Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Writing again.

This morning I went for a walk down to the beach to get a picture and ended up wandering and beachcombing and only taking two pictures. I love the beach at this time of year because I usually only share it with one or two people. In June the population of my tiny village begins to swell with 'holiday makers' and tourists and this beach gets filled with suntanners and boats. But for now it's just ours.

I wandered around, looking back and forth between the amazing views and the ground. I have begun collecting bits of seaglass. I am on the hunt for a bit of red. I am assured that red doesn't exist and that the search is futile, but I am not convinced. I have yellow, brown, purple, green, blue, white - why NOT red? Today I found a very tiny bit of yellow. I wonder what it was a part of in it's previous life.

So now I am back, pink cheeked and ready to go. Mark did some amazing things on our home page yesterday. It's looking very professional and very real. This scares me a lot because I have only a small amount of my portion of the site done. I'm going to have to move it to catch up. The trouble is, I am itching to get started on some new writing. I have had my first book on my 'to do' list for so long that now that it's off I am overwhelmed by all of my new ideas. I want to start them all.

When I was in school I always worked to a deadline. I never followed the instructions about making two drafts before you got to the finished product. In fact, I have been known to go back and fake a first draft after my project was complete. I always needed the pressure of a deadline to force me to work. When the end result has to be perfect, I become too afraid to start. It's too much pressure.

So what's changed? Why was I able, finally, to finish something and be brave enough to send it out into the world? I learned to accept the Yucky First Draft. Sometimes I think that people who are writers feel obligated to WRITE. We feel like everything needs to be good and slightly profound, and spelled correctly and graded with an 'A.' Artists, too, I have discovered, often need each canvas to be good, each picture to elicit awe. I was never able to just muck in and get something on the page. I edited madly as I went, scribbling out and deleting until all of the energy and joy and spontaneity was taken out of whatever I was writing. So I stopped.

When I started tentatively scribbling again it was in a journal. Because no one else would see it I just wrote what I thought, how I was feeling, what was going through my mind. I didn't edit myself. I didn't worry about an audience. I loved it! I remembered that that was how writing used to be before it really mattered what grade I got. I resolved to start writing first drafts again. To begin to let my writing and my art flow as it wanted instead of forcing it to be something I thought it should be. It's still really hard to silence my inner editor, but at least now they have something more to work with.

So today it's tea and my website work and hopefully a few minutes to get started on my rough draft of a new book. Oh! and maybe a minute or two reading blogs. I'm afraid have become addicted.


Alexandra S said...

I'm wishing you a wonderful day Megg! I enjoyed your new post as much as yesterday's!

Jamie said...

Hi Meg!

Wow, I love that picture! What a beautiful place. I'm sure it inspires you to walk and wonder. (And I believe in you - you'll find that elusive red!)

I'm so curious to see what your website is going to be like. Good luck in making headway today on that. And yay to having so many glorious ideas to play with!

Laini Taylor said...

Hi Meg! It's amazing how much I relate to your journey out of writing and back in again. I'm so much the same way - or I used to be. A compulsive self-editor and perfectionist, I could never seem to progess the story but just keep reworking first chapters! I also stopped writing for years. I started doing visual art instead and it really took over my life, and ironically, it was what I learned about the blank page through drawing that gave allowed me to finally break through my stultefying perfectionism with writing, too. Some day soon I plan to write an essay called "What drawing taught me about writing."
Also, I agree with Jamie - that photo is stunning! What a place you live in!

The Silent K said...

What kind of books do you write? That picture IS beautiful. It is snowing here today in your home country Canada (I am in Ontario), so it is nice to see a beach.

Helen said...

What a great photo - seeing pics like thatmakes me feel homesick! Good luck with the writing and finding that red piece of glass! Helen

Blue Dog said...

oooh--what a beautiful place to find inspiration!