I know I’m supposed to write every day. That’s what famous authors say, and it’s a good idea because it keeps what I’m writing fresh in my mind, and then I get ideas while I’m cooking dinner or taking a shower. But it in my life, it just isn’t always possible. I spent the whole summer moving--finding a house, packing and unpacking. I’m still not finished unpacking. I have been so focused on this move that I worked on it from the time I got up until the time I went to bed. A few weeks ago I realized there was no way I could sit down and write or draw because I had forgotten how to sit down and relax. I had to have some time to unwind before I could get back into creating anything. And then…how do I get back into my writing? How do I start illustrating? It’s exciting and a little frightening at the same time.
I get back into my writing by reading what I’ve already done, maybe doing a little editing, until I get an idea where to go next. It might take a while, but the ideas always come because stories have their own lives. They don’t come from us, they come through us.
I’m tempted to spend a whole day looking at Johnell’s links and writing exercises, and I think that would be really good for me.
I’m a slow writer, but that’s ok, because a small step (almost) every day has added up to a novel. I have learned that some days I need to write questions, and as soon as I do the answers start pouring into my head faster than I can type, so I spend that day making notes about the ideas I get. Or I spend the day brainstorming and researching whatever subject I’m writing about until inspiration comes back. Other days I try to write a part of the story that needs to be filled in, but it just doesn’t want to go anywhere. It has no energy. It doesn’t interest me, and it won’t interest anyone else either. And there are days when I realize I have to organize what I’ve written into some kind of order, and it’s time to do it now. Are these wasted days because nothing I’ve done will ever see the light of day? NO! They are a necessary part of the process. They are the bridges I have to cross to get to the next part of the story that’s waiting out there for a chance to jump into my mind and make its way through my fingers onto a page. They are what makes the feeling of “Yes! That’s a great idea!” possible.