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February 23, 2016 / Angela Sylvia

The Ease of Writing (When an Idea is Working)

As I wait for some friends and writing partners to get back to me with critiques of a finished story, I started working on another idea that had been gnawing at me for a few months. I have loads of other things I could be working on, another draft that needs just a few more rounds of polishing before I can send that off to readers, some stories that I think I could get to work if I just worked out the themes a bit more. Instead, I went with something completely new — and I am very glad that I did.

Plum TreeUsually, when I’m writing new drafts (or complete rewrites) I can get up to 3 and 1/2 pages, and call that a good day of writing. It’s usually less on days when I work in the morning and I can’t get myself up, and there are, of course, those awful days with nothing at all, but on a day off when I can focus on writing, that’s what I get, and I’m pretty happy with it.

With this story, the 3 pages can come out in the early light of morning, and on the good days, when I’m home, I can get 5 to 7 pages.

I’ve hit that number on other stories, though not quite so regularly as this. I keep waiting for myself to smash into a wall, but that hasn’t happened yet. The story keeps flowing out, and even if I sometimes write in a circle, I manage to keep pushing things forward.

I’m not sure what’s different this time. Is it that I’ve made an outline? No, I’ve done that before. Maybe I just really enjoy these characters? No, because I can’t see a first draft to the big THE END unless I love the people I’m writing about. Maybe the rhythm I figured out in NaNoWriMo is helping me, maybe I’ve just built up the muscle enough that I can finally pump a heavier writing weight. Maybe I’m finally shoving my anxiety out of the way, so I can write with one less thing impeding me. Maybe it’s not something I’m thinking of at all.

I do know that there is a chance that this momentum will pass. I know that I could run into a block, or on a read-through I’ll see all the parts that won’t work, and I’ll be overwhelmed by my inability to fix them on my own.

But for now, it is so fun to roll with it. To look at my notebook and see all the pages I’ve filled, to watch that little callous on my right middle finger grow because I can’t stop the story, even when my hand hurts, even when all that writing makes my brain feel like it’s swelling. I’m enjoying all the scribbles, the pen marks on my hand, the cramp in my butt because I’ve kept writing for a half our longer than I meant to and now I’ve been sitting for too long.

I’m enjoying writing, and inventing, and discovering what I’m capable of. This writing thing is loads of fun.

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