The Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog–Eureka!


This month, Lydia is in the driver’s seat of our blogs’ travels. (Be sure to check out her blog next week for her response!)

Here’s her question:

What’s your most recent “a-ha” moment in writing?

My answer:

Needless to say, there have been MANY “a-ha!” moments over the past two years as I’ve traveled novel writing’s incredibly steep learning curve. And they’ve all been emotion-laden, angst-ridden tumultuous discoveries.

BUT, the realization that I REALLY–yes, REALLY–needed to take my time learning and practicing and honing my craft allowed me to just. Let. Go.

That’s right.

Just. Let. Go.

Sure, there’s pressure to get my story out there. Grab up that awesome agent before someone else gets to ’em. Circumvent the years long waiting that most other writers experience. I mean, can’t I be as lucky as Stephenie Meyer and go from unknown to published in six months?

Um, that would be a resounding, NO!

But ya know what?

I found out I CAN’T rush it. Words needed time to cure. Mature. Settle. When I rushed and glossed over the, ahem, not so good parts, I ended up accepting them as “good enough.”

Then I realized several months later: No. They’re. Not.

Rushing got me nowhere.

Crap.

It was time to take a breath and ssslloooww dddoowwwnn.

I needed time for my ideas to develop, for my betas to mull over what I’ve sent them, for the scales of newbie-ism to fall from my eyes so I can see the subtleties of strong writing.

Bottom line: Taking time is important. Resisting the urge to rush through is key. Listening to my mind, heart, and betas is crucial. Pondering my options while ignoring the clock is freeing.

Try it, friends. You’ll see.

A-ha!

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8 comments on “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog–Eureka!

  1. Amparo Ortiz says:

    This has been the toughest lesson I’ve learned! Slowing down puts SO MUCH in perspective. Many writers think they’re doing themselves a disservice if they don’t rush through their writing and send out queries like the world is ending. I’m glad I’ve been fortunate enough to know that it’s not always about the destination, but the journey (cue cheesy music!).

    P. S. You just won an award on my blog, Laura!!! Woot! Congrats!

  2. Ly says:

    That is sooooo true. Wow, did you just nab my idea for next week’s post? Ha ha, just kidding.

    I have to tell myself this all the time, especially about that “this part is good enough, right?” aspect of things. It takes time, and that drives me crazy, but it has to be.

  3. Christine Fonseca says:

    Such a great lesson though…VERY VERY VERY GOOD JOB!!!

  4. Just had this thought this morning. I actually decided not to block out whole chapters to do when I sat down to write; instead, I now plan to just write forward – as far as I get, no matter if I’ve completed the chapter or not. Sure, it’ll take me longer to finish, but then again, maybe this easier, more fluid writing goal will make it move along just fine. We’ll see! Great answer!!

  5. Lindsay says:

    Great post. I think taking your time is excellent advice.

  6. Indigo says:

    I’ve always said you can’t force words. For one – they sound just like that forced. I agree take the time to let the story flow and you’ll save far more time in the long run with revisions. (Hugs)Indigo

  7. Just. Let. Go.

    This must be the hardest thing for a new writer to do. We all want to get it out there, get it published. I know it’s hard for me to wait. Le sigh.

    Great post!

  8. Laura, my half-Lakota mother told me over and over again, “Roland, you must learn to be patient or you will become one.”

    The Irish part of me wants to roar into action with my novel. My Lakota teaching whispers to pull back, get a sense of my surroundings, of the interior of my hero’s mind, of my antagonist’s flaws and ambitions. It’s hard but I work to understand before I act.

    If I do not understand the why of my novel, I will muddle the what of it. I have a tongue-in-cheek post where I describe how a cork board has saved the novels of many a friend who followed my advise. “Meet The Dali-Rama.”

    Here’s the link if you have the time and the inclination to read the scribblings of a man half-listening to William James and half-listening to Lakota wisdom.

    http://rolandyeomans.blogspot.com/2010/05/meet-dali-rama.html

    You have a lovely, intelliegent, and creative blog. Thanks for letting me visit, Roland

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