Justine: Sometimes a Step Back Knocks You Off Course

map, writingBeing a newbie writer, I don’t have the experience of multi-published, multi-book, multi-year-writing authors. The hallowed bit of advice I’ve heard, though, is write every day. Um, yeah, I kinda didn’t do that, and as a consequence, I forgot my story.

Life over the last two months has been a bit busy, to say the least. Research/vacation trip to London, a long weekend in Navajo country, a weekend wedding in Portland…then the kids were off school for teacher in-service, my parents were here, my husband was traveling, the kids and I were sick, and I was struggling with the conflict (or lack thereof) on the part of my main antagonist and worked through that as my Special Problem for the workshop class I’m taking. So I stepped back. I stopped writing. It wasn’t really intentional. I just didn’t have anything left at the end of the day (and no time at the beginning) to write.

Over the last ten days or so, I’ve gotten back into it. I actually printed out my story and read it like a book. I had completely forgotten some of the things I had written. In some cases, I expected to find an event or action in my book and it wasn’t there. Apparently, I had the idea, but never put it on the page. My book was like Swiss cheese with lots of holes, but I’m plugging them up one at a time.

We have to turn in our first Act on Sunday. I have six scenes to go, and when I’m done, I’ll have a draft of the first third of my book…barking, “don’t look down,” or some other version of the same. But I’m into my story again and that’s a good thing.

From one newbie writer to another, be good to your inner scribe and keep your head in your story. Write something every day. If you can’t do that, at least go back and reread the scenes you last wrote. Just don’t step away for too long, or you may find yourself off course with no map in sight.

3 thoughts on “Justine: Sometimes a Step Back Knocks You Off Course

  1. I’ve been working on my story for a long time. I got away from it after a bad experience with an editor. Then I felt like I couldn’t write anything until I had all the problems worked out. Now I am back to the writing and I forgot how much I like it.

  2. I found that the hardest part of the McD program – I wouldn’t have missed it for anything, but I didn’t have the energy or brainpower to keep up with class and write as well. Like you and Michille it’s taken me a little time to get back into my story but I’m there now. It feels good to be back, and I’m determined to keep the momentum going.

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