Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Even the Smallest Setbacks are HUGE!

Hi all.

I apologize for not updating my progress in writing my new novel, The Rope, the Tire and the Tree. The reason for the delay is I didn't make any progress! Had a minor setback that delayed the writing process for DAYS! If you've read my previous post, you know that I was working on blocking out my chapters on index cards. Well, I got twelve chapters blocked out, then I misplaced my index cards. I highly recommend you do not do this! I searched my home, my car, my little comic book store. I called my mom to see if I left them at her house, I emailed friends and co-workers to see if they'd seen them, all to no avail. I considered just starting over and reblocking them again from chapter one, but the task seemed so daunting that I just didn't do it. I knew that I had come up with some wonderful ideas and blocking strategies, and I feared I wouldn't be able to replicate it. Just when I was about to give up and start from scratch, I found them. Five days later, I discovered them tucked neatly away in a box for a manuscript that I had completed editing and was preparing to bring to my client. I opened the box to make sure the pages were in order and, lo and behold, there they were. That's when I remembered putting them in there so I wouldn't misplace them!! Oh, the irony!

So, I am now finishing blocking out my chapters, and I was right, there were ideas jotted down that I don't think I would have been able to draw up again. But, I have to say, it is possible that I could have reblocked the chapters and gone in a better direction than where I was headed. I have done that before. When I was in the beginning stages of writing my one-act play, Rain in 1996, I was working on a clunker of a computer that kept crashing. I tried to back up everything as I went, but I found myself one day on such a fantastic run that I neglected to back up what I had written in a timely manner, and the computer, of course, crashed. I cried for about two solid hours. Then, the next day I went to work rewriting. My mind had cleared and I was determined to write as if nothing had happened. As a result, I believe what I wrote was far superior than what I had drafted the day before. Subsequently, the play was acknowledged by Writer's Digest in 1997 as one of the top twenty best written plays, and it was later published in my second book, Rain - Dark as Water in Winter.

I suppose the moral of this story is, it is important to have a system that is organized and efficient in order for the writing process to go smoothly. However, we are mere human beings, and mishaps will happen. When they do, don't let it stop you as it did me. It would probably have been a good exercise to begin reblocking the chapters even with the hope that I would come across the index cards eventually. When I did find them, I could have compared notes between the two, and I probably would have discovered some interesting gems from the new endeavor that I could have added to the original version. I do believe my frustration over misplacing my index cards delayed the creative process and I did myself a grave disservice but stopping in my tracks. Leason learned!

Onward and upward! It shouldn't take me long now to finish blocking out my chapters. Once I am done, I will move on to actually writing the first lines of the first chapter of my novel. Thank you for your patience everyone. I'll be back soon. Until then, happy writing!