of having written and published, no matter in how limited a fashion.

But the next morning, instead of leaping to my laptop to work on one of my novels, I found myself practicing some fairly advanced avoidance techniques. On-line shopping, Face Book, gardening, checking out my first blog post in case something had changed since the last time I checked it, and then admiring how it read and how it looked on the page.  (Very cool actually.)

A trip to the drug store was suddenly imperative.  It’s important to have two extra tubes of toothpaste and some hair conditioner in case you run out. A read-through of the past week’s work to date—this is one of my best avoidance techniques—gave me another hour’s distraction.  And then suddenly it was time to get ready for a dinner date with friends and the opportunity to crow in my next blog post about how productive I’d been was lost.

The truth is, I’m at the stage with all three novels when I have to buckle down and get serious about the next stage in the action and I’m postponing the commitment. I’m facing a junction with multiple roads heading off to all points of the compass.  Almost any journey is possible now, but the next step will limit the roads I can travel, and the step after that will narrow down the route even more as I get closer to my destination.

I can’t decide if I’m excited and enthralled by the number of paths open to me, or if I’m just really, really indecisive.

In one view I’m empowered by the possibilities; in the other I’m sort of a coward, unwilling to commit, right?

Difficult to decide which.


• Posted in The Writing Life • Tags: , , , , , , , , |  2 Comments

2 thoughts on “Indecisive? Maybe.

  1. Avoidance thy name is disappointment. I have listened to authors discuss their work and their writing methods. I’m not implying that everyone writes the same way or uses the same methods but many, many of them talked about the story writing itself. They don’t know wherethe story is going until they get there. New characters often appear completely unexpected. Does that make any sense to you? I am not a writer of novels, so I really have no idea. But maybe its just a matter of setting down and let the story take you where ever it is going.

  2. It makes sense Nancy; the process is very organic. Some writers outline so they get no surprises like that along the way, and others do it all on a wing and prayer. My next blog post is about the value of an outline for the mystery novelist, whose books are usually more heavily plotted in advance than most other kinds of books.

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