The Write Attitude

file0001410812034Why do we do this to ourselves, we writers?

I recently participated in a discussion about whether or not, for a Christian, writing is a “calling.” I’m not sure of the definition of the word, but whether or not it’s a calling, in my case, writing is certainly a compulsion.

Some famous author (I forget which one) is quoted as saying that if you’re really a writer, you have no choice; you write because you can’t not write. I suppose it’s the same for any art form, but I have no experience with any other. True, I’ve been known to work out my creative proclivities in other ways as well, like playing the French horn (or piano or guitar), cooking, or gardening. But like a rubber ball, I keep bouncing back to writing.

I lately haven’t been blogging much about writing, however, because I’ve stepped backfile0002113684817 from it a bit in recent months. It’s always a struggle to find the time to separate yourself from “the real world” and immerse yourself in the story you’re creating — especially when you’re supposed to also be promoting the ones that are already published. But sometimes the humdrum’s hum becomes an insistent roar, to where we have to put that manuscript on the digital shelf for a bit and tend to nitty gritties of life.

But the dust has settled now, and Books 3 and 4 in my Gannah series are trying to dig their way out of my computer to go scampering around the world. The fact is, I’m as itchy to free them as they are to get out. So I’ve been recently making further revisions to #3, sending #4 through my wonderful critique group, and exploring self-publishing options. I will keep you apprised of developments, but it’s my goal to release the rest of the series this year.

So, if you were left hanging at the end of Words in the Wind (it’s been a long time since that came out — do you still remember it?), take heart: you’ll be able to pick up where you left off before you get too much older. And if you’ve been with this story in the stars since the beginning, I think you’ll be satisfied with the tale’s conclusion in the fourth book in the series.

At least, I’m satisfied. I love the way it wraps up. No, I don’t love it, I love-love-LOVE IT! That’s why I’m so eager to share it with y’all.

2014-02-20 16.32.10At the same time, I have another story simmering on the back burner of my brain. Before long the lid is going to start jiggling and I’ll have to lift it to let out the steam. It’s exciting to start a new story, but it’s scary at the same time. I love the Gannah series so much, I’m afraid anything else I write will be a disappointment.

I’ve been learning a lot, however, and I figure that’s got help me with the next project. Writing these last two books has taught me, among other things, that speed and flow don’t always add up to the best result. What I mean is this: I drafted Book #3 in six months. I spent the next few months working on revisions, and when it was finished, I was pretty happy with it — not to mention proud of myself for how quickly and efficiently I’d completed it.

Book #4, on the other hand, was absolute agony from the first chapter to the last. I don’t think I wrote a single paragraph that flowed easily; I labored over every sentence. But now that I’m completing the revisions, I find myself amazed at times. Did I really write this? Where did that idea come from? I don’t remember having thought of that, but it’s fabulous.

So I guess the lesson is this: sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s difficult. But when it’s tough, that’s when you need to get excited, not discouraged, and keep trudging on. Because what you’re dragging behind you like a dead weight might just end up being your best work ever.

 

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9 thoughts on “The Write Attitude

  1. Thanks for this reminder, Yvonne, that writing can gallop like a spunky mustang or balk like a stubborn mule. I’ve had my share of mules lately. But today the words race toward the goal, and for that I thank God.
    I’m also thankful to hear you’ve got another story simmering in your ingenious brain. You’re a terrific wordsmith and, much as I love your Gannah tale and await its conclusion (which better satisfy me) with baited breath, I eagerly anticipate another narrative from your inventive pen.
    Keep writing!
    ~ Glenda
    http://ascribelog.wordpress.com/

    1. Thanks, Glenda, I appreciate your steady encouragement.
      And yes, you’d better find the ending satisfying after all the build-up. Whether you like it remains to be seen, but I promise it won’t be exactly what you expect.

  2. I’m glad you’re writing again, and I look forward to reading books three and four. Just yesterday, I was thinking about that incredible dance scene that you wrote in Story in the Stars. You turned an excellent story into a memorable one.

  3. I needed this post. Great reminder. I tend to get discouraged when things do not flow like I want them to, then I question whether I should be writing or not. Thanks for the words of wisdom! (PS It’s JaseR75…hope the turtle is doing okay LOL)

    1. Unapologetic Conservative? I knew I liked you, Jase. Thanks for stopping by my blog. The turtle’s no longer with us, however. He wandered away with the raccoon (http://yswords.com/?p=2227). I believe I heard them discussing going out for pizza. But I haven’t seen either one of them since.

    1. Thanks, Janet. I love what you said your reaction was to reaching the end of Words in the Wind: “I tried to keep turning the pages, but there weren’t any more!” Sorry you’ve had to wait so long for the next book.

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