Wednesday, March 20, 2013

03/20/2013 Writing Wednesday!

Welcome everyone. I know the week is treating you well so far, at least as well as any work-week can do. I am still working on those cards and have decided, after seeing it visually on a list, that since I'd only be missing two of the major arcana once I'm finished, to just make the other two. This means there will be a total of 24 cards made (three of them will be the Lovers, because I'm a sap like that) and while this is a ridiculous task it has been SUPER fun. I'm looking forward to whatever future they bring me.

Today we are going to focus on what we are used to though, you know that whole writing thing. As you know, I've started working on editing 'Rending the Seal' which is a task that I still believe is daunting, but very, very necessary. One of the things I firmly believe in is that once you are finished with the actual writing portion (the first draft) you shove it into a dark closet and pretend it doesn't exist for a certain amount of time. This time can vary from person to person, but it lets you shut your brain down for a bit, think about others things, and just generally not go crazy. The question is, what do you do during that time?

Part of what you do is going to depend on how long that time is for you. Depending on the person it could be a couple weeks, a month, to sometimes several months almost a year. It really all depends on how long you need to not look at that thing once you've finished the first draft. For me it's usually a couple months but sometimes it can be longer just because editing and I are not friends and I don't want to start it. One thing that I do recommend is that, at least for the first week or so, don't fill your time with more writing. I know that seems counter-intuitive, especially if you're working on a giant series thing, however the initial purpose of this was to shut your brain down for a bit, and immediately jumping into something else will not let that happen. Find a game you want to play, color, go on a vacation, or just do nothing. This is your time to rest both physically and mentally and you don't want to burn yourself out.

Now if you're anything like me after that first week of nothing you'll start to twitch, it's at that point when you are ready to maybe start something new while the other thing marinates. Currently I have multiple stories in various stages of writing, and that's perfectly fine. I work on them when I can, or when I become particularly inspired, but it means I can work on them at my own pace and not have to worry about not getting something done. I know that a lot of people can't do that, but I also have an ulterior motive for doing it that way, which is the knowledge that at some point I will need to get my wrists fixed, and I know that while I am at home recovering if there's something for me to do I will do it, no matter how much I shouldn't. I do usually tend to focus on one at a time though, especially if one is closer to being 'finished' than the others, which is the case for 'Daughter of the Shackled King', since I can finally see the end of the notebook. Once that's done I can work on 'Through the Broken Mirror' and focus more on editing 'Rending the Seal', but right now I just want to get that one into a digital format.

I'm not saying to completely shut down your brain, at least for a long-term break, but pretending something doesn't exist is actually very helpful. It lets you clear your head and think about other things so that when it does come time to pick it up and look at it again you will have a fresh perspective of what you're looking at. Especially in those cases when it took a long time to write something and you can see your style evolve as you read. While that means a mountain of editing to smooth that out, it also means that you have noticed it and know where it works and where it doesn't. I've also realized that coming back to it later will actually help you feel more satisfied with your work. I can't tell you how many times I've thought something I wrote was absolute trash, but after I came back to it I didn't feel that way anymore and was rather pleased with what I had done. It's a difficult process, but we're all in this together!

Thanks everyone for stopping by today. I do have more cards, however I don't have the DA links for them yet. I will try to get them all together by Friday, at which point I'll have more than just two to throw at you all too. For now relax, and we'll all get through this week together, and if it gets tough just think about kittens. All of them.

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