Everything that’s created comes out of silence. Your thoughts emerge from the nothingness of silence. Your words come out of this void. Your very essence emerged from emptiness. All creativity requires some stillness. Wayne Dyer
Writing a novel (at least for me) is never a straight line.
There are lots of false starts, going backwards, sprinting way far ahead and then returning for the inevitable clean up.
As an example, I’ll share a snippet of what yesterday’s writing day looked like.
(I am madly writing the third book in the “Secrets of Redemption” series and still haven’t landed on a title. The title that keeps calling me is “The Evil That Was Done” but I’m not sure I want the word “Evil” in a title, so I keep playing with it to see if I can get the same meaning without using that word, but nothing else is really working for me. But I digress.)
I started out strong and wrote about 400 words as soon as I sat down at my computer. Along with getting a lot of writing done over the next couple of weeks (as my other business naturally slows down this time of year) I also want to start a new writing habit of writing my fiction first thing in the morning. My fiction writing habits are pretty sloppy actually, I tend to write whenever I can carve out the time, which I don’t think makes me as efficient as I could be.
So–yesterday, sit down and write 400 words. So far so good.
Then … I find myself staring out the window. Have I finally nailed this scene? (I’ve been wrestling with this particular scene for a few days now as it wasn’t feeling right to me.)
More pondering. More gazing out the window.
I then roused myself. I had writing to do! I have a new habit to form! No more of this staring out the window and wasting time. What am I going to do when I have a full day of phone calls and other work in front of me? I won’t get my writing for the day done.
I then reminded my inner critic of the Wayne Dyer quote. All creativity requires some stillness.
That’s all well and good when there’s no deadline, my inner critic retorts.
In the middle of this, one of my good friends texts me. I had forgot to turn my text off, so of course I need to answer. We spend five minutes or so texting.
(I tell myself I do have time after all. I am on my holiday break. A quick text conversation isn’t going to throw me off. At least not too much.)
Okay, now back to work. I get some more coffee, take a last look out the window, and get back to writing.
This time, the writing goes well and I hit my target of over 2,000 words in one day. Great! I can celebrate.
But … a few hours later, my writing comes back to me. I need to add more description here, I think. I missed filling out this part more. I need to add more explanation here.
So, tomorrow, I will start with those details. Adding words. A couple of small rewrites. Maybe deleting a few things.
Even though a part of me is always a little disappointed when my muse taps me on the shoulder at night and shows me all the places where my manuscript could be better, going back and doing those small adjustments is actually a good way to warm up. Rather than jumping straight into a fresh draft, I take a little time and review what I did before, and seeing where I can make it better.
Which leads me to real the secret of regular writing. Trusting the muse.
The more I trust my muse, and let her help guide my writing and my story, even if it’s not what my inner critic wants, the better my story is and the more effortless my writing is.
Creativity really DOES require stillness.