The importance of creating lots and lots and lots

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 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 

Temptation Striking

I wrote 3,000 words yesterday. For a weekend, that’s not bad at all. In fact, compared to the last year of writing, 3,000 words is so beyond excellent there ought to be continuous fireworks blossoming above my house and a field full of yellow, happy dandelions bobbing with joy and delight in my front yard. 

But when yesterday evening rolled around, my brain was wrung out. Happens. No biggie. By morning, it's ready to go again. The problem is staying focused on my goal during those evening hours. When my brain is tired, it wants to leave my writing realm and go someplace else…preferably via a book. It wants to travel into someone else’s sci fi or fantasy world where the promise of romance lurks, as well as some really hot sex. Alas, reading a deliciously, yummy romance while I’m writing my own book pulls me out of my story world, which is where I really need to stay without distraction for weeks and weeks in order to get my book finished. This requires some serious discipline. 

Discipline always requires a plan. 

I once read an FB post from author Denise Grover Swank. She was getting ready to write a new book and needed to have her entertainment lined up for when she was done with writing for the day, which meant watching TV shows and not reading books. 

Even though I’m not a big screen fan, I’m all for the TV Plan for Writing Focus

My plan consists of The Good Wife. It’s on Amazon Prime and has so many seasons that I should be done with my book before I get to the end. (I love Alicia! Although I really get nervous for her when she’s about to make a bad decision. I don’t enjoy that.) I watch the show through the Amazon app on my antique Wii. However, in the last two days, our Internet has changed. (Hubby’s domain, and I’m not even going to try to remember the details.) My poor, old Wii can no longer connect to the Internet. 

I can’t watch The Good Wife! My TV Plan for Writing Focus is kaput! 

Naturally I had a weak moment. 

I tried to resist. 


I tried reading writing blogs. I tried knitting. I tried looking for other shows through OnDemand. But without Alicia, it just wasn’t the same. 

I weakened. I downloaded a sample of a fantasy novel that had no element of romance. (These pose little threat to my focus because what’s a story without romance? Boring, that’s what.) My wrung-out brain wasn’t buying it though. 

I teetered farther toward the edge of the wagon. I googled new paranormal romance novels. Just to see. You understand? Right? After all, it’s my field of expertise. I need to stay on top of things. I ended up on One thing led to another, and I ended up downloading a sample (a sample, mind you) of Rebecca Zanetti’s Mercury Striking. It was delicious. And then the sample ended. Ended! I would have to buy. 

But no!

Must resist!


Resist I did.

Instead I went back and reread the sample and studied her writing style. I turned my weak moment into an improving experience. 

I have no idea what happens in this book, but I’m certain it’s delicious. 

Now it’s a carrot dangling on the end of a very, very long stick. Very dangerous. One tiny, little jump off the wagon and it’s mine. All mine!

Moral of the story: If you want to remain disciplined, always have a plan B. Also, a plan C. 

I still have neither. 

Wishing you strength and the wisdom to have a backup plan,


P.S. Please, someone go buy Mercury Striking and read it in my stead.  Then leave a comment below and tell me how awesome it is. (But don’t tell me what happens because I am SO going to read it…as soon as my book is written. Riiiiigght.)

 P.P.S. If you do read it and you live in the US and you’re the first person to comment as doing so on my blog, I’ll send you a prize. ;) If you don’t live in the US, please do still comment. I’ll send you bundles of gratitude and hugs and kisses and good thoughts and wishes for a winning lottery ticket. I’ll blow all that in your direction. Which sounds like it’s nowhere near as good as a real prize, but when you win the lottery, I’m certain you’ll feel differently.