I did some of my finest writing to date on Sunday. There was no particular reason other than I wanted this chapter done with because I hadn’t written for two days straight. It was going to be a drudge, to be fixed in the second draft. Now I think it’s the best part of the book so far.
Sometimes, when I’m writing a scene that I particularly like the going is tough. I know what I want to say but I’m so excited about it I struggle with how to say it best. I’ve always blamed this excitement for the hard days when writing leaves me irritated rather than satisfied. Sometimes I blame the hopelessness of it all but that’s rare. Excitement is my main culprit for the days when inspiration is its usual steady trickle from a broken tap.
And then there are those days when inspiration for some unfathomable reason gushes out of the tap shattering it in the process. Sunday was one of those days. I was going to have my main character fall asleep and have a weird dream, in which she has superpowers. Plain enough, I thought, but providing a stepping stone for the third part of the book because this book wants to have three distinctive parts. And then I started writing and couldn’t stop.
Actually, I had to stop to calm down but it wasn’t excitement I was struggling with. It was a story wanting to be told, screaming to be told, and if that sort of feeling is what we call inspiration, then that was it. This chapter will be one massive stepping stone. And I will probably forever be addicted to writing even if no one besides me reads it. This feeling is a genuine high and I don’t even have to pay — or ruin my body — to get it.
My character — the same one who has the weird dream — is a former smoker. I won’t lie, it’s the part of me I’ve given to her. And, like every former smoker, she has a love-hate relationship with tobacco. She loves it because of the nicotine and hates it because of the rest of it that clogs alveoli and blocks arteries.
That’s me and writing in a nutshell except I wouldn’t use the word hate about it. I do sometimes resent the futility of it, the fact I’m writing something no one will ever read unless I thrust it into their hands and beg for it, when I could be doing something a lot more sensible and meaningful. But then I have this great writing day and it all makes sense and means something again. I might just call it a nicotine moment, come to think of it.
Of course, writing or any other art is never futile or meaningless, even if you only do it for yourself. It’s therapeutic and healthy. Not that I care about the health benefits during the bad days. Then again, I don’t care about them during the good days, either. Who cares about the effect of writing on your endocrine system when you just wrote the most poetic description of a vengeful hag ever written?
This may all change during revision as it so often does. I remember writing the first draft of my funny ghost story in a little over a month and I also remember liking the last part very much. I started reading the draft recently. The last part is horrible. It is completely out of place, it feels like a crude patch on an otherwise decent piece of fabric and I’ve already thrown it away (or rather aside, to use for a second part if the story wants to have a second part).
For now, though, the high is there and thanks to it I had a very productive Sunday. I guess this is what people mean when they speak of accomplishment. Some get it from healing people, others from manipulating people, and I get it from being happy with my writing.
If you’ve made it this far, here are a couple of book suggestions because it has come to my attention that it feels good when people read the books you write but they have no way of knowing about these books unless you tell them. Reviews are always appreciated. This is me thrusting my writing on you and begging you to read it. Well, no. I won’t beg. Read or don’t, suit yourself.
For vampires, witches, and dragons click here.
For a supernatural mystery that begins mid-flight click here. (This one’s free on Kobo)