I’ve been taking y’all with me through the early creative process of writing a book. I’m not saying that anyone else will pass through these same steps or in this same order, but that some of the steps of creativity may resonate with you. And I’m late posting today because I’ve been rewriting and have also been distracted.
First the distraction part. Distraction is a part of a writer’s life because we have to have a life. We have to have something going on outside of the writing or we go seriously wonky. Some writers turn to drink or drugs or other vices. Some get caught up in a writers block that feels like the Hoover dam. Some get physically sick. (I chose the physically sick route when I closed out the world and am still paying the price.) So we have to have distractions, i.e.: a life.
I love my family and don’t mind stopping my writing to be a help to them. Not at all. But it *is* a distraction and at some points in a manuscript, in the creative process, it is difficult to deal with.
Today, mom needed computer help. She had lost a file she had worked on for two days, and I volunteered to help her find it, and to set up her work in a better filing system on her PC tree. Before I even got started on my own writing, I was at mom’s house trying to find anything that might be the file she had lost. No such luck. And organizing her filing system in her PC will take me most of one day. Mom is a packrat, and even her PC shows it. OMG. So, after more than an hour, I had to back off and go home.
To the day’s email. Another distraction. And then lunch. Another distraction. And clothes in the washer. Distraction. You get the idea.
About 1:30 p.m. I started the day’s writing with a rewrite of the work from the day before. This is the way I usually work, starting with the previous stuff to get me in the mood, remind me where I am in the plotline, get me going. And I had screwed up. (big sigh…)
A writer wants to take a scene from point A to point B to point C and so on, like a river flows, always forward. But I had gotten stuck in a… well, a hole. In paddling parlance a *hole* is a recirculating hole, a place just downstream of a drop where an obstruction at the bottom of the drop ( a big rock, maybe) makes the water roll back over itself over and over again, recirculating and not moving on, except out the bottom, after what—or who—ever is stuck in it gets really well worked. Some holes are called keepers. Meaning that once in, you don’t get out very well. Paddlers die in keepers. It’s scary and so I avoid holes. I paddle away from them, around them, anywhere but through them.
But in my writing yesterday, I got caught in a recirculating hole. And I didn’t notice. My scene started, paused, started again, paused went sideways, and started again. There was a beginning or three or four and an ending, but no continuity. It was an amateur mistake. (another big sigh…)
Today, so far, I have spent hours rewriting the scene from yesterday. Best bet is that I’ll have to go over it again this week, but I’m not looking at that possibility right now. I made a mistake yesterday. I’ve fixed it. Now I have to get today’s page count done. Somehow the rewrite gave me a page, leaving only 6 to write today. It will be a long day. But I *will* get it done. I freaking hate holes….