It's been a long time, but I'm finally on a roll with writing. Life has settled down, become steady, and even when it's not, my new philosophy, as of the past six months, is "teach yourself to work in uncertainty."
Teach yourself to work in uncertainty. ~Bernard Malamud
I've assigned myself another motto as well:
Work hard and publish, publish, publish. ~Anise Rae
Among a few of my writer friends, I'm known for being wordy when it comes to first and second drafts. Really wordy...as in novels that are too long to submit. That makes it a challenge to publish, publish, publish because it takes a long time to get all those words down. It takes more time to trim the excess.
But lately I've been experimenting.
Experiment! ~Anise Rae
Just that word stirs up excitement in the glitter and goodness of my creative soul. (Creativity needs to be stirred frequently. Like a cauldron brimming with iridescent swirls and rainbows, creativity bubbles best when there's a big spoon moving through it.)
At its heart, creating something new is an experiment. Always. But it takes skill and willpower to keep that fresh, determined feeling alive through the long process of creating the first draft of a novel.
I realized this after I decided to write a short novella. I wasn't sure I could do it. Wordy girls don't mix well with abbreviated tales.
But I figured I had little lose. It shouldn't take me that long write, I told myself, not when compared to a novel-length work. I planned to work on it for one hour a day. As I started the process, I even re-wrote the beginning a few times to make sure I had the story starting the way I wanted it to. That was an easy step to justify. If each scene took me an hour to draft, then I was only losing a couple of hours of work in that mini-experiment.
Also, I didn't plot. I didn't plan. This is soul-shaking stuff for a person who likes rules and structure.
After working on it for at least one hour a day on it, mostly sprinting with the lovely and talented Kiersten Fay, I put it away. For the rest of my work day, I edited a novel that has taken me over a year to develop.
It took me thirteen days to create the first draft of the novella.
I should have celebrated with cake and confetti.
Alas, I'm on a diet and the house is already messy enough.
Now I'm working on my second novella. This one is in a slightly different sub-genre than usual for me which adds to the experiment. I'm sprinting for one hour a day, while still editing the novel during the rest of the day.
It's freeing. And fun.
And that's the way creating should be.
Will this last? Who knows? But that's okay. Experimenting with different creative paths is a way of life for every creator, including novelists. You'd think that once a writer gets some books under her belt then she should have her process down, but I've had to give up that idea. Every book is an adventure...even for the writer.
Embrace the adventure. ~Anise Rae