“Why do I write? Perhaps in order not to go mad.”
Elie Wiesel

author: Nicole J. LeBoeuf

actually writing blog

From Typewriter To WordPerfect
Sat 2010-03-06 12:34:56 (in context)
  • 2,680 words (if poetry, lines) long

For two days running now I've rolled out of bed and up to the desk for two hours' solid fiction work. And I've learned at least two things about this process, thing which were true both this morning and yesterday and thus are likely to remain true going forward:

  1. It is the best way to start a day EVAR.
  2. By the time I'm done, I reek.
So. Hurray for early morning writing and hot water and soap!

Yesterday was spent at the typewriter finishing the new story, or the new from-the-head draft of old story, depending on how you want to think about it. Today was spent typing the first revision into WordPerfect 5.1. It changed a lot from the one draft to the next. The first part changed tense and, I hope, became more nuanced; the second part incorporated the worldbuilding that went on in my head while I was busy procrastinating. (While it's true that thinking about writing is not writing, it's also true that none of the time thinking about writing is wasted so long as one does, eventually, write.)

Then I sent it off to my critique group. Hitting the SEND button on that email magically unleashed all the feelings of inadequacy and self-loathing that until now I'd been successfully repressing. "Oh, Gods, talk about purple prose." "Everyone's going to go 'WHAAAAT?' when they get to this part." "Self-indulgent much?" "The use of that word there is a point-of-view problem." "I can't believe I let anyone see this dreck." You know how it goes.

But since the draft is done and it has been emailed out, I get to indulge these feelings. They're negative, sure, but they wash through and over and away. Meanwhile, just relaxing and letting my guard down against those feelings, which I couldn't do before if I wanted to ever finish writing the story, is a relief. Why? Well. There's a character in a book I love who discovers that her magical talent is to suppress magic in her immediate environs; when she arrives in a place with no magic at all, it's like this huge weight lifts off her shoulders. She hadn't realized how draining this involuntary function was until it was able to just stop. It's kind of like that. Negative feelings suck, but constantly patrolling the mental walls against them is exhausting. Until Wednesday, when it's time to listen to what everyone thinks of the story, I get to rest those defense mechanisms.

Which is about all the insight I've got to share this morning. So. Bonus links!

Why my blog
has no comments function

Summary: Because it's hard work. I know my limits, sometimes.

email