Sunday, January 19, 2014

Unproductive Blogger = Productive Writer

I’ve been on hiatus from my blog, partly due to no choice of my own because my Internet connection was completely lost for a few days, and then partly due to the need to stay focused on what was important…my writing.  It’s only been a week and a half since I last offered a blog post but for the time I was unproductive as a blogger, I was very productive as a writer.

Blogging is a form of writing but it’s no substitute when you’re writing a book.  What it is, however, is a nice distraction and a way to share thoughts, feelings, fears, annoyances or whatever else comes up during your journey as an author.  Sometimes, though, blogging and any other sort of social media can clutter the mind and take too much energy away from the book at hand so that the author doesn’t fully invest themselves. 

Limiting your thoughts to just one project and fully investing yourself can sometimes mean the difference between what might be a struggle and what might turn into full-blown momentum.  And full-blown momentum is a completely awesome feeling. 

I’ve been working on my third book in the Jorja Matthews’s mystery series and while much of the story has been easy, there was one area in particular that I felt I was forcing.  I finally realized I wasn’t completely sure what was behind the actions of a particular character, which made it difficult to move forward with certain aspects of the story.  I had an idea but yet, I felt there was more to the character’s attitude and intentions than I was giving them credit for.

So, as my characters have done from the beginning of this series, they might let me flounder for a bit but eventually they will tell me what it is they want or why they want it.  You think I’m the one telling them?  No.  It’s a funny thing how this works for me and it may not make sense to some but that’s just the way it goes.  The characters and the stories run through my head and I do my best to make sense of them and get them down on paper.  As it happens with this particular character, I knew there was more to the story but I just couldn’t put my finger on it.  And then, one day last week while I was driving home from work, thoughts about the character kept coming at me until eventually, I finally began to see the bigger picture.  You can’t imagine what a wonderful feeling it is to finally be let in on the secret.

Does that sound just a bit odd to you?

It might.  You might have this picture of me driving and talking to myself as I try to figure out what my characters are up to but I promise…I keep most of the conversation in my head and I try not to move my lips.

All humor aside, it’s the way it works for me.  Even if I don’t get what I need all at once, I’d much rather my characters help me work out the details of their story to better understand their intentions than to force something that will only later feel contrived and uncharacteristic.

Did I miss blogging?  Yes.  Did I mind the break?  No.  The break gave my mind the space needed to allow other thoughts to come through.  And now that I have what I need, the pages of my book are filling up even faster than before.

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