Monday, May 14, 2012

Put your heart in it.

The one thing I've realized this week is you have to have your heart in it. I love writing, but if my heart doesn't feel it, it shows (I know you can tell in some of my blog posts). You can see the difference. The new manuscript I'm working on has gotten me excited that I can move on and work on something else. This is something I've know before, but this one's different. The problem I'm having is I know where I want to go I just don't "see" it. When I say "see" it, I mean visualize in my head. I see things like movies, snippits of a scene that play over and over in my head. Sometimes they are so real that I begin to think they are signs from someone else's life, someone possibly who isn't living anymore, but I'm not going there.

Like I said, when I don't feel it it shows and it's scary. I know the feeling will pass because I've been through this before. My current MS had me super excited at first. It was rolling along. I had a loose outline, so I knew where things were going. Then I hit a bump. I worked through the snag, but writing is becoming a little awkward. I think maybe because it's a first draft (I've haven't written one in a year). I feel like some scenes are getting all the info down while others are just dialogue, looking like a skeleton. I think I'm trying to get it all in when I know I have rounds of revisions to do after. So, the answer is to keep moving and finding inspiration where ever I can. The other strange thing about this one is music. Usually, a song is to blame for a story to spark and with this one, nada, nothing. I'm almost dying to find music to match it to help me "see" it.

It's funny because when I wrote my first novel, I knew nothing--no rules, no crits, in a way, no pressure. I'm trying to find that again. To write it like I know nothing, getting the story out and then revise it with the critical eye. Getting back to innocence.

I know the common answer would be take a break, and yes, it does help, but I feel lost without writing anything or working on a project to get it to the next step. I try to give myself a deadline that way I can produce something.

How do you get your heart back in it?

I hope all you moms had a wonderful Mother's Day!!

Have a great day!


  1. It's so hard going from a polished draft to a rough draft. You have just to ignore the messiness! Good luck!

  2. I did the same with my current first draft. I forgot all the things that would be developed in later drafts, and just wrote to get the story down. And for once I wasn't concerned about telling. I told. A lot. I'll switch it to showing during the rewrites (and try not to groan while reading the first draft).

  3. I hit bumps all the time, after starting a new project. For me, I've realized that the thrill of the beginning is just that - the beginning. But the beginning comes to an end once it leads into the murky middle. Planning helps me--something I've only recently discovered about myself.

  4. it's hard for me, too, to forget all i know about writing and just write to get it out, and for the joy of it.

  5. I went through a dry spell. I guess you just have to find that one idea that jazzes you up.

  6. I just give myself little goals to reach, even if it just writing rubbish for 15 minutes on that day (no, really). That way the skeleton of the story gets down and I can improve from there. Good luck!

  7. I know what you mean- I just can't do it if my heart isn't in it. It's been like that lately for me- I just stare at my screen and can't form the words in my head to get me over that hump and onto the juicy stuff I would much rather be writing. I'm the same way with my first novel too- I had no idea what I was doing. Now that I do, and I am writing while thinking of what my crit partners will say or whatever, it's entirely different.

  8. Well, just a few suggestions:

    1. Brainstorm your way through the hard part by writing down everything you can think of that needs to happen, everything you want to happen, and problems with making it happen. See what appears on paper.

    2. Allow the first draft to stink. (I have a hard time with this, but sometimes you just have to move on and fix it later.)

    3. Consider that the reason you can't picture it is because you've taken a wrong turn. Maybe, in brainstorming, you'll discover that the story is meant to take a different path than you expected.

  9. Keep searching for that song--maybe one that doesn't have the best-fitting lyrics but feels the same as your idea. Music always helps me, too. I hope it comes together for you!

  10. My brain tends to be quite unreliable with the enthusiasm and general positivity, expecially early on. I think you have to be a little disciplined and keep working until the good vibes return, which they will.

    Moody Writing
    The Funnily Enough

  11. I hit bumps all the time, Christine. Usually, I simply move on to a different project (something simpler, like a picture book) and come back to the current one when inspiration strikes.

    But if inspiration doesn't strike on its own, I try to help it along. Go for a run (or a walk), take a shower, take a nap. Often I wake up with a new sentence in my head, or a new image that I know is meant to be in my current ms. It's usually all I need to get excited about it again and break through the brick wall.