If you saw my post the other day, you read the culmination of a couple weeks of frustration and not wanting to write. I finally decided to admit what was going through my head, and it actually helped. A lot. Here are three things I learned that helped get me back to being excited to write again.
Revision is Important, but so is Creating Something New
The first draft of the first novel I’ve written in over 8 years was . . . rough. Okay, as I have heard other bloggers call it, it was brain vomit on the page. I spent three times longer revising this piece of work than I spent writing it. Yeah. Three times. Some of the revisions were fun, especially the early ones where things were still being fleshed out and there was a lot of additions and even more changes. The later revisions were less than fun, but they needed to be done.
During the months of revising Knight of Valor, I started work on a second novel. Need a better title than Devil’s Due, but that’s what I’m calling it now. I finished the first draft of this novel while I was still tinkering with revisions on Knight of Valor.
Now I have two novels that needs to be revised. So I didn’t start work on a third (even though I have several ideas percolating) because I was spending all my writing time revising. As important as revising is, it doesn’t keep me nearly as engaged or as happy as writing something new.
DH had recommended I write something for myself, something I would never try to publish, so I could enjoy it and not worry about revisions. He recommended I write fan fiction so it wouldn’t even be a temptation. I heard his words but didn’t listen (sorry DH!).
When Mariah Avix over at 600 Second Saga reminded me that creating was important, too, it really hit home. Guess DH had to soften my thick skull up first.
Talk to Someone (and Listen!)
It really helped to hear other people remind me how important creating was. How there is more to the process than the end product. Sometimes the process itself is important.
And I love creating new characters, new conflicts, and finding a way to have them conquer it and live happily ever after. Yeah, romance writer here. You can tell.
I had lost perspective of that. And I hadn’t spent much time fleshing out new characters in months.
And, er, well, listen when people tell you something, even if you don’t want to hear it. (Sorry, DH!)
This, honestly, helped. Way more than I thought it would. I picked new-to-me-authors, and while I really disliked some of what I read, I really liked others. Or parts of others. The reading in and of itself helped a little. Hearing a new voice has it pros, but the way my brain works when I read is that I no longer “see” the words on the page. So I don’t learn much on the craft piece just by reading. What I do learn more about is storytelling, but only when I ask why. Why did I like or dislike a heroine? Why was I bored and skimming through sections? How did an author craft a believable romance versus one that made me roll my eyes? What did I like about a hero that made him memorable? What parts of the steamy scenes drew me in? Bored me? Made me skim them to get them over with?
I am going to try to keep up with reading more, even if it means writing less. We’ll see if I still feel this way in a couple of weeks, but I am hoping it helps with the quality of my writing (and revising).
Besides, I love a good book.