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Time to Write



Recently I stumbled across a blog post on "How to develop a story for your novel". The blog's title says it all for me: 'Time to Write'.

To backtrack a little, I spent the spring and summer packing up my house. Writing took a back seat, as did visits to the dentist (my abscess tooth moldered in my mouth for a full two months), and anything that didn't have to do with Moving House.

It struck me that this is a pattern I've cultivated in order to avoid loathsome tasks. My mantra had become: focus on one thing, to the exclusion of all else. Did writing a novel fall into the 'loathsome task' category? I thought so, until I spent a Sunday morning, recently, surfing the net. Before I knew it, I had read a dozen blogs - all of them were writers' blogs, as it turned out, instead of the self-help, motivational ones that leave me feeling more drained of motivation than anything.

But after reading Jurgen Wolff's practical tips on getting unstuck and moving forward with your novel, I realized that writing a novel isn't what I'm avoiding in my life.

It's the feelings of not measuring up, not being good enough, and therefore being unworthy. It's the pain that follows on the heels of these feelings that's kept me from the keyboard.

Jurgen Wolff has made it easier to stick my toe in the water. I don't need to plunge headlong into the deep end.

Instead, I can start at the beginning. He suggests asking the question, What if? Start with the bare bones of your character's life and flesh out a few possible scenarios.

"Sometimes at the end of a string of "what if" explorations you end up with a totally different character or story than you started with. That's fine, you're just playing around to explore and you keep going until you have a story you will enjoy writing and people will enjoy reading."
In other words, what if I could have fun with it?

5 comments:

Jurgen Wolff said...

Hi Maureen, I hope you DO have fun with it! Thanks for mentioning my blog. You might also like my book, "Your Writing Coach"--what I've found is that mastering the craft of writing is only half the battle for most people. The other half is about self-confidence and courage. But going small steps at a time and being playful often overcome the harsh inner critic most of us carry around with us! best wishes and let me know how you get on! - Jurgen Wolff

Maureen Lee said...

Hi Jurgen, thanks for visiting my blog! I will certainly check out your book, "Your Writing Coach", as I'm currently not a member of a writing group and like most writers, I spend most of my time battling the effects of negative self-talk. Thanks for your comment, and I will let you know how I get on. :)

beachbaby said...

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Priscilla said...

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Buffi Neal said...

Great advice and a fresh look at avoidance. I also tend to focus all energy on one thing and drop everything else.
-Buffi
My Wonderfully Dysfunctional Blog

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