Friday, June 6, 2014

What am I working on?

Last week Corinne invited me to participate in a blog tour on creating and writing, which is a lot of fun. Thanks, Corinne, for the chance to write on a topic I love, and something other than homeschool!

1. What am I working on?
I am writing a novel. It is definitely a long (long)-term project, and that is okay. 

I also write a weekly column for The Budget.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Without giving anything away, I would say that my novel is on a theme of Restraint. What would happen if a modern woman chose to step out of her anxieties and create her own life, if that life required restrained liberties and affections.

3. Why do I create/write what I do?
I'm not sure. I don't remember when this story began or what compels me to write it, except that each chapter seems to lead to another chapter. 

4. How does my writing/creating process work?
Ideas happen when I'm not looking for them. I will observe a person on the street and without realizing it I've woven a story about her life, I am at the stoplight and suddenly feeling such the weight I have imagined her day or her life to be; I want to tell those stories. Some ideas come to me from people I have known or books I am reading, my own experiences. Ideas never come while sitting at the computer. 

So I guess the process is, first some spark or glimmer which happens- I am incapable of producing- that speaks or moves me in some way, and I let that simmer in the back of my mind or maybe a few sentences or description in a notebook. Later at the computer it usually flows pretty easily, without a lot of thought. But it's just a sketch, moving quickly, it would be really embarrassing if anyone tried to read it because I don't try to polish or over-think at all at this point. By the time I go back for the first revision I have more clarity of where I am trying to go and a lot will change. I will revise it a third and fourth (and fifth) time before I present it to my writing group for critique, and even then it is still in the beginning stages.

For the past month or so I have been practicing "productive procrastination". It has a lot to do with our sitter being gone for the summer, and my brain filled with homeschool, but also my story line is just stuck at the moment. It doesn't worry me because I know the next view is out there, I am just in the weeds right now. This explains the boost in activity on this blog recently.

(real life beautiful)

I find there is liberty is trusting the creative process. It's a lot like faith; for me, it is faith- believing that there is enough light for the step you are standing on, and the next thing will be revealed at the right time. This frees me from the anxiety of never having enough time to write, being constantly frustrated by interruptions, etc. I don't want to live like that. I want to enjoy the writing process and my children and this season of life, and fortunately I'm not in a position where I need to produce produce produce. I've finally found a much more comfortable pace which includes enjoying my children and homeschool, and trusting that there is enough time to write the book, too. If it takes a lifetime to write only one book, but I have lived my "few live seasons purely, in the present*"? Well, that is all I want.

Be sure to check-out Corinne's lovely blog, and her instagram is great too. 

I tag Charette at Divergent Pathways, because she has been back at the blog a bit recently, and I would love to hear about what she is creating.

*Annie Dillard

1 comment:

Corinne Cunningham said...

Thanks for playing Jess! I loved reading about your project, your process, and especially how you aren't worried about when you are stuck. LOVE that. xoxo