Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Hot Days, Hot Writing
The editing of the novel I wrote last winter is coming along well. This is a different way to use my brain; when writing the first draft, I had to be open and relaxed to let the ideas flow out of me without thinking but when editing, I have to be focused and intentional and question every sentence.
I find editing less gruelling than the free writing of a first draft, although there is a magic to that writing that is a joy to experience; but I like the crafting of the story that comes with editing with intention and knowledge of its beginning, middle and end. Both require the discipline of sitting in a chair all day and ignoring everything else.
Except lunch. I love lunch. I never forget to eat lunch.
Since I don't have to plan a church service this week, I set it aside for editing and it's nice to know what I'm doing every day; it's really nice to be working on a book. It's nice to be working with a new mug and another bracelet.
My biggest quirk as a writer is my penchant for talismans -- objects associated with my work. Since animals are characters in their own right in my novel, I thought about putting the goat, chicken and horse figurines from a shelf in my living room on my desk but let's be honest -- there is no room on my desk!
Every book gets its own mug, however, and my brand new mug is a nod to the small role the book "Anne of Green Gables" plays in the novel. Now that was a moment that came out of the writing flow; it was not a pre-planned or even a conscious decision to include AofGG in my story. With editing, I don't get those surprise moments of joy -- "Where did THAT come from?!" -- but I do like the contented joy I feel when I've re-worked the ending or re-written the opening and it's exactly what it needs to be.
Also, I'm wearing the bracelet I finally found that looks a bit like the one my character wears -- leather and turquoise -- which connects her to her mother. Figurines and mugs and bracelets don't get the work done, but for me, they keep me grounded in the work, connected to the story and its characters, and trusting of my skill and my process as a writer.