The title of my… I hesitate to call it a novel. Work in Progress could mean anything. We Earthlings are Works in Progress. It’s more like the first draft of an Un-nuanced Laundry List of Philosophical Ideas Hung On An Uncertain and Confusing Outline That Only Focuses on the Main Character’s Tortuous Arc Over a Meaningless Journey That… God, I’m bored.
Well. It seems that the Inner Saboteur and the Evil Critic have come out to play today. If anyone has – let’s say – a leaf-blower out there, perhaps you would be kind enough to distract them while I tiptoe over here, open this heavy door that leads to their private quarters – then if you could blow them over here… excellent, thank you! *Sound of heavy metal door crashing behind them, and lock being set to: “And Stay In There!”*
This Opus – stop laughing in there – has been developing and changing for a couple of years. I was beginning to panic that the novel would never come in spitting distance of growing into a first draft.
Things I’m learning:
- Panic stifles creativity and should be invited to join Inner Saboteur and Evil Critic in their sound-proofed (forgot to add that before) private quarters.
- Reading too many ‘How To Write’ books eventually leads to adding items to that growing internal distractor list headed: Brilliant Ways to Procrastinate.
- Slavishly following the outline/structure/beat sheet formulae of other wonderful best-selling authors (even when they tell you that they are simply showing the methods that have worked/still work for them) restricts one’s own cognitive and creative processes.
- We all tell stories, everyday, to ourselves and others as we try to understand the whys and wherefores of the life and times in which we, as works as progress, search for meaningful answers to all our myriad questions.
- Questions asked by other writers online, in writers’ groups, are enormously useful. If another writer is kind enough to ask for clarification on a point/idea raised in one of our posts, it helps to clarify and develop that point or idea. It helps with that process of looking for ‘holes’ in one’s writing. Sometimes, I don’t know what’s missing (it’s all there in my head!); a question helps me to get important information, that the reader needs to know, out of my head and onto the page.
The new title for the Opus – you heard me – has changed from Breaking Bread to Formations; from breaking something to forming something.
That feels suspiciously like progress.
P.S. Thanks, my leaf-blowing friend, Lisa, link below, for helping me today with those disruptive antagonists – and for inspiring me to start blogging again.