The Thing About Writing


The thing about writing is that sometimes you get overwhelmed.  That's what happened me.  I've been working on my debut fiction novel, Forever Branded, for months now and I'm nowhere near being finished with it.  Well, I was until  I had a fit of writer's rage and deleted pretty much everything I written except for the first chapter!

Talk about morphing into a crazy person.  Or least that's what I felt like when that moment of What-did-I-just-do? hit me.  I know you're probably thinking I could have just recovered everything from my recycling folder and maybe I could have if I had typed everything and saved it to my computer.  You see, I'm a bit of a traditionalist and I like to write my works out my hand first in a notebook.

So, I pretty much shredded up everything into thousands of tiny little pieces and chucked it in my real recycling can outside of my apartment.  The realization that I had placed myself back at square one didn't hit me for a few days. But you know what, the thing about writing is that sometimes, starting over from nearly scratch can be a good thing.  After I got over my initial state of panic, I realized why I scraped it in the first place.

The ideas for the novel were coming faster than I could keep up with.  I would be writing one chapter and an idea for chapter 10 would pop into my head but if I took a break from writing the current chapter to jot down the ideas for chapter 10, I'd lose my flow.  So, I tried to keep track of the future ideas in my head but they just kept coming and eventually I forgot them and that's what ultimately overwhelmed me. I was frustrating myself trying to remember them and then forcing myself to fill pages with words and plots that I knew in my heart wasn't right or wasn't the initial plan I had fell in love with.

I've been so excited to get Forever Branded out (and I still am) that my mind got ahead of me a little bit (ok a lot).  And I'm not one of those writers who can juggle multiple ideas in my head while I work on another chapter, one or two sure, but three, five or ten and all the balls fall.  So, where am I now with Forever Branded?

Well, I've tweaked chapter 1 a little bit.  Nothing major because I pretty love how it starts.  It really opens the story up with a bang.  And I'm currently working on chapter 2.  The idea came to me last Friday night while I was laying in bed.  I had been sort of pouting about what I was going to do with Forever  Branded and how to progress from the tweaks in the first chapter and it came to me.

I feel a change this time around.  Future ideas are in my mind, but they're manageable.  I've found my fiction writing groove again.  I feel like I needed the whole mad writer experience to get me to this place of calm that I'm at now because it's been ages since I've written any new fiction.  I'm hammering out nonfiction articles throughout the week almost everyday.  So, I needed to find my fiction mojo and I feel like I have.

I want Forever Branded to be something that I will be proud of once it's done not for readers but just because it's my first full length book.  It's first fiction baby, if you will.  So, when I read it in its entirety by the end I don't want think 'oh gosh that was a big waste of time.'  I want my heart to swell with pride.

I'm this for the long haul.  I'm just glad that now the pieces are finally falling into place the way should.

Happy writing and reading friends,

1 comment

  1. The same thing happens to me with ideas for other chapters (and other books, which is even worse!) I've discovered that I can jot down just a little thread of the idea, and when I come back to it later, the details fill in again!

    But anyway, it's awesome that you had that breakthrough. I know it hurt to scrap so much of your baby, but sometimes it's necessary to get to that really beautiful final product. Good luck!