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‘Fess up Friday … Write on Wednesday, all rolled into one

July 12, 2008

Of course I have to start with a fun photograph.

Handsome herron on Galway Bay.

I can only blame myself. Too many things going on, and then there is the seductive allure of the internet. Have you ever gotten lost in a large woods? I find myself on a main path, looking for something specific. I get distracted and turn off the main trail, and lose track of the first, and then turn off on another….. Pretty soon I am in the middle of the woods and I don’t know how to get home. Maybe taking breadcrumbs along….

This ‘Fessin-up-Friday sponsored by The Literate Kitten is also a Write-on Wednesday, sponsored by Becca, all being published on Saturday. I think you start to get the idea.

Confessions first.

1. I finished an edit of (and came up with a working title) On the Court With No Shoes. No, sorry, there are no sports involved. After completing this edit, I realized I must rewrite the ending climax. It is blech. My post of 7/8/08 helped me figure that out. Back to the drawing board.
2. Wrote a query letter for above WIP and sent it out to one agent. Said agent is a great guy, and already sent me a polite reject letter. This was done to prime the engine. One down, who knows how many to go!
3. Wrote (very rough draft) a synopsis for WIP. I hate, hate, hate, writing these. They are either too short and include nothing, or end up being a novella themselves. I struggle.
4. Completed a short memoir (1000-2000) words to submit to A Cup of Comfort (series rather like the Chicken Soup stuff). Must edit now for August 1st deadline. It is at 1,924 words right now, so there is room to delete and add what is needed when I revise.
5. Blogged far too much. I don’t like being addicted to anything, so this is bothering me. I may have to take a forced break…..
6. Reading must count! The Watchman by Robert Crais (I love Elvis Cole – who couldn’t, with a name like that), The Chemistry of Death by Simon Beckett (just found him… really left you hanging with this one, I can’t wait for book three in series), Fearless Fourteen by Janet Evanovich (I thought 12 and 13 rather lacked in the out-loud-people-think-you-are-crazy belly laughs, but this one served up nicely), Written in Bone by Simon Beckett (first in the series), and The Tenth Gift by Jane Johnson (greatly enjoyed, but with some reservation about the author trying to teach me history at the same time). I am planning to review one of these and post the review this weekend. Obviously, I had a lot of fun reading during the past week and a half.

Raining. Again. Warning – path to garage under water – wear your wellies.

Now to get to the question posted by Becca on Write on Wednesday.

Do you ever feel the need to jump start your writing? What drains the energy from your “writing mind”? What do you do when your creative battery dies?

I have the opposite problem. I usually have too many things going. That may be the key, however, to the dead battery. When I start to flag on one project, there is always another to turn to. This is a kind of a relief for me, and keeps me going. For instance:

Friday morning, I researched some agents and of course many agents request a synopsis with the query letter. As noted earlier, with vehemence, I do not care to write synopses. Gotta do what you gotta do, though. I wrote a synopsis. It was torture, but I wrote it. It was not a final draft, by any means, but it was at least roughly done. Congratulations, Qu. Now you can do something else. What a relief! So, I went on to something else, and rewrote a scene for the current WIP. Done. Put WIP away. Congrats, Qu! For your reward, you can work on a different project. Phew!

I read a couple blogs and wrote to the bloggers – short little comments to let them know I appreciate their writing. That could go on forever, there are so many great blogs. One just has to STOP at some point.

Next, I got to read. Super treat!! And walk the dog, and figure out dinner. After that, I was really good to myself and wrote something new. I didn’t have to go back and torture myself on anything I already worked on earlier in the day. It was so hard to decide, though: should I write a memoir piece, or a query for a history magazine, or, or, or, or. So many topics, so little time. I don’t feel guilty about not writing, because I am the only one who says I have to. My kids don’t depend on it, my checkbook doesn’t depend on it, and the fish in the pond don’t depend on it. I write for myself, so there is no pressure. I suppose it might be different if I had to write….

As far as my advice, or at the very least, my method of solving the dead battery problem: switch to a different vehicle. You don’t have to drive the same thing all the time; break it up occasionally.

