About WiP2…

Yeah… So yesterday’s post I wrote on Sunday already. And after I wrote it, I scheduled it and pretty much forgot it. Then on Monday I did open my old draft.

And…. worse than I hate it, I didn’t feel a thing. Usually I read the story and love it again, warts and all. I know that the word choices I made could suck. Or that the characterization could be off in the beginning. But the passion, that spark of inspiration urging me to write is there.

With WiP2 it wasn’t. I bought Scrivener for the purpose of rewriting it. I committed the time to it. I even wrote some of it again. And I felt nothing. Not even a whisper.

I would have kept pushing myself to work on WiP2 if I didn’t happen to see Neil Gaiman’s commencement speech. It reminded me of a sad fact of life: when I craft a piece of work with focus but without passion, it falls flat.

But if I have passion and just let the words flow, that’s when brilliance comes out.

The moment I realized it, I decided to delete what I’ve rewritten and shelf the story. If I get a flash of inspiration that brings the story back to life, I’ll definitely open it again.

But right now, it isn’t the story for me. In a sense, I wrote it as an experiment in multiple points of view and many characters. And I learnt a lot from it, but when I looked at it again, I just realized that the story probably went as far as it was going to go.

I’m not giving up on writing while I wait to finish the Doorways edit, though. I impulsively decided to check out my other project, Don’t Look Back – formerly the NaNo 2011 WiP. Immediately I felt that spark. Because yes, while WiP2 is a cliche heaped on cliche, DLB is fresh an really sexy. I love it.

So yes, I’m definitely continuing with it. In fact, I’m thinking that I’ll start in on it again tomorrow morning. Hopefully I can start the rewrite before the end of the year.

I’m excited all over again just thinking about it.

Have you ever gone back to a story you used to love and took a break from, only to find you didn’t love it any more?

Others have said: Writing takes passion.

Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depth of your heart; confess to yourself you would have to die if you were forbidden to write. 

Rainer Maria Rilke

There are few things that I consider to be rules in writing. As far as I can see, any method goes, as long as one gets the work written. And that’s why I consider this to be a rule, because without it, I don’t think someone can finish a project.

My rule: One must have passion for writing.

I’m sure that a lot of non-writers will look at the rule and think that I’m stupid. After all, anyone can write anything down. At any moment. That’s probably why so few people understand the challenges involved in writing a story. So many people write (correspondence, statements, reports etc.) that they think that all writing is as easy. It isn’t.

On the contrary, it’s damnably hard more often than not. And NOTHING prepares you for the challenges of writing a novel, except for writing a novel. Because, while most people write more than 50k words in e-mails etc. in (say) a few months, it isn’t meant to be read as a single understandable story. There’s no need to develop a thrilling plot, there’s no need to create and get to know characters. There’s no need to stick with the exact same story for as long as it takes to finish it.

Writing is full of challenges, rejections and other obstacles. It takes sacrifice. Especially of time. Writing isn’t something to do in a few weeks without noticing. It’s something that needs to be prioritized.

So many people say that they want to write but don’t have time… Well, I can safely say that none of us writers have time. We make it. We put writing way up there on our lists of priorities, with family, God and breathing.

If it wasn’t for that commitment, no story would ever be finished.

Anyone disagree with me? Why or why not? How high is writing on your list of priorities? Do you find that a shift or writing up or down your priority list influences your writing?