And they talk to her. For real! (Proof)
I love Daisy's refreshing, point blank humor and her openness on her blog.
Please welcome the awesome Daisy Carter.
Sure-fire ways to tell if your writer friends are working on first drafts:
1. They mumble things like, "The pantyhose are a metaphor!" at dinner parties.
2. They're wearing the same coffee-stained shirt as the last time you saw them...a month ago.
3. Their coffee, btw, smells very much like a liquor cabinet.
4. They sob uncontrollably/laugh hysterically/sigh like they're blowing into a breathalyzer for no apparent reason.
5. They have that look in their eyes. You know the one - you've seen it on Most Wanted posters at the post office.
6. They tell you. Repeatedly.
Have I described someone you know? Have I described YOU? Please don't be offended if I have; this paints a pretty accurate picture of me at the moment. Well, not a pretty accurate picture - there's nothing pretty about it.
According to Rose Nylund, the creative process is a lot like giving birth.
Rose is right. First drafts are TOUGH. They're painful, they're exhausting, and they're emotional.
And when it's all said and done, you have a beautiful mess that needs to be cleaned up, bundled, and loved for a long time before it's ready to send out into the world. But that's the easy part...er, well, it's a different part. To get to it, you've gotta get through the first draft. The painful, never-ending first draft.
So, you can do one of two things:
One, join Rose on the lanai and practice your lamaze breathing. Not a bad idea, but really, what's lamaze but trying to slow down your pacing?
Two, get off that wicker chaise lounge and get to it. Yes, there will be pain. Yes, it will hurt and you'll push too hard when you're supposed to let your body of work take its time. Yes, you will scream. You might get red-faced and sweaty. You might snap at loved ones who come in with herbal tea.
"I CAN'T DRINK THAT NOW, I'M KIND OF IN THE MIDDLE OF SOMETHING HERE! I KNOW YOU WISH YOU COULD HELP, BUT YOU CAN'T! THIS IS MY BABY, AND I HAVE TO BRING IT INTO THE WORLD ON MY OWN!"
Ouch. Doesn't sound like much fun, does it?
That's how it is for a lot of us, though. And you know what makes it even harder? When we meet those writers who talk about what an easy delivery they had. "Oh, I whip out my first drafts in about two weeks."
Two weeks?!? I have leftovers older than that!
I don't envy those writers. Really. I don't. Not. At. All. Especially when I remind myself that those writers are (usually) plotters. They have a pretty clear picture of the beginning, middle, and end of their drafts before they set pen to paper. Not me. I'm more of a pantster. I have an idea, and I try to have an ending. At least, I know where I THINK my story will end. But other than that, I'm at the mercy of my characters. They take me wherever they want.
This works for me. But my first drafts take a LOT longer to write. Like, 4 months longer. I'm working on shortening that number. I'd really like to cut my drafting time in half. 2 months seems a reasonable amount of time... right?
No more heavy breathing with Rose. From now on, I'm going to write like a REAL Golden Girl - an Olympian. I'll stick to a regimen, set goals, and track my growth. And maybe, just maybe, I'll hit that goal. One way I'll do this?
Cut out "junk food." From now on, when I'm writing, I won't stuff my time with extras: checking my email every time my phone dings at me; doing "quick" google searches for
All of these things are great - but they're junking up my writing time. So, I'm turning off my Wi-Fi, muting my phone so I don't hear the email/text/call dings, and putting in uninterrupted hours of work.
If all goes to plan, I'll have an AWESOME August! You can read about the rest my Olympic regimen at my blog, Fresh As A Daisy.
Do you have a routine you stick to? A regimen? Do you write like Rose, or worse, like Blanche?
Daisy Carter has never been on a soap opera, but she did once sing on stage at Disney World. She writes YA contemporaries and is represented by the fabulous Tricia Lawrence of Erin Murphy Literary Agency. Her current manuscript, NEXT, is the story of four girls whose lives intertwine on their graduation day.She blogs about writing and books at Fresh As A Daisy. It's hurricane weather down in Florida, where Daisy lives with her family.