I talked to some of my NYC peeps today (big YAY) and I’m relieved everyone seems to have fared well through this last brutal winter storm. As I read reports and watched the news, this was definitely one of the moments where I was not missing the Big Apple.
Instead, I spent my time outside in my backyard, enjoying the breeze and clear blue sky with Theo. Tonight when we went for a walk, the bright blue sky turned into a deep indigo. It was still clear–better than HD, and the inky background was punctuated only by the stars. I felt like I could see each and every breathtaking one. I wish I knew more constellations, because I’m pretty sure they were all out tonight. As it stands, I can only tell the Big Dipper, Little Dipper, and Orion’s Belt. I’m certain my nephew knows more about them than me.
It never fails to amaze me how much a clear sky (day or night) helps to clear my mind. It happens to be one of the things I don’t take for granted–every time I look up at it, I’m reminded that it’s not always like this, that sometimes you look up and all you see are barriers and dirty stone structures and there isn’t anything but slight glimpses of blue in between the gray. No proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. Perhaps that’s why my Texas sky does wonders for me.
I’m able to see beyond.
The reason this is important tonight is because I had a major breakthrough in my writer’s block!
There are lots of terms for things, writing lingo if you will, that I’m now learning. New labels assigned to old behaviors or feelings previously unidentifiable.
I must say it does help this whole business feel less abstract.
Again, my tangents…anyway, in writing lingo, there are Plotters and Pantsers. Plotters outline meticulously and you guessed it–everything is plotted out. They’ve just got to write the story.
Pansters fly by the seat of their proverbial pants. (Now that I’m not working in corporate America and I’m working from home, mine happen to be of the pajama variety, yay!)
I’m a pantster.
I love when the story comes, it flows out of my brain through my veins into my fingertips which then fly over the keyboard. It’s exhilarating, scary, and wonderful all at the same time. With this last book (i.e. current), I tried to become a Plotter. I went through my writing software (Scrivener, a real writer’s Godsend), and I thought out the entire story (six weeks ago).
Then I started to write. And write. And write.
And then I got blocked.
It didn’t make sense to me. Honestly, how could I be blocked when I knew what I was going to write? I had blurbs and mini-blurbs and bullet points galore, but I was still stuck.
I knew Liz and Mark (my protagonists) were moving into the next stage of their relationship and finally getting to admitting their feelings, and I even had a bar scene planned out, but I couldn’t write it. It was frustrating to say the least. I didn’t feel connected to my story any longer.
So I stopped and over-analyzed (as is my wont). Then I really stopped. I stopped analyzing, stopped thinking about the story, and just let my brain breathe. I stopped stressing and focused on recovering from these damned infections which had lain me low…and something else happened–the weather got warmer.
This meant I was outside more, walking around, lounging in the deck, always staring at the sky…and then it hit me! What I needed to do in order to bring my characters together…
It completely deviates from the plot I’d had written out, but I’m energized and once more enthusiastic about what I’m writing and that’s what is most important to me. Long story short, I’m definitely a Pantser, although I do think it might be helpful to outline incrementally as I go.
So once again enthusiastic…and that’s a big part of this game. My heart has to be into it for me to love what I’m writing, and if I don’t love what I’m writing, then I’m writing crap.
In summation, I love clear skies and I’m a Pantser.
Also, the internet is a creepy place. In my last post I blogged about refurbishing an old Banker’s Chair.
Guess what images now pop up for advertisements on Overstock.com on 50% of the webpages I visit???