Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Oops, I did it again...

And again...

And again...me, returning to write new pages but revising instead. Over and over again. Even when writing every single day, I look back a few paragraphs...okay, pages, to review the story. Anti-productive, right?

Sigh. And then I was away for a few days. That said, today when I finally sat butt in chair and got back into it, I sort of forgot where I left off, and therefore where I wanted to go, so thinking that reviewing was a good map and starting point, I did. To top it off, over the weekend I had a brilliant notion for the story (okay, so maybe that counts as writing) and I knew where to put it. So today I just had to find where that was. However, while returning to the insertion point I took time to re-read and revise along the way, again.

Stupid, stupid, stupid thing to do. And I can't use being away as my excuse. I always tweak the past, removing a chance of moving the story along (even though today's fixes were brilliant!). I've always returned to re-read, revise, etc. No matter what tricks I come up with to stymie this very bad habit, I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm A CHEATER and do it anyway.

There must be a way of breaking bad habits. Look at those who cold-turkey smoking. True, it's also the healthy thing to do, so maybe that makes it easier to kick the habit. Perhaps what I lack is will power such as the one needed when attempting to diet. You know, that bowl of M&M's looks very tempting out there in the open like that. Easy solution: put it where I can't see them. This technique has worked. Truth: I have not had one piece of chocolate in two weeks. I am not lying. I put the candy bags where I can't see them. After five days I noticed the difference in my waistline.

If only there was a way of not seeing the words. Funny statement coming from a half-blind person, right? But there they are. All those words. How do I NOT look at them? Does anyone have a special device that covers previously typed brilliance? This inquiring mind NEEDS to know.

Am I the only one who can ignore chocolate when it stares her in the face, but can't stop reading her words? I want to move it along. I need a plan. I need HELP! (Is there an eight-hundred number for this?)


lainey bancroft said...

OMG! Didn't even know you were back online (I am sooo achingly out of the loop) I've just read your last few posts--and link to 'nother blog--and all I can say is...GET OUT OF MY HEAD!

Seriously, we are so on the same jammed wavelength it scares me.

Not that that is at all helpful to this particular post. 'K lemme try. I also reread before I begin to write, regardless of how long I've left a project--an hour, day, month...gulp, year--but I have learned tweaking is pointless because I don't have the skill/knowledge to perfect the beginning until I get to the end and if I keep effing with the beginning, I'll never REACH the end.

So, the cure? Before you close the file for the day, make yourself a few point form notes of where the story is headed and what scenes you need to write next right there on the doc. Descriptive notes, snatches of dialogue, things you need to research, whatever works. When you open the file next, instead of being drawn to what has already been written, focus on what you know you still need to write. And write on...

((Good to know you're back. missed ya))

Edie Ramer said...

Another re-reader waving her hand wildly. I do that the first 100 or so words ... and all of a sudden I find myself not re-reading as many pages. And soon I'm not reading at all, but just jumping into the next bit. There's nothing wrong with it. It's just my way.

But even after the "jumping in" time comes, if I take a day or more off, I have to go back and re-read again. So the moral of the story is: Write every day! Even if it's just 100 words.

Kath Calarco said...

I have been MIA for a bit. You know how it goes - the stress of day to day living removes the muse, in my case, a still unsold house. ('Nother story for 'nother time.)

LOVE your ideas! In fact, I'm printing them out so I can refer to them after I finish today's writing.

And here's to future unjammed wavelengths - cheers!

Kath Calarco said...

Edie, you're so right about writing every day, even a few words. But that said, I still go back and re-read. But, got to say that the longer I stay away from my story, the more pages I re-read upon return.

I'm going to try Lainey's ideas. It's almost like hiding the chocolate, lol.

Robin said...

It's so hard not to look back! *But* the only way to go forward is to go forward. Remember you can *always* go back later. You've got more brilliance to write, Kath, so think of how much more you'll have to look back on if you keep writing. ;) Good luck! Anyone who can ignore chocolate has got the willpower to ignore previous written words. You. Can. Do. It!

Kath Calarco said...

Robin, you are so right. The present ms that I'm working on is old, and right now I'm in its earlier chapters so I'm seeing a lot of "EEKS!" there. Once I get beyond those I should be able to move ahead to the finish line, I hope.