Friday, September 24, 2010

Creative Gardening

Creativity is like a growing plant. A writer must nurture it, water it every day, and fertilize it with a balance of ideas from many sources. If you do this, it will grow.

But what about acts of nature that sabotage your garden? What about the hailstorm of the loss of a job, or the flood the death a loved one may cause, or even the sunshine drought of visiting relatives preventing the proper care of your creativity?

My latest manuscript suffered a few acts of nature this year, and like one of those misshapen cucumbers that starts out fat and juicy at the stem end and tapers down to a shriveled, moldy blossom end, the manuscript has become inedible.

So I have decided the best thing to do is pluck the fruit and discard it before it sucks the energy from a plant that could produce more cukes. My writer friends have been like pollinating bees, and a new fruit has set in my mind, swelling with potential. Much as I might want to find a way to use the old manuscript, the best course of action is to redirect my creative energy. It is sad and exciting at the same time.

Have you ever had an act of nature sabotage your creativity? Were you able to save your fruit? Or did you find it best to put your creative energy elsewhere?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Holiday Weekends!

Hooray for the Holiday Weekend

I write and like many writers who have full time jobs, family, school and daily responsibilities, I cram my writing time into any nook and cranny that I can. I enjoy these long weekends, because of the block of time I get for writing and revising. Writing isn’t an instant reward. Writing takes time, dedication and investment. Like playing a musical instrument you must practice diligently.

However, writing does have rewards, believe me, writers do not just chain themselves to a computer and suffer, (although suffering and chaining do happen on occasion). We write because we have a story that needs to get out of our heads, or it will drive us crazy. What the heck, writers are crazy, how many time have you talked things through about a work in progress and realized that you were talking to yourself just like the Crazy Cat Lady that lives a block over.

There is such joy in creating a world where you can make a vertical dive into a moment; to see, taste, touch, hear and smell the whirling moments of your story. Poets are the king of this style, they don’t even have to be linear, no worries about plot. However as a romance writer you need plot. And lucky us, we the romance writers get to capture that fabulous thing love. The intensity of meeting someone, being attracted, the initial rush of beginning a relationship, nothing is sweeter to a human. When you are in that experience of new, flushed love you feel like you can do anything, you glow with the power of the heart light radiating out of you.
How blissful, but it isn’t that simple. You have to have things happen to your characters or they have to do things. So plots and events must happen in order to drive your story otherwise it’s just boring to have two people lolling about in love. You’re so pretty, no you’re so pretty, and now I am bored and putting the book down.

I love my characters, they are so amazing and dynamic, so much smarter, cooler and better than I am. That Ian Fleming guy must have had a blast writing the Bond character. My characters have taken me to places and made me learn things. For example I learned to Fence, you know with swords and white jackets. I am not very good at it but it is an incredible form of exercise and a blast. Someday I will finish that story with my French Heroine who is an expert Fencer. It won’t be this weekend but some other Holiday when I can devote attention to her. Then one of these days I must learn to ride a horse. I look forward to that.

I salute you my fellow writers. It is not an easy thing to be a writer. It is a solitary occupation, it takes time, it doesn’t pay very well (unless you are those lucky few), it doesn’t say thank you and it doesn’t draw you a bubble bath (unless you are one of those tub writers). But remember you were compelled to write and it can be so much fun.