Monday, October 11, 2010

Writing is like. . .


I started my fifth novel this weekend. Fifth full one as we all have some half-starts filed away. I am hoping this one won’t find its way to the never-gets-finished drawer.

I don’t think it will because I have spent too much time planning it out. And I don’t usually do that but I wanted to implement all that I’ve learned from the first four into this one.

If we work at it, our writing should improve.

Then one day—hopefully—someone besides my sweet husband will think the same way and offer me hope that my fiction might be good enough for more than a handful of people to read.

But until that moment happens, a new story has taken root in my brain and won’t let me go. I see the opening scene, I smell it, and I hear it.

I read in a book on writing by Elizabeth Berg that writing a novel should be like tying your shoes. Without thought—just sit down and let your story come out.

I think maybe I’m almost there. At least I can make a knot.

What is writing like to you?

59 comments:

kathy taylor said...

Terri,

I am wishing you the most success with your accomplishments. You've inspired me over these past few months of blogging, and I love visiting you here. We need more great fiction, and I have a feeling you've got what readers want. I'm saying a prayer about your being published. Blessings galore!

Susan Roux said...

So glad to hear you're up and running again! If writing is what you do, then you must write. I wish you lots of luck and inspiration as this one flows out of you. Have fun and enjoy the process!

Jennifer Shirk said...

It's not like tying a shoe that's for sure. LOL
I think it's more like cooking. You know the recipe, you've made it many times, but you experiment with different ingredients along the way. Sometimes it's tasty and other times you've got to add something else to make it palatable. (And sometimes you have to throw the whole pot out!)LOL

Diane said...

You're gonna make it! Can't wait to read your books :O)

Wendy Paine Miller said...

Hey, I started my fifth last week. Too cool. And love EB.

Writing is like waking up and learning life is part dream, part shocking reality.

It's also like water and most of the time I just let it flow. It's the editing that is more like sanding.
~ Wendy

Hope Filled Living said...

It's always exciting to start a new project! Congratulations!
Writing is something I have to do...part of me. I always have 4-5 projects waiting in the wing because I often get an inspiration, write about it and then it really doesn't pertain to a current project, so I will put it aside for something else.

Nehha N Josshi said...

I didn't think of it that way...but your example was bang on! It sure feels like something you just have to go ahead with.....like if I am getting a call on my cell phone and I have to receive it:) types.

Lin Floyd said...

fun thoughts, writing to me is something that needs to be said or captured in words. my writing has mostly been histories of my ancestors and family.

Sassy Granny ... said...

This I know: you've sure got "heart", Terri!

It takes stamina to hang in there like you hang in there. I believe your focused resolve will result in tremendous rewards.

By the way, it took me a long, long time to get the whole shoe-tying thing. I wish they'd had velcro back then like they do now!

Blessings,
Kathleen

Amie B said...

hmmm....writing is like...planning a birthday party. first its writing the guest list (cast of characters), then the invitations (the outline), we add some decorations (the setting and descriptions) we play some games- some of which we loose (the opposition) and finally we open presents (the story is done!) after revisions we reward ourselves with cake!

Lynn said...

That's an interesting analogy! I'm still the 3 year old learning how to tie, I'd say. And getting knots mixed up with bows. Exciting time for you-starting a new project to use our skills gained thus far. Glad I get to read about your race.

Saumya said...

You work so hard and I cannot believe you are starting your fifth novel. That is INCREDIBLE!! I love your analogy. Writing for me is akin to running: I do it because it nourishes me, it can become tiresome and taxing but in the end, it gives me so much. You WILL have your dream come true. Someone so inspiring, persistent, and dedicated has to!

Sarah Forgrave said...

I love that description about tying shoes. For me, it's more like getting dressed for a day of sledding when it's frigid outside. I start with the thermal underwear, then the long-sleeved t-shirt, then the sweatshirt, then the jacket, etc., etc., until I've got lots of layers that each serve a purpose.

Katie Ganshert said...

Enjoy the ride!

Btw, the minute writing a novel becomes like tying a shoe is the minute I become a billionaire. ;)

Trudy said...

I love the analogy...

Best of luck to you Terri!

Susan said...

Terri, congratulations on the start of your fifth novel. That's darned exciting!

Let's see. What is writing like to me? Well, it's one of the absolute best parts of life. It's like looking up into the sky and seeing the sun----a huge ball of melting heat, warming all in its path.

Writing is exciting, thrilling, and an overwhelming joy. The moments I get to write are pure ecstasy and I run as fast as I can for my laptop.

