Piecing together what I have written, am writing, researching, past research, and the occasional pinch of flow is rewiring my brain. So far it’s a good thing. I certainly have lost time with the focus that I’m applying.
My story is being fleshed out and rearranged every time I pause to read what I am crafting. I stop and read aloud – yes that’s a thing if you didn’t know it, it’s a great technique for removing your focus from writer/editor mode to just listen to what is there with fresh ears. The trick is don’t stop, don’t edit, just read. To read through without disruption and truly hear the flow and narrative I read it over first to check for anything that will trip me up and steal my focus. Once I’m able to read it without being distracted by words, commas, sentence structure, narrative glitches, etc, I read aloud in one uninterrupted go.
I feel like I’m running on the spot but recognise that editing past sections I’ve written into new work is enriching the story as I continue. Some of the past sections that I’m working into the new were written years ago and it’s surprised me how much I’ve ended up pulling them apart to slot them in amongst the new words, sometimes sentence by sentence.
I use highlighting and coloured text to define new from old until I am happy that the words now live there, then I change them all to look the same as I complete each paragraph.
Working in this way has helped me keep a running check on where I’m at and how I’m progressing. At times I feel like I’m obsessing with the writing and rewriting of a sentence into place. When I make the final decisions, then reread it, I keep catching myself taking in a deep breath like I’m coming up for air. With each edit I’m secluded into a bubble of creativity where my mind travels to a place I’ve never been. Letter by letter, word after word, the place is coming into focus slowly but surely.
I’m grateful to have words that I’d written previously to work with, it’s adding life to my work to layer in my progression combining details to bring the story to life. New words are sprouting up and into place as I push forward. The trick for me it seems is to keep a straight head, focus, stay there until I’m done and give my creativity time.
The intensity causes me to get up and move away at times. I stretch, I breathe, I look at the sky, I spend time distracted by technology but in the back of my mind sits the next step. What is it? Where am I up to? Do I know where my research is for an upcoming section? Should I keep a character that I wrote in briefly a year ago or not?
Time for coffee then more writing.
One thought on “Fits and starts”
I feel the same way when I write. That’s why I’m a big proponent of editing as you draft. Nice post.
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