Writing: The Gift of Little Pieces
I may have mentioned before that July seems to be a month of (wonderful) deadlines, and August is setting itself up to be that way. It would be easy, but depressing, to just let my fiction go and give into the panic worry that maybe there isn’t enough time for it all.
I’m trying to respond to that temptation with one word: Nonsense!
Not nonsense as in I’m Wonder Woman (whose new costume, I LOVE, btw!) and being able to do it all. But nonsense as in reminding myself that if I just take that hour of panic worry that I can easily use up in a single day, and give it to my fiction, well, hey, look: presto-magico…progress! And no depression. 🙂
And-as usual-I’m making a discovery along the way. This first draft I’m working on has its own moments of panic (yes, this time, PANIC) about where I’m going and how much I don’t know and how much I will have to weave together even when I DO know it and, oh, I could go on and on…. But guess what? The panic drops when I’m just working in little bits of time and pages.
I take one morning to plot out a new scene. All sorts of questions rise up to haunt me–“Oh, yeah, and where is THIS going to lead?” “You DO know this means you’ll be rereading those books about fancy-schmancy department stores?” “You’ve decided to write about a sabbath dinner after all, because…why?!”
Well, guess what? All I have to do that morning is plot that one scene. That evening, or the next morning, I can write it…or half of it. That afternoon, read just one chapter on department stores, for now. The next morning, plot that scene. And so on. When I’m not looking at hours of plotting and writing–all in one fell swoop–when there’s only so much time (and, oh, yes, panic) I can give to my fiction that day, it’s…easier.
Maybe it’s not the best way to immerse myself in the story, maybe it’s not the best way to get hundreds and thousands of fiction words onto the page. On the other hand, maybe it’s exactly how I need to be doing it this month.
Do you work best in small chunks or in long, dedicated hours? Are there times when one style works better for you than the other?
Have a wonderful writing week!