Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Back On Track

Lindy blogged yesterday about the value of taking a break from our works in progress and engaging in  physical labor to help renew our creative perspective. That's what I did over spring break and the week after, as I made some improvements to my home and cleaned up the messes I made. But yesterday, after another Monday came and went and, despite promises to the contrary, I did not get started on my novel revision, I went into panic mode. Yes, I was busy and tired and a little under the weather. What else is new? Truth be told, I was no more overwhelmed than I usually am. What was really stopping me from digging into a project I am ultimately very excited about?

I do have a theory. After all, I have already revised this manuscript once. And even though the raw materials are there, this round is more of a rewrite than a revision. I am returning to my roots as a women's fiction writer, changing key elements of character and plot, striving to do more showing and less telling and to go deeper with point of view. This time, I really want to GET IT RIGHT. That's a lot of pressure.

Thanks, Pat, for the picture.

Regardless, this morning I decided to stop making excuses. Encouraged by all the supportive comments I got on my blog post yesterday - thanks, everybody! - and with several empty hours miraculously stretched out in front of me, I determined that I wasn't going to let another day go by without writing. If only I could come up with that first sentence. For inspiration, I went downstairs and pulled book after book off my shelves, reading the opening lines of some of my favorite novels. Then I came back upstairs and went through the comments Carla Fredd made on my submission to the Gin Ellis Critique Workshop. Finally, I settled upon a starting point and pecked out the first paragraph. It isn't perfect. But it is closer than I have ever been.

Suddenly, out of nowhere I remembered Suzanne Brockmann talking about deep point of view in her presentation at the March Georgia Romance Writers meeting. I referred to my notes, but was unable to locate a link she mentioned being on her website. I did, however, find a great interview with her in which she discusses the topic, among others that are near and dear to my heart. I copied this quote onto a purple index card and tacked it to the middle of my bulletin board.

The only difference between a published author and an unpublished author is that the published author never quit.

To read the rest of the interview, click HERE.

Better armed and in the proper frame of mind, I forged ahead. At that point, I had only about an hour left to write. Still, I managed a total of 722 words for the day - just a little more than a couple of pages, to be sure, but I am hoping that now that I am started, the process will go a bit faster. Also, I sent my work to Lindy, who said it is "much punchier than before" and that she "loved it."

A little praise goes a long way.

As soon as I post this, I am going to take my allergy meds, curl up in bed with my Kindle and a glass of shiraz, and read for a while. I plan to be sound asleep before midnight, and up at dawn, back to work on the novel of my heart.

Wish me luck!

21 comments:

Kate said...

Good luck, Pam! It is really hard to get back into something when you've left it for a while, no matter how much you want to get it done. But you've made a start and that's what counts. Don't push yourself too hard and you'll probably find your enthusiasm returns. I hope so.

unstoppablestart said...

Keep going, girl! Good Luck! And, yes, I loved, loved, loved the pages. - Lindy

Pam Asberry said...

You are right, Kate - now that I have started, I feel like I know where I am headed, and I can't wait to get back to work this morning. Thanks for your encouragement!

Pam Asberry said...

Thanks, Lindy! I will be sending you more pages soon! :-)

Will Welsh said...

Good luck, Pam! After reading this post, perhaps I'll find my motivation to get started on my revisions!

Pam Asberry said...

I hope so, Will! That's what writer friends are for!

S.M. Carrière said...

You don't need luck. You have everything you need already! You can do it!

Pam Asberry said...

Thanks, S.M. I needed that. Time to get offline and back to work!

Melissa Marsh said...

Yay! Good for you! So glad you were able to get some writing done. After we've been away from our work for awhile, it always seems intimidating to start back up.

Eric Asberry said...

Chugga, chugga, CHOO! CHOO!

EEV said...

Hi Pam! Thanks for the links, and good luck keeping motivated! As for me, I started reading my MS again. Couldn't refrain from editing! Let's see if this breaks this spell of writer's laziness - I mean, block, I've been having... LOL
- EEV

LisaAnn said...

Woohoo!! So glad you got the creative juices flowing again!! :)

Pam Asberry said...

Melissa, you are so right. That's why I always say if you must miss one day of work, don't make it two, because two tends to turn into a week, and the next thing you know a month has gone by. At least that's the way it is for me. But now that I am back to work, I'm going to do my best not to break the chain!

Pam Asberry said...

Eric, I think I can! :-)

Pam Asberry said...

EEV, you go, girl! :-)

Pam Asberry said...

Thanks, Lisa Ann! You have no idea how much it helps knowing that people I never met before are out there cheering me on!

Eric Asberry said...

I KNOW you can! :D

Julee J. Adams said...

Nah, it was the threat of me coming down there that made you get back to it, right?

I've been a lazy bum recently, not overtaken with life like you. Gotta get going and while I've written pages and pages of notes, I've got to get it all in the computer. Can't let you get too far ahead of me, can I? You'll be coming up here to kick my butt. Go, girl and I'm grateful for your support system.

Pam Asberry said...

I would LOVE it if you would come down here, Julee! You should plan a long weekend in Atlanta and go to a GRW meeting with me! But if you need me to come up to Indiana and kick your @$$, I certainly will! Regardless, we gotta keep pushing!

Tami Brothers said...

Cute picture, Pam. You look very intense.

Most writers will tell you this is a very tough stage to get through. Before you had that urge to get every thought and idea down on paper and then move onto the next section. Now, you have to beat each section to death until it is just right. Tough to do and one that I find is the toughest phase for me.

I'm very impressed that you are taking such a great attitude about it all. I'm sure you will do a wonderful job and be just as enthusiastic with your next idea.

Tami

Pam Asberry said...

Tami, my friend Pat took that picture while she was visiting. I had no idea! But that's what I look like a lot of the time! You are right; this is a tough phase. At this point I have revised about 16 pages of the second draft, cutting about 6 in the process. It barely resembles the original! But I guess that's how it works. And it's exciting; when I get a sentence or a paragraph just right, I know it, and that feels just great. Thanks for stopping by and for your encouragement. You are a great example for me to follow!