Monday, April 18, 2011

O is for One word, One page

O is for One word, one page at a time.

Have you ever run? If not lace up your shoes and go outside and run for about 10-20 minutes. Go ahead. I'll wait. Experienced runners read on or just go out and run for fun.

*waits*

Now that you're back answer this question. How do you feel?
A) Great. I'm signing up for a marathon right now.
B) Not to bad. Maybe I should do a couch to 5k program.
C) My lungs are burning. My legs feel like Jell-o. Is this what dying feels like?

If you've never run before you probably feel like C.
Running a marathon takes a lot of steps. There are a lot of steps to run before clicking the "Register" button on the marathon sign up page and even more steps after.

Writing is like this. As writers we get an awesome idea. We write the first chapter of our work of genius. Sometimes before we even finish the beginning of a story or get a word on paper we begin thinking about finding an agent, pitching an idea, writing a trilogy/series, buying a new awesome laptop to fit in with the other writers, how much J. K. Rowling, Stephanie Meyer, Stephen King and Suzanne Collins made, how soon until the advance comes, how big will the advance be, can I direct the movie version of my book.

All these things are things a writer shouldn't worry about until much later in the process. There are a lot of steps before we get to hit the "send" button on our manuscript and even more steps before we sign a contract for one book. As writers we need to write. One word, one page, one draft, one revision at a time. Worrying about writing a trilogy/series, how to spend an advance, directing the movie version of a book is like signing up for a marathon when you feel like your lungs are going to explode.

How do you remember to take writing one word, one page, one revision at a time?






7 comments:

Angela Felsted said...

I look at how many more words I need to write in order to finish this manuscript. That pretty much cures me.

NiaRaie said...

Awesome post. You're right, it is easy to get ahead of oneself and think of movies, advances and book covers, but the quality of writing and fun while doing it, is more important. Also, every time I run my legs feel like C. :)

Christina Lee said...

I always have to tell myself to slow down and BREATHE!! It will all come--in layers! Great post!

Julie said...

Great post, I love the analogy.

Have to admit my answer to the running question was C. One of my goals is to run a race, but I'm nowhere near ready for it.

E.J. Wesley said...

Totally agree, learning to run and write have a ton in common. Loved the one word/one page thought process!

EJ

Jennifer Hoffine said...

I fall in love, one story at a time. That's what keeps me going.

Alicia Gregoire said...

Great post, Carrie!