Letting Go to Move Forward

I’ve been MIA for a couple of days, which really shouldn’t be a surprise, in order to regroup after the NaNoWriMo trek.

After a few days of rest and relaxation I’m back and ready for action. But as a writer what does that really mean? Allow me to explain.

During NaNo I gave you guys my most honest view of the whole event. The good, the bad, and the ugly. (Can you say Earnest Scared Stupid?) After a while I began using more cliches than anyone I’ve ever met. My brain went into survival mode and I couldn’t come up with new material. (That, and I lost my index cards.) So I began to feel like a hamster in a wheel, not going anywhere significant and staring at that same scenery. I felt that in order to hit that 50k goal I had to finish my story. That simply wasn’t so.

I had lost focus on the main goal. Yes I wanted to hit 50,000 words, badly. Yes I wanted to order my t-shirt from the NaNo sight. I wanted cake and balloons!! But in the end I had lost what my main goal was. To write a good story.

My reason for writing got lost in the sea of goop that is NaNoWriMo. I wanted to write an amazing story to share with those who enjoy reading fiction. I wanted to take you away to a new place that still feels kind of familiar and let you bask there. The same way some of my favorite authors do.

Looking back I see now that I should have realized this sooner. But once there is a line in that darn record the song just keeps skipping. And, hindsight is 20/20 anyway.

After having put many hours into my novel and feeling like it’s utter crap (yep I finally hit that wall), I have finally figured it out. That if I want to be a writer then that’s what I should do. Write what I love. Write what I enjoy. Take the time of day and just go at it. Right now it’s not about quality, nor is it about quantity. It’s about doing what you love.

Anyone catch the second Mulan movie? Remember “my duty is to my heart”? Well with writing that’s how it should be. Take an idea and run with it.

Now, I also want to say this: if you have finished writing your novel, let it rest. It’s kind of like a good steak. You marinade it, grill it, and let it rest. You need it to sit a while before delving into it again. With a novel you need to leave it be for a week or so. In Scott Bell’s novel he says to walk away from it for some time. Then, when you are ready, PRINT it out and read it. Yes, PRINT. Because that gives you a different model to work with.

Create a system to edit with, different symbols to mark so you know to look back there later. But sit down and actually read your story from beginning to end. It’s like being a chef, you don’t let that dish leave without tasting the sauce first yourself.

When I read my stuff later it feels different. Yes, I remember my thoughts I had while penning it down. To me, though, it feels kind of like a dream. I know my characters, but as I go through I am reintroducing myself to them. I am seeing how they present themselves on paper for the first time.

This December take the first couple of weeks and break away from your laptop (it’s okay everybody’s doing it) and rest.

Thoughts? Comments? Let me know! Love reading your posts!

Also, I wanted to share some of my inspiration for this post. It comes from my favorite blogger Kristen Lamb.http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/2014/12/01/why-are-we-writers-understanding-the-why-behind-the-buy/