I started Chapter 10 this week. I started Chapter 10 this week. I started Chapter 10 this week.
And that’s all I have to say about that.
However, I did manage to have two very useful conversations about the writing process. One with Courtney who very kindly listened to my moans and complaints and self-doubt and said many useful things along the lines of “Get on with it”, and the other with my main cheerleader who listened carefully and made sensible suggestions as I talked through where the story is going and my characters’ motivations. Thank you both! You made me feel a little less lonely and scared.
I think thinking about writing is harder than doing it. When I’m thinking about it, I’m in imperative mode. I should, I should, I should. But when I’m actually writing, I am usually in a happy place of flow. It’s a bit like the difference between thinking about doing yoga (Oh, I really should) and doing it (God, this feels good).
On the topic of writing feeling good, here’s an excerpt from Susan O’Doherty’s post today:
Writing can be arduous, terrifying work, even when it goes well. The submission process can be intimidating and even humiliating, and publication itself is often a minefield. Yet we keep going, and not because we’re masochists.
This week, two writer clients articulated the benefits they derive from the act of writing. The first, a gifted nonfiction writer who grapples with clinical depression, reported that she had recently completed two long blog posts after an extended period of being unable to focus. “I feel better when I’m writing,” she said, “even physically. It’s as good as swimming laps at the Y.”
The second is struggling to find the time to revise her brilliant novel. She is pressed by tight deadlines as well as by a number of family and business crises that drain her time and energy. Yet she reports feeling nourished, rather than stressed, by her rushed writing sessions: “Writing, I’m my best self,” she said. “I like the person I am when I’m working well.”
These are hard times for nearly everyone I know. Amid all of the anxiety and despair, it may be helpful to reflect on how fortunate we are that, unlike, say, alcoholics or gamblers, the thing we are driven to do may also be the best thing for us.
Writing is the best thing for me. As my friend JP said in one of his posts this week, it’s not about the outcome but about the journey. I also like who I am when I’m writing.
So my goal for this coming week is to take Courtney’s advice and try getting up early to write instead of leaving till night when I’m exhausted, and to make some notable progress on Chapter 10.
And to enjoy the full endorphin rush of it.