a little note to my writer-self

Remember this conversation I had a few weeks ago with my crit partner? Well I have to face her and the others tonight. In the last six days, I’ve not discovered more about Krums or Sophi or their stories. This is because I’ve not listened for them or written or sketched or jotted or anything. I can’t pinpoint exactly why, but I think I need to figure it out before I have to face my writing group tonight. I’m afraid Ruth’s sinister approach to my writing life may be contagious.

Here is what I started in my notebook —

One week since I’ve worked on this story. It’s not even that I’ve not had time, more like I’ve not taken the time. It’s hard. No, not whining, just stating a fact. It’s hard and I’m not sure what I’m doing and I wonder if I’m wasting my time.

So at some point I have to decide if it’s a story worth writing. Is it a story I need to tell? Is it a story that matters? Who will read it and will it make a difference?

If it is worth it, then I know I can finish. I’ll stick with it and find my way through. If it’s not, then what? Clean the house? Watch TV? Twiddle my thumbs?

I think the more pertinent questions are:

  • Why does Krums’ story matter?
    Why does Soph’s story matter?
  • What do I want to know or understand about the way families work?
  • What do I want to learn about relationships?
  • Why are Krums and Sophia important to each other?
  • Why do I need to tell this story?
I’ll keep you posted…

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  1. OK–we really are on the same wavelength. I have characters in my head with a story to tell. But I guess they aren't ready to talk yet, because I haven't yet put pen to paper–other than writing down all I know about them. I keep thinking they are waiting for their friends.

    There's a little fear factor there too. Who would want to read what I write? What makes me think I'm good enough—yesterday's post!

    I think we both need to press on!

  2. Your writing always makes a difference to this reader. I wonder if you have taken a break because part of you knows that there was some truth in what Ruth (the other one) said to you (I am getting no kickbacks from Ruth for this comment-although I miss her posts and maybe getting on her good side is a way to coax her back to slicing from her sofa). Perhaps part of your process as a writer is to take a break from the actual writing and marinate in the pieces of story you have created so far. Just because you haven't listened to the characters' voices doesn't mean they haven't been in your head all this time.

  3. I ran across the Virginia Woolf quote below on Laurie Halse Anderson's site the other day. I'm at the same place with a story of mine. I keep avoiding it because doubt has crept in. I agree with Linda's comment – we don't know if it is worth writing till it is written, but I think really (for me) this is a tangent question to a deeper black hole of an issue. I like to plan out the structure of a thing first – perhaps it is a control issue – but now I have come to a part without a completed plan and trusting that if I sit down to listen and write that something will happen…well that is where my fear lives at the moment. But if Viginia Wolfe had to plow through doubt what makes me think I should have a muse that blows kisses everyday:

    “It is worth mentioning, for future reference, that the creative power which bubbles so pleasantly in beginning a new book quiets down after a time, and one goes on more steadily. Doubts creep in. Then one becomes resigned. Determination not to give in, and the sense of an impending shape keep one at it more than anything.” Virginia Woolf

    O.K. Now I'm going to stop reading all these wonderful blogs and go write 🙂 I can't wait to hear more about why Krums and Sophia matter to each other.

  4. Thank you for writing so honestly about your writing process. I completely identify with what you're struggling through and although I wish you didn't have to battle through it also, it's comforting to know I'm not alone! I look forward to all your posts. 🙂