18 June 2011

Not-Writing

I spent a lot of time not-writing this week.

My best writing time is on the train to and from work (50 minutes each way).  If I'm tired, writing doesn't happen (sometimes snoring almost happens, which is embarrassing on a train).  And, if it's rainy as it has been this week, I tend not to want to take my laptop with me on the 20 minute walk to the station.  So I've been reading and not-writing instead.

I'm almost always not-writing.  It's a valuable process, where I compose my books in thought instead of pixels, trying out ideas, settling what needs to be done.  It can be a trifle frustrating, because while not-writing I often come up with the perfect way to say something, and yet never can remember how it went when I get back in front of a keyboard.  [Sometimes I will jot in a notepad, if it's something I really don't want to forget.]

This week while not-writing, I:

- Truncated a cave-scene in Voice of the Lost.
- Turned over, yet again, the chapter which needs to be added where Medair meets people she hopes she'll never meet again.
- Amused myself with slight variations of a sex scene recently written.  [Or the pre-sex scene.  I'm one of those writers who always cuts away just as you get to the really juicy bit.  Except in the space naga smut book, because the technicalities of that sex scene was half the point.]
- Turned over things I really should do in Caszandra, to make sure Cass doesn't come across as a mere observer in all the big dramatic moments.
- Considered what I would do to Hunting (which is the first in a series of four books I wrote before Medair) and when I would get time to do it.  Refused to let myself go re-read it.
- Refused to let myself go re-read Wellspring.
- Thought of a conversation which should go in The Sleeping Life.

So, a productive week of not-writing!

I did do a little work on Voice of the Lost as well.  But just a little.  I'm in one of those modes where I re-read the first chapter over and over again obsessively changing one or two words each time.  Not productive at all.

1 comment:

  1. I do this all the time as well, the difference being (of course) the exertion of will required to turning the not-writing process into actual writing. And remembering to actually make a note of not-writing insights before they slip out the ears.

    Last week I composed an entire song while trying to go to sleep. I *really* wanted to go to sleep, but luckily I realised in time that if I didn't get up and write the damn things down, (a) I would have forgotten them by morning and (b) I wouldn't have been doing any sleeping anyway.

    I'm impressed with the number of different projects that you are juggling at once. I tend only to be able to hold two or three separate pieces of writing in my head at any given time.

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