One true thing

Much of the time writing is NOT fun.  In fact, at a recent writing retreat with my critique group, Viva Scriva, Liz R. and I were discussing the things we like to do more than writing (at least when we’re in the slog phase).  Much debate there was over cleaning toilets (me: prefer over writing; her: less than writing) and laundry (both: prefer), etc.

When I’m deep in a draft (or more typically in revision), my fingers are typing away while I’m thinking things like move that clause to the front, pick a better verb, and describe more viscerally.  I plunk away for a page or two then I check twitter or each a piece of dried coconut (me: prefer eating to writing).  Then I get back to it.  Hours later I’ve laid down a couple thousand words or revised a few chapters.

But sometimes, I find the flow of it.  I become my characters and they take me places I don’t expect.  I inhabit my scene as fully as I inhabit these pajamas and this desk chair.  When this happens, I ride the wave through and often find, much to my amazement, that I have written ONE TRUE THING.  Maybe just a sentence or an exchange of dialogue or a description that captures something’s essence exactly, the ONE TRUE THING is enough to keep me going day after day, page after page.

May it happen for you.


One thought on “One true thing

  1. This is lovely, Amber, and so true. I wrote a poem for myself about this a while ago. I call the One True Thing “touching the lightning.” It’s amazing how much of a boost that feeling gives me, and how much I drag along if I haven’t felt it in a while.

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