122 Rules by Deek Rhew

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

My Writing Confessions

This is inspired by Confessions of a (part-time) writer by Molly Green. If you haven't read it yet, go give it a gander. The first two are my versions of her entries.

Confession #1: Stephen King, you are my hero and if you ever bless me with a glance at my scribbling, please skip this entry and go on to #2. Like Molly, I don't write every day. I get up at 4:30 M-F. On three of those I days I hit Starbucks where I crank out a couple of hours of writing before going in to work. The other two weekdays I go to the gym and burn off some stress--yes, writing and working and raising a family can be stressful. Who knew? See Healthy Prose. On those two days, I might hit my blog and Twitter and think about my characters who are never far from my mind anyway. Of course the weekend mornings are my absolute favorite times to write.

Confession #2: I do not revise or outline. Ever. I've tried and what came out was a stilted mess that felt both wooden and artificial. That particular manuscript was tossed after 100 pages and is moldering away in a "Lessons Learned" folder somewhere. The experience lead to a two year hiatus from writing I am ashamed to admit. My muse is a fussy, impatient, little troll who's as about as moody as a 12 year old girl during her first period. If I tried to direct him with an outline he'd just get pissed and either ignore it or go stomping off leaving me to flail on my own. Same with revising. He has NO patience and will not wait for me to go back and fix the wording. His business is to give me the story as he sees it. By the tiWme I come back from editing he's put on his coat and hat and is down at the bar throwing back shots and grousing about politics.

Confession #3: Sometimes I write chapters out of order. The very first chapter I wrote of my first book, 122 Rules--almost ready to start shopping it around!--was somewhere right in the middle and I wrote it on my phone. I had this vision--maybe my first real visit from my muse--and it was so clear, I braved that little virtual keyboard, thumbing the letters until I had it down. After that, things started flowing and I wrote them in the order they were sent to me. Later during the editing I moved stuff around, yes, even entire chapters. But that was later, can't edit as I go along--see confession #2.

Confession #4: I am a hypocrite. Obviously. Everyone is in some capacity, right? Well, in this case I wrote a blog about not liking short stories just a few days ago and guess what? I have been killing my darlings and decided that two of my characters didn't belong in the book--at least not with their monumental back story--so I moved them to their own novella. Actually I think there will probably be at least two, possibly three novellas about these characters. *sigh*

So why all of this? Well, even as much as I have going on in my life--working full time, father of two teens, working out, riding on the weekends, on and on--I can still find time to write. I really really can't stand excuses. It drives me crazy when someone says they want to do whatever but can't because of time. It's just setting your priorities. Either do or don't, but don't bitch because of "a lack of time".

You may not have enough time to do it all you want, I would LOVE to write all day, but you can even if it's just a few minutes here and there. If you want to do it, don't let anything or anyone hold you back. Who knows, you could be the next Stephen King?

Carry on.

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