Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Enjoy the process

I woke up this morning, thinking about characters and how they always manage to say the right thing. I pictured Oscar winning scenes where phrases were spoken only to be interrupted by someone agitatedly mumbling, No, in the background. The scene would rewind and something else would spring from the actor's lips. This time, paper would crumple and a lamp would break behind the scenes. The process would repeat without ceasing, building to a wailing crescendo.

Putting the perfect words in characters' mouths is not easy. I wonder how many versions of, "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn." did Margaret Mitchell go through before settling on that phrase? I can't imagine anything else having the same affect. What I realized is, this all takes time. Yes, some scenes happen faster than others, but when it doesn't, that's okay.

Yesterday, I had a nice chat with someone who reminded me of this. I have been in a 'writer's funk', not a nice place to be. As she pointed out, the only way out of this is to ignore things like expectations and market dictates. I need to write what I love. So, while it is important to put the right words on paper, and in our characters mouth, it is more important to enjoy the process.

I plan to daily remind myself of the following: I will no longer worry about word count, the number of hours spent at my computer, or if I am on the first draft or the fiftieth. (Well, maybe a little concern if I'm on the fiftieth.) I plan to enjoy my characters and settings. I will write the type of book I enjoy reading. If that isn't popular, so what? I've never been one to follow the status quo.

Thanks, Jen for reminding me of the reason I began writing.


jerrica said...

Carol, I'm so glad I stopped by your blog tonight! What a great post! I'm on a bit of deadline and I've been on a roll for the last almost 2 weeks! But -today- I've been struggling. So, I decided to procrastinate by trolling my favorite people's blogs. Yours was the first I visited and this was just the message I needed! Now, back to work :)

Carol A. Spradling said...

Hi Jerrica,

YAY!! I'm glad to have helped. It is so easy to full into a funk. We need each other to regain our footing.