Sunday, April 9, 2017

Write like nobody's going to read it.

I love this book more
every time I write it and
my book knows it
.
Recently, I was talking to my husband about the novel I began submitting a couple of years ago, and then put on hold pending I don't know what; maybe one of those epiphanies I have when I'm applying mascara.   
I just stopped sending it out. 

It didn't seem worth the trouble.

But, it didn't seem right to desert it, either.
"Why don't you take out everything that wasn't fun to write and start over?" asked my husband. 
As many of you know, I have been writing this novel for – I'm not kidding – ten years. 
It is my third. It has been the most difficult to write. It is the most well written. It was the least fun to write and rewrite and rewrite again. 
The first novel was squeaky clean. There was not a single F-word, not the hint of a sex scene. The plot, a stretch to begin with, was layered with so many contrived, improbable twists it was like one of those houses with too many additions that sprawl in all directions.  
The second novel was better but had "pacing" issues which, for a reader, is like a non-reader watching a moderately interesting two-hour movie for eight hours.   
But book 3, this is the one that has been there all along saying, "Hot! Warm, no, no, COLD! COLD! Here! I'm RIGHT HERE!"
I dance with it, I fight with it, I yell at it, I ask it what it wants from me, I stare at it, and then I say  "Maybe we need to take a break,"  and I put it away and think about non-fiction. 
I tell everyone I've-stopped-writing-fiction-and-this-time-I mean-it, and they look at me the way you look at someone who's finally broken up with an asshat and say,  "It's probably just as well." 
Then I write it some more. 
Why can't I stop?  
I took my husband's advice. I dumped a third of the book including characters that even I started to dislike as I wrote them. I started over, writing it like I was creating a movie one scene at a time. The process seemed too easy. It seemed novice. It seemed unsophisticated. 
But mostly, it was fun. 
It was fun to play with an idea, and not develop it, and then delete it. 
It was fun not to wonder who else would like this story. 

It was fun to write like nobody would read it. 
It was fun the way skiing or driving with the top down is. It doesn't make you richer or more attractive, it's just easy. You don't do it because you hope to be famous or competitive. You do it because it's fun.
It's fun. 
I've been having more fun than I expected to since that chat. I'm happier, I look better and have been laughing more. This made me think of people who don't have enough fun. Is that you?

If it is, consider this:
If you were told that a person you love needed to have more fun for their mental health, would you not do everything to be sure they did? You'd be creative. But you'd try. Because it was important.
Be the person you love, have fun before you forget what it feels like.

But mostly, have fun before it becomes not worth the trouble.


Love,
Susan 




2 comments:

  1. I tried to zoom in on the photo because I want to know the title. After I read that, I want to turn the page and keep going. No pressure of course, but as long as you've finally found your groove, hurry up.

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  2. Yay! A pre-fan! I'm on it, and trying to work on my distraction issues, but yes, I found the groove and the groove found me. Thank you for the encouragement!

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