Sunday, September 20, 2009

Ups and Downs of Writing

When you're an author, there are joys as well as trials to the process of writing. These may all be different depending on the author, but this is the way I see them.

Outline – Mostly I use these for novels, but even short stories get a few cursory thoughts about where the story will start, and how it will progress. I used to think a formal outline was something along the lines of a 'necessary evil', but I realize now that they are a guideline, easily abandoned if something better comes along. Or I could meander away from it for a time and return later. So, it's not my favorite part, but it forces me to think things out. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being great fun, outlining is probably a 3.5.

Rough draft – For me, this is almost total 'creating'. Great fun. Give it a 4.9.

Research – Some do this before anything else, but for me, it tends to get done as needed. So maybe during outlining, probably during rough draft, possibly even during later drafts. And I can't really assign it a 'score', because it depends on the subject matter being researched.

More drafts – For each piece of work, the more of these I do, the less fun they are. Creativity gets bogged down by mechanics and rules.

Market research – Trying to find a home for what I've written is truly a necessary evil. Maybe it will get better as I become known and develop relationships with editors and agents, but right now, this is a real downer. 1.9. Maybe lower.

Waiting – This is the worst chore I've found in this process. After I've taken the leap and sent out a piece, time seems to come to a complete halt as I wait to hear something – ANYthing! – from that market. One a scale of 1 to 5, this has got to be a -25.

Every weekend I pause to wonder what's happening to the stories I've sent out. They haven't come home yet. Does that mean I dare to hope? The not knowing is a killer. I'm pretty sure most writers will agree with me on that.

See ya next weekend. Maybe I'll have news to share. Trudy

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