When I asked for help with my writing dilemma in my last post, the online response was quick and effective, from comments here to email to Twitter to Facebook. And then I had a terrific session with the writers and instead of deconstructing my pages, we talked about the overall picture of how this last part of the book is going to play out. My critique group, Tom, Bob & Vernie, plus a bunch of other people, handed me back my happiness yesterday. Thank you!
Right away the group figured out that it’s one book, not two, so whew, although they are in favor of me putting the murder plot first. Surprise! My reunited high school sweethearts as subplot? They are almost fully written and I’m just now getting into the murder plot, wrote a scene yesterday morning instead of moaning in my diary again. Personal life sorted. At least for now.
Suggestion from a reader: “Write first thing” is something I have always done but just lately I’ve been writing a lot of journal entries. Some personal turmoil has me questioning everything about my life (even writing!) and my private diary is the place I take that kind of problem until I can resolve it. In the past six months I have probably written a novel’s worth of journal entries. Yeah, 300 or so pages. I’m ready to stop now, or at least defer writing in the diary until I get the novel pages written FIRST THING.
Sometimes I know stuff, but I just need someone to remind me. I love a Facebook friend’s suggestion: hire someone to clean my house until the book is done. Why didn’t I think of that myself? I’ve done that before when life got super-busy. I’m doing it again now for sure.
Figure out what I can stop doing just for now, not forever. Right now, I can stop journaling so much and get back to the novel. And hire a cleaner.
Keep dance and meditation because they are important and will help the writing. Too many times I’ve let important things like mind/body health issues fall by the wayside as I push through a particularly busy period of my life. Not this time. The writing will be better if I feel good.
Make writing top priority just for now, not forever. I like to say “people first, writing second” but right now the people in my life are my students. I’ve got 60 of them. I’ve got the people first thing covered. More than. So I can take the first hour, at least, of my day just for myself.
Consider writing at night. Never say never, especially if I write longhand in a notebook.
Butt in seat, baby. Basic writers’ mantra. Our “just do it” slogan.
Get rid of the idea that the story needs to have a happy ending. Switch it up! The day before this suggestion came in, even before I wrote my post asking for help, someone sent me an article about the different ways that stories can end. It was fascinating, and I’ll post more about it soon, but the synchronicity of it coming in at the exact right time feels like a blessing.
So I’m all set and thank you. Hope some other writers searching for answers found help here, too. And yes, wrote my pages first thing this morning. And yesterday morning, too. There’s always time, if you make it. Knowing that people want to help, that’s happiness knocking on my door.