marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

meditations on vacuuming the cat

I've got a full list of things that really have to be done before I get writing.  I suppose most writers do.

And some of them are writing.

Not just the flip-between-works technique that makes my progress on any given work so -- erratic.  Though that can happen, too, whenever I don't want to face the next scene whether writing or revising, I can also scurry off and research the names I can give the moons of the planets.  (That was indeed tricky, since I want to fit the pattern I had already assigned with the planet names -- but it was still vacuuming the cat.)  Or running the hero through a Mary Sue test, which is fun but not writing.

Once upon a time, I discovered the wonderful technique of sitting down and re-reading everything I had dropped writing.  I learned that I was losing interest in a story whenever it required a technique I had yet to master.

But the writing life never gets any easier.  Having mastered techniques enough that I can finish stories -- at least to get to "The End" and ready to mail out, occasionally even to sell -- when I am stymied, it is likely to something that this story uniquely, or at least unusually, needs.

And what is worse, taking a deep breath before plunging into something difficult can indeed help.  There's been many a time when I looked at the next scene, knew it needed some hack-and-slash revision, quailed, closed the word processor, and the next day opened it up to hack and slash with abandon.

Such are the conundrums of the writing life.
Tags: grumbles, revision, switching stories, writing habits, writing technique

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