Once again, I have to refer to the very timely post from the WOW – Women on Writing Blog, Friday, July 11, 2008. They suggest the writer take a little time every day to write. Don’t worry about huge blocks of time, they don’t necessarily work that well. I find I do have an issue with the time thing. During the summer, when I do not work, I am successful with my large chunk of time. During the school year, I bemoan having bits and pieces of time, and fear I will lose the flow of thought. I will take the advice from WOW to heart this fall.

I leave you with this thought:

Terra Firma says, “There is no problem a nap and a dish of ice cream won’t solve.” I concur.

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. July 13, 2008 3:56 am

    Enjoy ALL the pictures here, but Tera Firmawins the heart! So does your advice about “driving a different vehicle.”

  2. July 13, 2008 4:35 am

    She is a sweetie, isn’t she? Don’t come on my porch if you are wearing a uniform, however. Mail and UPS people are NOT welcome at our house. Unless, of course, they were clever enough to bring a dish of Leon’s vanilla custard with them.

    Thanks for commenting, Oh. As far as different vehicles: sometimes I walk!!

  3. July 13, 2008 2:54 pm

    This was wonderful to read! I sympathasise and empathise. I write and write and write! It pours out! But rarely do drafts! (Bad! I know!) I find when I re-work writing it somehow loses its sparkle! But that’s me. And I have switched to a different vehicle! My camera takes my writing into very strange places at times!

  4. July 13, 2008 6:58 pm

    Thanks, Gemma. I understand how easy it is to lose the “sparkle” when you rework something.
    A change of vehicle? That’s great – I love photography, too, and find it gets me thinking about what I see in a new way. I am glad you visited.

  5. July 13, 2008 11:16 pm

    I enjoyed this very much, especially since I can so relate to feeling a bit scattered of late. Reading has to count, I think! Also, Edward is quite smitten with Terra Firma! Lovely photograph, as yours always are! Stay dry!

  6. July 13, 2008 11:38 pm

    Thanks for visiting, Pamela. It is sunny, breezy and dry today. Heavenly.

    Terra thinks Edward is one handsome dude, too!

    I am giving my writer’s brain a hiatus today. A little internet fun, read a mystery, and go for lots of walks with the pup. Tomorrow is another day! Maybe I won’t be “scattered” then.

  7. July 14, 2008 12:24 am

    Quigrainne, I enjoyed this so much, and I’m really quite impressed with all you’ve done this week. Preparing query letters and synopses scare the dickens out of me, and the fact that you’ve done both (and sent one off!) is cause for rejoicing.

    And I was totally energized by your response to Write On Wednesday. I love the notion of “trying a different vehicle” when creative energy is low. I certainly have enough projects on the go to do that!

    Thanks so much for contributing this great post!

  8. July 14, 2008 1:06 am

    I always love to read about other writer’s schedules. You amaze me by how much you get done, Qugrainne! I am so impressed by your productivity. For myself, I can only write for about two hours each day, but I feel bad if I don’t write for two hours each day. After that time, I go off the boil, if you see what I mean. But it all stacks up eventually. And I like having a couple of projects on the go, because just as you say, if one isn’t going anywhere you can always swap! But don’t blog any less if you can help it – it’s a great warm-up or cool-down exercise.

  9. July 14, 2008 2:17 am

    Hi Becca. Query letters and synopsis scare the heck out of me too. There outa be a law against them! The synopsis is very rough yet, but at least something is on paper now, to work from.

    More projects? That’s great – jump out of that Trans Am and …. whatever!

    Hi Litlove. I am “cheating” when I get a lot done…. since I am not working and my children are old enough to be self sufficient (other than the odd meal or ride) I have all day to do whatever I please. Once summer break is over, it will be a different story.

    Off the boil – I guess it is a British term! Never heard it before – great analogy.

    Blog less? Ha, I am trying, to no avail.

  10. July 17, 2008 9:34 pm

    This is a great post, and I loved visiting your writing room in the one above. And thanks for coming to visit The Marmelade Gypsy! I know what you mean about too many things being the key to the dead battery! And I’m so with you on the difference between time in summer and other times of the year! Yes! I’ll be back!

  11. July 18, 2008 5:41 am

    Thanks for visiting, Jeanie. If only summer could last nine months, and the school year were three. There would be no burnout!! I’ll be back to the Marmelade Gypsy – great name. I adore marmelade!

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