Women’s Fiction, etc.

An ongoing discussion for readers/writers of Women’s Fiction

Archive for July, 2008

Balance and Butt Time

Have you ever tried to take up a new sport?  Master a new skill?  Do you remember how frustrated you got?   I’ll use learning to cast a fly rod, just as an example.  I took lessons when I started, and at first, I just focused on trying to keep the line in the air…rod moves from ten to two position (think of a clock) and timing is critical to keeping more and more line feeding out and in the air (hopefully without hitting yourself in the back of the head with a fly!).  All that seemed hard enough, but then I had to actually aim at something in the water and be able to hit it, without slapping the water and scaring the fish!  Seemed impossible in the beginning.


Being a neophyte in writing feels a bit like that; how do I remember all the things I need to at the same time?  Everything feels awkward, and just…. not comfortable.  I’ll learn a new skill – say plotting.  I end up focusing on that so much that my characters become flat and uninteresting!  What’s really frustrating is that, at first, I don’t realize what’s happened – just that I suddenly have lost interest in the story, and can’t make myself sit down and write.  I spent a month flogging myself, accusing myself of being lazy and questioning my ability to become a professional writer.  A month wasted.


 Well, maybe not wasted totally, because I now understand what was wrong, and maybe next time I’ll recognize it more quickly.  This road to being a good writer is a long and convoluted one, much more so than I realized when I began.


 It’s like giving birth – if you truly knew what you were getting yourself into, would you do it?  I think it depends on when you’re asked…when they put the baby in your arms for the first time?  Of course!  In the middle of labor?   Maybe not so much….