Mind Over Matter

I don’t know what I’m doing.
It’s refreshing to finally admit it and just let go of all preconceived ideas of what a writer must be doing each day to be considered a real writer.

2010 was completely dedicated to Creative Writing study. I’ve put that one first for so long that I slowly lost all stamina for what really matters: my novel. I’ve read about this phenomena in “Your First Novel” by Ann Rittenberg and Laura Whitcomb.

The authors explain how a writer has to balance the two sides of his brain, left and right, because your left side deals with rules and logic and the right side deals with creativity. While understanding what he has learned in his studies (how it should be done), the writer has to free himself from all preconceived notions and just write down what feels right.

Robert Graham in “How To Write Fiction (And Think About It)” also explains it as the art of balancing Unconscious and Conscious while writing:

“…the more you know from the labours of your conscious mind, the harder it is not to feel inhibited from using your unconscious.”

Often, what the writer has learned brings him to the next level, he becomes a better writer, but not caring about it is also part of a healthy writing habit: so, how do we balance the two?

You write!

I’m not saying I shouldn’t have studied SO MANY books on C.W. because without them I wouldn’t have improved so much. But I’m hard on myself no matter what, so blame me if I didn’t and blame if I did, because either way I should have finished a-novel-in-a-year like I intended to — and I didn’t.

But like I said, I’m glad to be able to admit that I don’t know what I’m doing, because now, it’s crazy, I also started another novel at the same time. In “Your first Novel” we read that the first novel is usually just practicing time, and that it’s hard to admit this in order to move on to the next novel. However, that second novel has much better chances to be successful…

“When I read the first draft of a manuscript by someone who has never written fiction before or who has, perhaps, only been writing fiction for a year or two, I’m uncomfortably aware of every rough passage, every clumsy transition, every wooden phrase or cardboard character.”

So what am I doing at the time? I had a dream this weekend that stroke me as a good story, so when I woke up I just could not get up, afraid I would forget it. I remained in bed, plotting about what would happen next, for about 2 hours. I was really just seeing glimpses of scenes in my mind, from the beginning to end, and when I got to the closing line I got up, came to the computer and wrote for about one hour.

I came to the computer to write, in slots of one hour each time, during that same day.

And that’s how it started. Can a writer keep on writing two novels at the same time? Will I do it, or just set the first one on a drawer for future analysis? I really don’t know; I’ll just write on whatever feels right at the time, each day. The first one to be finished wins a round to the agents. Meanwhile, it’s time to fetch me a new day job.

2011 will be dedicated to writing. Enough with the study.
I don’t know what I’m doing and I don’t care: I’m writing!


5 thoughts on “Mind Over Matter

  1. I haven’t known what I’m doing for ages. I start a piece of work, lose the power to keep it going and then start something else.
    If I had some order in my life I reckon I could get something done but I don’t. I work shifts all over the clock and they changes all the time. My sleeping pattern is non existent, there is literally no pattern. I sleep when I’m tired because my body clock is so knackered from the varying shifts.
    I can’t count how many times I’ve gone to early shift absolutely shattered because I haven’t slept all night; due to the fact that my body clock still has me running on night shift.
    So don’t worry about it V., you’re not the only one who questions themselves and plans, lol.

  2. I remember reading your About Me the other day. I hope you changed your blog theme, or it means I’m going crazy because it doesn’t look familiar.

    I loved this post! Can I share a secret? I don’t know what I’m doing either. Good news is that I don’t think we’re expected to at this early stage of writing. Admitting it is liberating, though :)

  3. Hi Janna, I didn’t change my theme recently. It’s okay though, you were just Fleshly Pressed and I’m sure by now you’ve read so many new blogs that it’s overwhelming. I’ve added my picture to the header, though.

    Yeah, being honest is liberating, but I must admit I’m a control freak ;)

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