“I take my writer out for treats, …I buy it expensive coffee concoctions with foam like clouds.  I take my writer on train rides to write and admire the view.  I buy my writer journals, race-along-pens, an embroidered writing chair that I place by the window with good light.  I try not to bully my writer or attack it….My writer has learned to trust me, to enjoy my company, and to treat me well back.”  (Julia Cameron)

I wrote a lot over the weekend, and when I wasn’t writing I was mulling, which is often just as productive.  In the end, it was the call of the ice cream waiting in my freezer that pushed me to complete 3000 words on Gatekeeper.  It would have been easy to crawl into bed and watch mindless TV until I fell asleep – I’d already gotten plenty done, after all.  It would have been easy to say, “Oh, I’ll get it done tomorrow.”  But there was this brand new container of frozen sweetness, hidden in the deep freeze where the resident teen sugar freak wouldn’t find it, and that kept me going.

My first goal of integrating the changes into Filling in the Blanks  and printing it off one more time was straight forward and easy.  And exhilarating.  I was resistant to revising this book again, tired of it, quite frankly annoyed that I was being dragged backward when I thought I was done.  But in the process things shifted and changed.  Two new pages of writing, that was all, a new beginning, and suddenly everything that was not quite right with the book slid into place.  It has a new name now – REMEMBER –  and it was easy to go in and add a few splashes of color to highlight what was already there, waiting to be noticed. The book is truly complete now, and one of my new goals for the week is to get it out to some more agents.

With this comfortable sense of accomplishment I turned to Gatekeeper, naively expecting another spell of straightforward writing.  The book promptly declared a rebellion. After a period of negotiation, I agreed to abandon my own agenda and follow where it wanted to go.  At the moment this is requiring a great deal of trust, as we are heading into uncharted territory on several levels.  I am realizing, finally, that this is not a rewrite, as I initially thought, but an entirely new novel with previously developed characters.  And even the characters are morphing in unexpected ways.  I am far from comfortable now, but that is good.  I wrote over 3000 words and decided I’d earned my ice cream, because the scene I said I was going to write is way down the road, not right around the corner where I expected it to be.

Part of my point, I guess, is that I’m learning to trust the writing.  I’ve always known that it knows more than I do, but I tend to forget, to try to make it go where I think it should.  To want to be the boss.  I’m not.  The story knows best, and my writing is always better when I remember this.

Late last night, then – ice cream and a good book, in front of the fire, while everyone else in the house was asleep.  My writer satisfied, my self rewarded.  

And it was very good.

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