Thursday, July 31, 2008

Novel spasms

I know, I know. Whine, whine, despair. Everytime I finish a novel, I look at it in wonder and I forget how hard it was to write. (I know the metaphore is childbirth, but since I had a spectacularly magical pregnancy and a wonderful birthing experience with only one strange Jurassic Park labor moment, and I remember all of it, that doesn't hold for me.)Then I anguish over the new novel I've started, wondering why ONE. I can't just rewrite the novel I've completed that I now love and TWO. I can't just write the new novel as easily and fluidly as I am CERTAIN was my process for every other novel I've ever written. All evidence to the contrary somehow doesn't count.

I despaired about all of this to a lifeline, an incredibly talented writer friend and she said: Don't despair, sugar, these are swings. Remember that. You need to just realize the novel's in process and it's all pains and spasms for a while and lots of anguish and unclarity. But that DOES NOT mean it's not going to be great or working.

I think that is advice so good I should tattoo it on the inside of my eyelids so everytime I blink I see it and remember. Or at the very least, it needs to be a voice loop in my head.

I like that, though. Swings.


Anonymous said...

Caroline wants everyone to know that her blog has been temporarily locked due to some possible spam problems, It can take up to 20 days until they unlock it. You can still emaiil her privately in the meantime.
Jeff (her adoring husband)

Kass said...

Im sorry bout your blog glitch Caroline. But thank you for your last pot. I love the metaphor your friend used with the swing. I will make a stickie of that for my screen!

Clea Simon said...

Sorry you're locked up and hope that you're free before 20 days! In the meantime, this is a great post. But maybe the fear and the spasms are part of the process and can't be avoided?