Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Writing is easy. Writing well is hard.

I've learned again, after 30 years.

Writing for me is easy -- writing well is hard.

I don't know how it is for other writers. But that's the way if it for me. I think earlier in my life , I simply plunged into the process, not really knowing what I was doing. It was a series of starts and stops and reboots, and throwing stuff away and completely starting over again, and rewriting the same damn page 2o times (On a Typewriter!!!!) I didn't have any kind of system. Writing -- and rewriting and more rewriting -- and writing, all of it was mixed together.

So the process was all messy and muddy and I think I stepped on my own toes a lot.

So...this time, I'm trying to apply all those lessons I learned back then. Finish the first draft, write the jigsaw puzzle as it comes to me, find a balance between inspiration and knuckling down and writing without inspiration.

I think the work habits are terribly important. I could get away with being so stupidly inefficient with my time 30 years ago because I was unemployed, and unengaged with people, and I thought of myself as a writer, and if I flailed around, so what? That was writing.

I know the point will come when it will start to get messy -- I may have reached that point this weekend, but until that moment is for sure, I'm going to try to stick to my writing plans.

I'm trying to impose order on the chaos that used to be my writing process -- without stepping on my creative flow.

Way back, I figured out my writing process was self-defeating and I tried to figure out systems of dealing with the problem, but most everything I came up with seem to block my writing. Especially things like "outlines."

So, I've got a rough idea of doing this in three major layers.

1.) I write the first draft and brainstorm. Just write it and see where it goes.

2.) Second draft will be trying to pull all the brainstorming and snippets and continuity together, while at the same time improving the writing. Try to add depth to the characters, descriptions and mood.

3.) Write a third draft where I concentrate on smoothing out the rough edges, making it seamless and flowing, and trying to polish the writing.

I'm still in the first stage, so I'm not sure whether I can achieve the second and third stages. Like I said, I think it will probably get messy the further into the story I am.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Writing is easy.

Writing from the heart is hard.

Writing without fear from your community or government is hard.

Writing without fear is hard.

Writing for a fast buck is not easy, but is the general malaise.