March 6, 2012

Falling In Love with Writing

I read a great post by Ainsley Shay, do you LOVE your book? Ainsley described the process she goes through when writing. Thinking about my own writing process, I realized it's like falling in love. A relationship is formed over time and goes through similar stages.

Love of Books, by Jiri Hodan
First Spark
In the beginning, I'm taken over by the euphoria of love. The idea pops in my head, and I am infatuated. Each day I wake up thinking about it, wondering how I can get through the other parts of my day to spend more time with it. Like any new relationship, it's exciting and makes me feel all gooey inside.

Most projects make it past this point.

The First Fight
At some point, you have your first fight. He wants to go to his mother's for the holidays, but you've already promised your family you'd come there. Or, in the case of writing, a pivotal paragraph you need to sing is whimpering.

The love is still there, but the real work is beginning. For this piece/relationship to mean something, you have to commit to it. Remember what made you fall in love in the beginning.

If you can't remember, this piece may need to be put away for later so you can move onto the newest infatuation in your head.

Or, in the writing world, editing. No matter how great the project, it needs some fixes along the way. Somewhere in the building process, there's room for improvement. The initial love has grown into something deeper. Hopefully, it's strong enough to survive finding a few flaws.

If you survive finetuning, the odds are in your favor.

Love. Check. Survived some bumps in the road. Check. Now it's time to commit knowing full well that nothing's perfect. There's no backing away once you've put in this amount of time and energy. You have to trust it, believe in it wholeheartedly.

But like any relationship, sometimes you don't get past the first spark or the first fight. You have to know yourself and trust your heart and instincts. And you have to be careful not to stray to the next pretty thing/thought.

Of course, it's okay to dream up new ideas and take notes. You just can't act on all of them at the same time. *wink*

I recently ran across this quote:

You have to walk carefully in the beginning of love; the running across fields into your lover's arms can only come later when you're sure they won't laugh if you trip.
Jonathan Carroll, "Outside the Dog Museum"

Remember, pace don't race. Yes, the euphoria will give you a great headstart. But it's the sweat and tears that make it truly special.

Of course, I'll be rereading this when I have my next fight with my WIP.

When you doubt your relationship with your work in progress, where do you turn?


Sarah Tokeley said...

I think I may be a serial cheater ;-)

Eloise said...

Doubting my relationship? I have to back-burner it and move on to something else. The something-else can be another writing piece or weeding the flowerbeds. (It *needs* to be more blog posts and blog reading. I have made a whatchamacallit - promise! - yes, that's it - to do more of both.) But, I have made a vow to myself to not abandon a piece because I'm stuck or it's too hard. Some of my best writing has come out of the pieces I've wanted to ditch.

Lisa Carter said...

I love the comparison, Tia! It is so spot on. As a continuation of the analogy, for years I've been meaning to write about how sending a work to the publisher and it coming out in print is like giving birth. Although, to be fair, I've never had children... My books are my babies. ;-)

Miranda Hardy said...

This explains why I get bored with my book so easily. Just like my love life. Lol

Great analogy.

Julie Glover said...

I love this, Tia! So aptly put. I also think sometimes we need time away in our relationships and from our WIPs to get perspective. Then we come return to them and feel a fresh sense of "oh yeah, this is great!"

Tia Bach said...

Sarah, LOL. I'm having a wandering eye lately myself. ;-)

Eloise, A great vow. I am stubborn with pieces that way, too, especially if I know deep down they are worth something.

Lisa, I'd love to read that post. Great to see you here! Hope all is well.

Miranda, Thanks for the chuckle. ;-)

Julie, *blushing* Thanks. I do think some time away helps us to appreciate it even more.

Thanks everyone for visiting and commenting!

Ainsley Shay said...

I love the way you compared love to writing! It's perfectly true. I think the most important thing is -
"Remember what made you fall in love in the beginning." You said it perfectly. If we can remember that - then we need to keep writing!!

Great post!!

Thanks for mentioning my post!

callmebecks said...

I kind of in love with this extended metaphor, complete with timeline. I actually broke up with my current WIP and then we reconnected after a few years after we'd both grown a little. :) I think this is a relationship that'll last a lifetime.

Tia Bach said...

Thank YOU, Ainsley. Your post inspired me to think. I love posts like that!

Thanks, callmebecks!