Saturday, June 07, 2008


Some of you may have noticed that I haven’t posted in awhile. This begins a new series of posts for me, and I do mean series.

I've started another novel, and I’m going to post each week about something that’s come up in the writing process. This week: two sayings about jumping -- jumping horses -- that work just as well for writing. Riding up to a jump can be un-nerving, and some advise this:

“Throw your heart over first and the rest will follow.”

One of my riding teachers put it more bluntly:

“When you’re riding up to a jump, you have to be so determined that if a truck got in your way, you’d jump over it.”

That's the attitude I need. For me, anyway, there are always reasons NOT to start a novel. There are the reasons that are permanent fixtures in most writers' minds: it may never sell, I may be wasting my time, it may not be any good, what if I run out of money, I miss my friends -- blah blah blah. And there are the excuses that come up sometimes: I’m tired, it’s not a good day, I’m at _____’s house -- I can’t write here. Also, blah blah blah.

The fact is that for me, the best way to finish a novel is to work on it every day, no matter what. I kept putting my last novel aside for various reasons, some practical, some just dumb, and every time I came back to it, it had become a different book! The only way to have that kind of determination is to believe in the book and love it enough to push all those reasons aside -- and not care what they, the gate-keepers, think of the idea, either. Writing and wondering about them doesn't work for me (I did that last time, too).

This time, I’m writing the kind of novel I like to read myself, and I"m writing it every day, no matter what. I'll do that, and try my hardest, too (no typing not writing) until September. I can make my money last until then even if I don't sell anything. I have have a few other mss. out there, and if they haven't sold by September, I’ll borrow money and look for a job....and keep writing the novel until it's done.

In the meantime, I’ll canter steadily-- not gallop -- up to the jump, DETERMINED to go over it, concentrating completely, but riding with a pretty long loose rein, just short enough to control the energy.

Outline: 1613 words
Novel itself: 729

1 comment:

alvinaling said...

Oh, I love the jumping analogy! And somewhat fitting, today being the Belmont Stakes (although no jumping involved there).

Keep it up!