I guess you could say that I definitely LOVE to write! Have a great day, Terri. Susan

Ann Best said...

If we keep writing, I believe we WILL improve!! And if we want to get published, we have to write. So keep writing those novels--and hoping, and working for publication!!!
Ann

T. Anne said...

This is great! I can't wait to sit at my computer and 'tie my shoes' tonight!!

Brenda Leyland said...

Enjoyed your posting...... and I liked the quote you shared by Elizabeth Berg.

Susan R. Mills said...

Love the shoe analogy! :) Anyway, I'm not quite there yet. I still have to do a lot thinking. So, for me, I guess it's like a three-year-old tying shoes.

Keli Gwyn said...

Congratulations on beginning a new story, Terri. I hope you have lots of fun spending time with your characters.

Rhonda Schrock said...

Sometimes writing is a germ of inspiration and then hard work. But sometimes, it's almost all inspiration, and it flows through my pen onto the page. When that happens, it's just...joy.

Cindy R. Wilson said...

Yay for book five! Each story is different for me and I think that's a good indication that I'm growing. This new one is kind of like hearing a song I like or re-reading a good book I've read...the further I get into, the more I love it. It's comforting, kind of like discovering a new place that feels like home.

Maria I. Morgan said...

I can see you tying your shoes right now, Terri! You're an inspiration! Writing is a means for me to put into words, the things I'm questioning, contemplating, and considering. It's a bit like starting off on a journey with anticipation - and noticing familiar things all along the way.

Have a blessed week, my friend!

Jeanette Levellie said...

I am so proud of you, Terri! And praying for the perfect agent as well.

I disagree with whomever said writing should be like tying your shoe. It's more like putting on pantyhose. You scrunch and pull, trying to make them fit; you suck and tuck and finally get the things over your hips; if you work at it long enough, they do what they should, by making you look slimmer than you ever thought you could. But, it's not easy. And you can't always hide the runs--sometimes you have to throw the dang things away and start over with a new pair. So there.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Terri -

Congrats on starting the next book!

Great quote. I think writing a novel should be as natural as typing. (I've been typing for so many years that my fingers don't hesitate for a second.)

Blessings,
Susan :)

Patti Lacy said...

Ooh, I LOVE that quote. My loops are still way too floppy.

Praise GOD, girl!! FIVE???? That is such a wonderful number.

Blessings to you,
Patti

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Congrats on number five! I've started number six and really hope it becomes a full!

Kenda said...

Writing right now for me is like going through a buffet line--I want to try a little of this and a little of that! Good luck on your latest project :-)

paulgreci said...

Hi Terri, I just finished the first draft of my 5th novel. I hope your fingers fly on that keyboard!!

Carol J. Garvin said...

That's a neat analogy, Terri. Congratulations on the start of your fifth novel. It's a little like pregnancy, isn't it? First there's a seed that germinates and slowly develops... embryo to fetus to babe. I wish you a healthy story!

For me writing is a journey of exploration. It's like a wander in the woods during early springtime when the season's newness is just emerging. I know what's likely to show up but there's still anticipation and excitement in each discovery along the way.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Terri, all the best for this novel. Sometimes writing is easy for me , the words just flow. At other times its a little difficult. Wish it was like tying the shoe laces.

Linda O'Connell said...

Writing is an outlet for those pent up stories begging to get out there. My best on your fifth novel. I have completed two, and hope to pitch it at the Missouri Writer's Guild Conference in the spring.

Ralph said...

It must be marvellous. One to start a brand new project with all those thoughts in your head ready to pu to the page. It must be marvellous to have such a beautiful clean pair of trainers. LOL. I only ever have them like that on day one. Now as for tying a knot that is not as simple as it sounds. The knot used by mountain runners is complex but for sure does not come undone until you want it to.

Robin @ Be Still and Know said...

Oh my stars...starting number 5! You go girl!

Can't wait to see you beautiful faceon the cack of a book jacket!

R

Warren Baldwin said...

It is often like tying my shoes, but sometimes it is, and I'm grateful when that does happen! I have a couple of show-tying type articles in my head now that I plan on getting to real soon ... before they get all "knotted up" (to carry the analogy a step further :).

wb

Ann Nichols said...

