Friday, July 21, 2023

Break Time is Over

At times, there is so much going on around me that it’s difficult to concentrate on whatever book I’m currently writing.  I have found that it’s better to step away than fight for focus.  If a break is only a few days, it’s easy to get back into my story.  If it stretches into several weeks – as it did recently – I need to spend some time looking at notes and reading what I’ve written to re-immerse myself.  I’m surprised at the variety of reactions.

I am not surprised that I like some parts of my work better than others.  This is a rough draft after all.  I find sections that make me think I might have talent, and then I find other sections that make me wonder if I even know what talent is.

What surprises me is how well I do or do not remember the pages.  Some words trigger a memory of exactly how long I stared at them before I could think of a good next line.  Some make me remember what I almost wrote instead.  I usually find anywhere from a paragraph to a few pages that I remember writing so clearly that I know where I was, why I was there and the question someone interrupted me to ask.  The associations are so embedded in the text I can picture myself writing those words. 

I also find equally long sections that I do not remember writing.  The words aren’t even familiar.  I could believe someone else borrowed the notebook and continued my story without me if I didn’t recognize the handwriting.  It’s weird because I’m not that old.

One thing that is never a surprise is the length of what I’ve written.  I may have forgotten some details, and I may need to check which plot points I’ve hit, but I always remember how much work I still need to do on that book.  Now I need to get back to it.