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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Rumination and Revelation - IWSG

 This is my September post for Alex Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group.  It's all about writers helping writers here.  To read other participants, or to join in click here.  BTW, this is the TWO YEAR ANNIVERSARY of IWSG!  A big shout out to Alex and his co-hosts for making this happen each month!

Over my eight week writing course this summer, I learned a tidbit that has taken me for quite a ride.  Are you ready for this?  

Thinking is writing, too.  

On week days, I get up early so I can write for forty-five minutes in the morning before it's time to leave for work. I have to set an alarm or I’d still be sitting there at midnight. When it goes off,  I.  So.  Want. To. Keep. Going.  But I can’t.  I drag myself off to the place that pays our medical benefits, yearning to be back in front of my keyboard.  But it’s been better lately because I took home that little nugget from class.   

“The time you spend  thinking about your story counts,” our teacher said.  “If you can’t be writing, you can be thinking.”  

The story I’m working on has holes.  I’m aware of it.  Heeding the advice from class, I spent my insomniac hours, time behind the wheel and waiting in line at the grocery store, playing “what if?”  And last week, just as I was pulling my car into a parking space in front of work, the tumblers clicked into place and a missing piece revealed itself.  

Writing is so much more than words on a page.  Conjecture, research, daydreaming and formulating, they all matter too.  A story can’t come to life without all of the above.  Most recently, my morning writing has involved fleshing out what I learned this summer while thinking.

So scrap the guilt.  The next time you feel bad about not having enough “writing time,” don’t worry.   



Old Kitty said...

I seriously much prefer to be daydreaming and getting lost in thoughts, creative or otherwise!!

Glad you got the missing pieces in place! well done you!

Take care

Diane Burton said...

I love that tidbit. I do my best plotting behind the wheel. My problem is remembering. LOL Best wishes.

Carole Anne Carr said...

How very true, I try to fit in book thinking time often, and it's very productive.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thinking helps me. I can replay a scene over and over, smoothing out the wrinkles.
And ending when you don't want to stop is good. That means you'll be excited to dive back in again.

Briane P said...

EXCELLENT point. I'm glad to find out that other people do what I do -- both the getting up early to do some writing, the wishing that there was more time to write, and the thinking about it at other times.

I find myself playing out ideas and stories while I'm driving along, so much so that I've started occasionally dictating stories as I drive.

I came over here after joining ISWG for the first time; I've been picking blogs out at random and reading their posts. Yours is my favorite so far.

Liz Blocker said...

Hello from IWSG! I'm so glad I clicked on your link today: one of my biggest worries as a writer is TIME. As in, I never have enough of it for writing, because of day job/family/life/day job/day job. So it's so encouraging and hopeful to be reminded that thinking is work, too, and that it counts, and that it HELPS.

Hart Johnson said...

Oh, those hard spots DEFINITELY need some thinking! I do the best thinking with busy body, relaxed brain (walking is ideal, though showering can do it). I wish my brain wasn't so distracted at work! Erm... with the work I am supposed to be doing...

Kittie Howard said...

What a happy feeling that must have been! Great job! And I'm thrilled to hear thinking counts. Sometimes I can't get anything on paper until I stop fighting it and the thoughts run where they will--usually for the right reasons.

Thank you for dropping by and for your beautiful comment. Yes, each of those graves at Normandy is a blessing -- and in a very sacred place.

Cathrina Constantine said...

Thinking. Great post. I also lie awake at night thinking about what's going to happen next in my wip. I'm glad to read I'm not losing my mind.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

That's how I get myself out the door for my daily run even when I want to get to my writing. I spend the time 'thinking' about it and it helps my run go faster too.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

"I drag myself off to the place that pays our medical benefits, yearning to be back in front of my keyboard."

Ha, ha, ha! I feel that way too every day facing a profession that now focuses more on test scores and preventing armed invasions than making connections with students.

But I DO get a lot of thinking done at work, and sometimes I suspect I'm more productive in my writing after a full day of work than on a lazy summer day.

My husband notices it too. Whenever I talk about retiring from teaching to write full time, he says, "We'd have to get you some other kind of part time job, or your writing would ground to a halt. Working feeds your creativity."

Robin said...

I find myself doing a lot of Novel Thinking whenever I am active, but idle. Like when I walk the dog. I spend most of that time thinking about my WIP. So, I know exactly what you're saying! Yay you for filling those holes:)

Denise Covey said...

This is so true Liza. Second time I've come across this opinion this week. I think as creative people we are thinking about our stories all the time even if we're not aware of it. Our subconscious is always busy. Guilty? Heck no!

Anonymous said...

I agree that thinking is super productive in the writing process, and it so counts. :) I find some of my best transitions,, plot solutions, character builders, etc...when I'm doing other stuff. Movement plus thinking equals great mental writing. :)

Great IWSG post!

Kim Lajevardi
(This Writer's Growing)

Nancy LaRonda Johnson said...

That is so true! Something that I have to keep remembering, so thanks for the reminder. :) Sometimes things just need to marinate to come out right on paper. May you fill those other holes quickly, or at least at their right time. Writer’s Mark

Carole Anne Carr said...

Thank you for your kind support, Liza.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Absolutely! Great tidbit. On top of the research, a lot of cogitating and organizing goes on in my head long before putting pen to paper. (So I'm not really being a ditzy space cadet... I'm writing, doggone it.)