Sorry to sound like a broken record, but I’m still struggling with finding time to write. At least that’s what I thought the problem was. I shared my daily schedule last Monday. Know what happened last week? I did not write a word. My four hours of daily writing time became four hours of Netflix. I’ve watched all of Bloodline, I’m working my way through Blue Bloods, and I’m addicted to HGTV—anything HGTV—right now my Jones is, House Hunters International Renovations. I finished Half Price Paradise. I want to move to Utila.
What the heck is going on? Am I just too tired to create? Am I hiding from myself? Do I need a serious break (yes—from the day job). Have I run out of ideas for the newest novel? Am I bored by the newest novel? Why is it, every time I sit down to write, I power of the laptop, log on to the writing program…and power the computer down. I have been able to convince myself to go back and start editing the early chapters. At this point, I have little choice but to reconnect with my story. Been away too long. Sure, I have the next five chapters in bullet point outline It’s the details that escape me. Is the male lead Kirk or Kurt? Are they the Taylors or the Tylers? The little details. The telling details. Back to the drawing board.
Excuses, excuses, excuses. Want to know what’s really going on? I finally figured it out. This happens to me with every book. I’ve got 47,000 words on the page. A little over halfway for the typical first draft. This is the point where the story does that hourglass thing. All the clues and red herrings of the first third have been dumped in, now, the story is sorting out. Things are getting compressed, danger is on every page. Story lines are ending in resolution, others are starting and new secrets are being unveiled. This is where creativity meets reality. I don’t write science fiction. My stories have to make sense. My story has to survive the multiple small deaths of some red herrings and the surviving red herrings and the real clues have to be compressed, re-blended and forced through that tiny wasp waist opening to the lower part of the hourglass where they can blossom again.
I’m scared! What if I can’t do it. What if my red herrings won’t conclude? What if I drop some clues and leave lose ends? What if I totally screw up the story and now, more than half-way though have to go back and…do it all over again! Hum, I wonder how those people in Belgium solved the problem of having to walk through a bedroom to the only bathroom in that gorgeous house? You can understand why that problem would have great appeal for me now. It’s not my problem!
It takes courage to write. Oh, not grace under fire courage, but a sure certainty that you are going to be able to bring the story home. Any time I’m not writing is time wasted for me. I do control that time. It does not control me. But the siren song of the Internet, TV, music, even weeding the garden can be so seductive. And so comfortable!
There must be something to karma. Without realizing it, I must have tossed my dreadful conundrum out into the universe. I opened my e-mail today and found a post by Tim Grahl titled “How to Make Time for Writing.” The simple act of reading it gave me enough energy to write, although a lot of it reminds me of tough love, and I ain’t quite ready to go there! Looking at the list did make me see how much time is wasted in a day, and it offered strategies to fix the time suck I’ve created. Right now I’m mulling the options, but I bet I’ve got the rest of the chapters edited by the time I show up again on this blog next Monday. I’ll report in.
What about you? Do you have a love/hate relationship with certain parts of tasks you love?
If anyone is going to be in or around Sarasota, Florida on Saturday, June 18th, stop by the Barnes and Noble at 4010 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34231, (941) 923-9907. I’ll be there with my fellow Sisters in Crime for readings, author signings and a panel discussion from 10:00am until 4:00pm. I’d love to meet you!
Kait loves to hear from fans, check out her website at www.kaitcarson.com; follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kaitcarsonauthor, on twitter at @kaitcarson, or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.