Last night I hit the reset button on this novel. I’m starting over, right from the beginning, and I am going to try very hard not to flagellate myself with the stupid mistakes and false starts I’ve made over the past few months.
I’m also going to attempt to forget every single thing I learned in those self-help books for writers, which are still teetering in a stack by my bed. It seems that I educated myself right out of the process that worked for me: straight ahead writing, revising as I go, starting with a situation and letting the plot unfold in its own sweet time. Yes, it’s all wrong. I should be shuffling multicolored index cards. There should be a white board over my desk (I also should have a desk, and not write in bed where my husband is likely to pounce). I should write longhand in a leather-bound notebook, with a sepia fountain pen (so charming, Lyra, swear to god, but have you seen my handwriting?). I should insulate myself from the distractions of the internet. I should be disciplined like Stephen King. Warlike, says James Scott Bell. I should sit my sweet ass down and write for three hours straight every morning at 4am, while a flock of sparrows circles overhead, chirping encouragement.
Yeah. None of that works for me. I’m a rebel without a clue, an uneducated smut writer with a rickety laptop and a head full of dirty pictures.
What are you doing all wrong? Why does it feel so right?