I know what you’re going to say.
BAD Blogger. Bad, BAD Blogger!
You are justified. Life’s been nuts but that's nothing new.
With RWA Nationals a mere six weeks away, I’m getting uber excited and splurging on new luggage. A cute mid-sized, state-of-the-art thing that rolls like a Lamborghini and has a trillion interior pockets. (Yessss!)
A reward for work done during the radio silence, I’m proud to report that in the last month I've:
· Revised my current manuscript
· Fact-checked the MS details
· Worked out a pitch
· Framed out brand concepts
· Updated my website
· Considered new author photos… then went with the old author photos
· Read books on craft
· Drafted the new WIP
· Started on the finished MS synopsis.
Okay, more like air-stabbed the synopsis screen with a pen while going, “Rheet! Rheet! RHEET!”, but I consider that progress.
From what I’ve heard, many authors find the synopsis to be a challenge, and I must be a weirdo because I like the revisions phase better.
It’s the point where I get to fill in the gaps and flesh out the characters. Granted, you can write in the wrong direction sometimes and get stuck, but at least you have material to savage and work with the broken scenes.
With all this going on, in addition to my work and home responsibilities, time got away from me. More than flew, it wind-tunneled, which got me thinking.
Time is something you make, not the other way around.
When there’s so much to do, all of it requiring undivided attention, the clock slips away...
I felt like I needed more focus, and browsing my favorite book store I picked up a book on how to become more mentally disciplined. My Look-a-squirrel! attention span pleased to find a self-help guide that was only ninety-eight pages long.
Based on the new age premise of “staying present”, the book centered on the art of practice, of rehearsal. It talked about how all the activities that you’re skilled at are gained through time and applied effort.
You think of a child learning how to fold towels for the first time. A middle-schooler sitting at a piano, testing out the keys to the steady beat of a metronome.
When learning you’re allowed to experiment, to mess up.
The more a writer sits down and writes, the more skilled they become.
They ask the question, How could I best describe this? The everyday snapshots of life providing a writer the words, phrases and voice to tell a story.
A simple principle, it's easy to forget. We get busy, distracted.
And I sense a fear in writers sometimes. They get caught up in the expectation that their product be literary, admired, break-out-of-the-starting-gate, they forget that it's the application that makes the work good.
If you write everyday, about anything: The dog you saw out on a walk that morning. The flawless rose that just bloomed in your garden. The jerk who cut you off in line at the grocery store—the practice will make you better.
It made sense.
Once I made it past page sixty-six. *sheepish grin*
And I've pinned the lesson up in my mind while I walk through the maelstrom of publishing prep.
I want to entertain and engage readers. I want to be recognized and admired by my peers. I want the boons that come from all the hard work.
But first I must dream and tinker and write.
Because quality stems from practice.
- SNG :0)