There is nothing quite like the feeling of a story gaining traction. It can be more thrilling than riding a roller coaster. And I love roller coasters. Just as with writing, roller coasters have their ups and downs. There is the wait in line for to ride it, then its over too quickly.
I have struggled with writing the sequel to my novel for the past year. There was something missing, a plot point or character that just would not work. But I was unable to see it. I was experimenting with this one and it just was not working. Some parts of the plot were working but others parts just would not gel.
So I worked on it here and there, writing and rewriting. Creating outlines, note cards and then throwing them out because none of it made much sense to the story. Other times I paused working on it, allowing my brain to work on it subconsciencely.
Then it came to me while watching a movie, I knew exactly why the story wasn’t working and what had to be done. It meant losing a character entirely. Which is always hard as us writers do become quite attached to them. Losing him meant another character comes out of the shadows.
This is how writing works. The breakthroughs coming after several drafts, reworking plot points and going back and forth on what will work in the story. This breakthrough is wonderful but also means having to nearly start over. It helps that the it has good bones, so not everything needs to change.
This effort is worth it. It is worth seeing something through.
Keep writing the story, rewriting and pausing if needed. The words will come and when they do, be prepared for a flood of them to come. Figuring out a stuck plot point can be so wonderful. It is worth the hardship of getting through those sticky plot points.
For the past five years I have chosen a word to define my year instead of list of resolutions. Since starting this tradition, each word has revealed something new to my life. Pushing me to accomplish different things in my life, including writing this blog. Each word is more than simply a word but more so a theme for the year.
At the start of this year I did not have my word. Half heartedly, I tried out a few different words. But none of them felt right. In reality, they felt wrong, false somehow to where I am in my life.
Then it came to me. Actually it had be in front of me the whole time. Coming up several times in conversation with friends.
This is my year of learning.
Learning about myself, who I am in Christ, my community and the larger world beyond.
I need to learn.
I am willing to learn.
I want to learn.
It fits in perfectly to where I am in my life. I look forward to seeing how this word will affect this year. The adventures and experiences it will take me on.
I have been posting here sporadically for the last few months. The truth is I just don’t know what to write about anymore. Or that if anyone is even reading my posts. It has been nearly three years since I started blogging consistently. In reality I am not sure of the direction I should take right now with it.
This began as a place to document my weight loss and journey to health over four years ago. A journey that has taken a few detours as I have gained and weight and lost motivation to eat well or work out as often. My heart has turned more towards the world of advocacy to combat human trafficking locally and globally.
How these two aspects can be a coherent blog is what has been in the back of my mind for months. Focusing on both has not felt right to me. Or does it need to be one or the other. Does my voice really count out here in the vastness of the internet. A place that is becoming more ugly of late.
All in all I am just tired. I feel I have not been as genuine as I could be or that I have repeated myself over and over. So for a bit I will not be posting as regularly, which means I won’t be posting to my regular schedule. But instead posting once a week if at all.
I also need to focus on my novel more and trying to get blog posts in each week has been distracting. Plus my day jobs are about to fill up my time even more. I hope my regular readers are patient and also look for updates on my FB page as I will utilize that more in the coming months.
Writing, it’s what I’m made to do. Whether or not I make money from my words, I will always be one. I can never not write. Whether it be in my journal, here or my novels. The words come to me and they must be written.
Because it is my passion, writing is hard. Some days the words come easily and freely. But other times, it is hard. So hard. The words just do not come, the story gets stalled or hits a dead end.
Giving up writing is not an option. Fighting through those hard times are worth it. It means what you have to say is important. Because the other side of fighting through are beautiful words. Those words are there on the other side of fight.
Keep writing, don’t give up. Keep fighting for those words. Because your words are important and need to be read.
The writing process is a complicated, highly individualized concept. It is something that takes time to discover for oneself. Discovering what this looks for you looks different for everyone.
It takes time for me. This writing thing. It is so hard and draining. I often end up putting aside what I’m working for periods of time. I don’t understand why my characters are why the way they are. At least not until it’s been revealed to me.
What I’ve learned is that it takes time for the story to reveal itself.[Tweet “What I’ve learned is that it takes time for the story to reveal itself.”]
Once you understand what works best for you, honor it. Take away those distractions that hinder you. Let the work speak to your heart.
It takes work. In my process, I have to work at it. The breakthroughs only come after pushing through the hard parts. The dead ends and circles eventually lead to the solutions. Setting aside the time and sticking to a schedule is also key.
Honoring your process means being consistent with writing. It means working through crap drafts and setting aside projects when it is needed. It means protecting your time, saying no to invitations and obligations.
Another thing, what works for one writer may not work for yourself. This is part of the process, figuring out if the early morning works for you or not. For myself, I find I work best late afternoon to evenings. Some prefer a tight outline while mine are more loose. I also don’t write everyday. It’s just not possible with my schedule. Instead I schedule a few days a week where I can write, when I know I won’t be hurried or too distracted by the rest of my life.
It will take trial and error. But you’ll discover what works best. Once you do, honor it.
For the past two years this blog has been on WordPress.com. I have gained followers and learned so much about the ins and outs of blogging.
I am so grateful for my regular readers and new readers.
Today I officially launch my new website! Join me at Lindasharonconnelly.com from now on. You will be able to research older posts, read series and new posts. I also hope add more samples of my writing outside of blogging in the future. This is a place where my hope is you find comfort, hope and joy. I look forward to what the future holds!
A place to call home on the internet.
It was just over two years ago, after coming through a weight loss and spiritual journey that I decided to start blogging again. My previous blog had been more of a personal online journal. This time around I wanted to share my insights on my health journey.
So began Gaining Life as I called it. Starting on Blogger, moved to WordPress and now thanks to Wendy Delfosse, I know have this website. My own corner on the interwebs so to speak!
[Tweet “Welcome to my new home! lindasharonconnelly.com!”]
Here I hope to continue on my writing journey. To share what lies on my heart. I feel compelled to speak up for not only health, but also for writing and for victims of sex trafficking. I hope in some small way to engage in conversation and also some action too.
I thank all of you who have been reading this blog for a while, I hope you continue to enjoy it. And a welcome to those just discovering me! My hope is that you find encouragement and hope here! For this to feel like home to you. A place of comfort, relaxation and learning. I hope you continue to follow me on this journey.
Next week is Thanksgiving. A time to spend with family. There is also time to prep for the meal. Think about what this can mean for your writing schedule. Obviously, things must be adjusted.
How much will depend on what you hope to do for both.
Agree to what your able to do for the holiday. But also honor your hard work up to this point. This is nearly the finish to your novel.
Decide now if you are writing on Thanksgiving or taking the day off. By doing so, this will allow you to relive some stress. And also adjust your writing schedule accordingly.
That being said, congratulations on getting this far! I know that some days it can be like pulling teeth. At times your manuscript may seem more of a mess than not. Remind yourself that December is for revision.
It is the mid point of November. You are halfway through this wild experiment called Nanowrimo!
Congratulations! You have the workings of your novel set up. Perhaps you are just hitting your stride. The words flowing from your hands like water from an open faucet.
Or perhaps the words are more like an intermittent drip, drip, drip.
Keep working. If a scene is frustrating, work on another one. Stepping away from it for a bit can help your brain to process better. To return to that section feeling renewed.
Keep going. Some words are harder one than others. You will be happier knowing that you tried than to have given up.
Remember, the goal is to finish, not perfection.