First things first: here’s a link to the CLN annotated list of ALA winners from yesterday, in case you haven’t seen it yet. There are many books here that I’m looking forward to reading, especially the Michael Printz winner and honor books!
Second things second: yes, I have finished the new book trailer for April Fool, Phyllis! but no, it isn’t up yet because there is a sticky part that isn’t playing correctly and I can’t figure out why. If there are any technological geniuses out there who understand the nuances of imovie please feel free to share your expertise in the comments and up your karma quotient for the day 🙂
Now, on to today’s important topic: getting started.
I told you I was taking a writing course. It officially began yesterday. My assignment for the week is to either rewrite a scene from something I’ve already written, or write something new. I think I’m going to go for option B – write something new.
Which leads me to “getting started.”
There are a lot of “getting started” moments in a writer’s day. There’s getting yourself started – not so easy at 5:30 AM when it’s dark and 9 degrees… again… 🙂 There’s getting the coffee maker started – that one is easy 🙂 There’s getting the Dog Mobile started to meet the school bus – always tricky because a) the Dog Mobile is unpredictable and cranky and b) we live 6/10 of a mile from the bus stop (so no visual contact), the bus driver is unpredictable and cranky, and when it suits her (like yesterday) she leaves without us… This in turn can affect getting the work day started by as much as an hour and a half.
Then there’s getting the coffee maker started again in order to fuel getting work started which involves
a) computer on, butt in chair
b) a strict self-command to stop checking email and stop reading other people’s interesting blogs and get inspired for the day, and
c) actually getting started on writing, which involves either getting started from where I left off yesterday or getting started from scratch on something new. (BTW, I think they call it “starting from scratch” because of the amount of time spent staring into space scratching your head (literally or metaphorically) while you try to think up something to write :))
For many writers, the blank page is intimidating. Luckily, I am under strict orders from myself to “be inspired at 9 o’clock every morning” (see yesterday’s post:)) so I have no excuse! I confess, though, that on many days I am not that inspired at 9:01… When that happens, I just write. Anything that comes into my head. It’s like priming the pump. If I can just get the words flowing, I have a hope of directing them where I want them to go. Eventually. Some days it works out, others I do a lot of deleting. But as David Eddings said, “A writer’s apprenticeship usually involves writing a million words (which are then discarded) before he’s almost ready to begin.” This helps me convince myself that no writing is wasted – it takes a long time to get to a million words!
Today, for my course, I’m going to get started on something new. I wonder what it will be? I’m pretty interested to find out! I hope it’s good!
What are your “getting started” moments? Which are hard and which are easy? How do you deal with the hard ones?