I've written and published quite a few novels and I have to say...sometimes the story just comes and my fingers can hardly keep up with its telling and other times...I'm like a frustrated two year old learning to tie my shoes! Can't say that one type of book is better than the other though! Because in the end, like you said, the important thing is to get the book done to the best of our ability. Congratulations on starting your fifth novel!! May your fingers fly over the keyboard and this be one of those really easy and rewarding times!
Ann
PS Thanks so much for visiting my blog and for your really encouraging comment!

Janna Qualman said...

Terri, your endurance is so inspiring to me! Go go go. You can do it!

Writing, to me, is a way of life. That's all, and that's enough.

Deb Shucka said...

I'm so happy for you and wish flow for you as this story is born. Looking forward to walking into a store before we're done and buying your book.

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Hey, Terri!

It's actually Gainesville, Ga, not Fl! :0) But I love your state and try to visit as often as possible. :0)

Thanks! Have a great day!

Jackee said...

I love and hate when a new story takes hold and the urge to start it and not finish the current project is almost irresistible!

I love Berg's quote but experience disagrees--some writing days are like that and some are like cutting your forehead open and bleeding all over the monitor and keyboard. :o) I believe I live for the writing days where it comes out like tying my shoes.

Praying your stories get out there too,
Jackee

Nancy said...

I tend to write like that. It's the only way I can write. Then when that's done, I can go back and fix things. Enjoy the feeling of being so full of ideas. I love that.

Melissa J. Cunningham said...

Great post. I think writing is like running. Sometimes it hurts, sometimes it's easy and feels good and sometimes you just have to force yourself to do it! Great to meet you! I'm a follower~

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I've got a new book in me as well... wish I had the strength to put pen to paper. In time.

Wish I could make it happen faster for you. You certainly are print-worthy! Friend-worthy as well.

Thanks for joining me on the path of peace.

I love your rich, big heart.

peace~elaine

KAT said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kathie Whitestone Thompson said...

Glad to find your blog today - from Elaine's site. What a blessing she is!
What is writing like for me? I've been asking myself a similar question.
I don't know how not to write (I do it every day) and yet I wonder if I know how. Devotions come relatively easy and that's good because I write and post them 5 days a week. BUT I have said for years I want to write a REAL book but I haven't. I even have an idea. I know what I want the book to say to the reader. I know who the main characters are; I just don't know how to make them live.
I've tried to give the story and the characters away to others who I see with the ability to make characters live but they won't take them.
Do I dare say more?? And as to Social Media .... hearing from you would be a BLAST!
Holy hugs!

Melissa Marsh said...

To be honest, it depends on the day. Some days, writing is like dragging my feet through the mud. Other days,it's like I'm floating in the cool air like a wisp of cotton. :-)

Julie Musil said...

I've never heard that about the shoes! For me, it takes so much thought and planning. I wish I was the type who sat down and awesome words poured out.

Good luck with book #5. You're passionate about it, and that will shine through in your writing!

Laura Pauling said...

Looks like we're in the same spot - starting a new book! I am not a pantser at all. But hopefully with more planning this time, my writing will be better. I find the more I can get right the first time around the better I am when I have to revise. If I can work out plot holes beforehand, I'll do it!

Shirley said...

Blessings on your new journey!

Lydia Kang said...

I hope this one goes well! How exciting to start a new book (and a new journey)!

Janet Johnson said...

I'm definitely not there yet . . . but I do feel like I'm getting closer. Good luck on your fifth!

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

Um, no. Writing is not like that for me.

I see the story so clearly in my mind that the act of sitting and typing it out is very tedious and laborsome. It takes too long. I want it out NOW. It's like having a baby. Lots and lots of work.

Revising, on the other hand, is my passion. Once I have that first draft out, I can reread and revise and tweak and polish and it's so fun.

Jill Kemerer said...

Good for you!!

My current novel is definitely NOT like tying my shoes. It's like searching for the laces! But I know it will be great!

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Five sounds like a great number. :) Happy writing....It sounds like you are motivated and prepared....WTG!

Sally said...

Writing is like drawing only with words. I like how they look on the page and I go to great lengths to make them look just right.

Cheryl Klarich said...

Congratulations! Blessings on your new beginning!

Sandra Heska King said...

Writing is like brushing my teeth. If I don't brush daily, my teeth will fall out. If I don't write daily, my brain will fall out. ;)

Margo Berendsen said...

I like that commenter that said writing your novel when you have a couple behind your belt is like cooking - you are familiar with the recipe, but you're still experimenting. Maybe by the time I reach my fifth, it'll be like tying my shoes! I'm just about to start my 3rd for NaNoWriMo.