The Judgement Police

Filed under: Writing, Writing Style

In general I’ve been writing up a storm lately. Of course I’ve had a day or two–here and there–where that thing called “life” has gotten in the way. But in general, I’m very excited to have the creative juices flowing.  In fact, I’m in that stage where I’m a little bit obsessed with the book. I only want to listen to music off of THE OPPOSITE OF GRAVITY PLAYLIST, I fall asleep thinking about the book and I wake up with the story running around inside my head. My activity of choice right now, if I could completely put life on hold, would be to just sit down some place cozy and get the thoughts out of my head and on the paper.

It wasn’t so long ago where this was the exact opposite. I spent most of my WIP writing time–well–not writing. I wrote other things like blogs, did revisions and edits etc… But, when it came to book two, I could only get small amounts onto the paper at a time. Some days it felt like swimming in mud. Technically, I guess I could have slowly and methodically kept writing and erasing all my dead ends, but that doesn’t work for me.  I’ve learned that I need to know my story and my characters really well to make the writing happen. Besides, the act of day dreaming on paper seems like such a slow way to work. My mind functions so much faster than my fingers.

I used to feel a little crappy about this. Pretty sure the judgement police were going to give me a BIC (butt in chair) Citation, but I’ve learned that perhaps I do better trusting my instincts and being me. I’ve even started to think of this period of my story building, as my “astral projection phase.”  I imagine it must feel glorious to travel without the weight of  your body holding you down, but the closest I can say I’ve come to this experience is a couple really great flying dreams–I love those.  Or maybe it’s the time spent in the in-between of a day dream–plotting a story. I know how other people work the best. And I’ve always compared my methods to theirs, but I’ve been wondering…

Option #1

Heavy and cumbersome–forcing thoughts out onto the page…


Option #2

Light and dreamy–where I let my mind go wherever it wants to take me.

Yes, I like the second choice much better.

***Insert public service announcement–AURACLE by Gina Rosati ROCKS!***

Here’s the thing, I wasn’t completely sure that this was true until the last couple weeks, when all my brain cells decided to get together and have a party. Finally, I know with certainty that there is a complete book here–not just tendrils of thought that I am trying to weave together. I know that the first book was not just a fluke. So, here’s what I want to tell you. Be educated. Know what “writers” need to do to make it in this business. Once you know that, you are loaded for bear. Then…look at what YOU need to do to be a writer. Pick the tools that make your magic happen. Don’t think of yourself as a screw-up. Think of yourself as innovative, gifted and trend setting. Trust yourself as much as you can and then give yourself a little more credit–even if you have to fake it. And of course–be sure to write the book. You can’t be unique and take the world by storm without the book!

So, what do I think about THE OPPOSITE OF GRAVITY now that it’s starting to live and breath on it’s own? Here are the questions I ask myself…

Will it be any good?

I sure hope so, but who the hell knows.

Was it what I should have written?

The truth–it’s the only thing I could have written–let the chips fall where they may.

Is it anywhere near done?

Not really–but that’s because I’m a weaver and I won’t be happy with it until those original tendrils of thought have come together to make a whole that is bigger than its parts.

And thinking ahead…

Now that I’ve gained all this enlightenment, will the 3rd book be any easier?

Not a chance–but that’s why we feel so proud and accomplished when we’ve finished.

Happy writing! Don’t forget to tell me what makes you unique as a writer? Or tell me what you would actually do if the judgement police weren’t watching. I promise not to tell a soul–maybe.



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8 Responses | TrackBack URL | Comments Feed

  1. Thanks you for this post. I was sure the judgement police were going to knock down my door any minute. It’s so hard to trust your instincts when no new words arrive on the page of your wip. But you are absolutely right that during this time when I haven’t added to my wip, I’ve been thinking about my wip. And when I recognize that, I realize that this has happened before and my work has gotten better because of it. I’m sure yours has too.

    • Absolutely! We live in a time of immediate gratification and it’s hard to measure thinking and dreaming and their importance in the process when books get turned out quicker and quicker all the times. I really am struggling to focus on being a writer, not a producer. This is hard and I don’t want to damage my future carer in anyway. I want to give my future readers books, but I also want to give them the best that I have to offer. John Green, it took him 10 years to write TFIOS…I want to be that thoughtful and sincere with what I bring to the table. And hopefully, if it takes me a little longer to get it to the “show” perhaps the journey that it takes after that won’t be so traumatic. You’re doing just fine–trust yourself–always. <3

  2. *nods* I understand completely. My first book releases in six months. With revisions, copy edits, and of course, ‘life’, my progress on book two feels like it’s limited to a paragraph at a time. When I do have time to write, I find I can’t. When I hit blocks like this, I now know it’s because I don’t know my characters as deeply as I must in order to tell their stories. I take time out to reconnect with them, make sure I understand their goals, motivations, desires.

    • I try to remember that I wouldn’t have that intimate of a relationship with a “real” person that quickly–how can I expect myself to bring the depth that I want to my characters any quicker. Perhaps in a world where it is so hard to get someone to genuinely love your work, it’s better to take our time and put our best work forward when it’s ready. (((hugs)))

  3. I won’t sic the judgment police on you if you don’t sic them on me. *grin*

    And I can’t think of thing that makes me unique as a writer — I suspect most writers are just as neurotic as I am.

  4. Sounds like a fair deal!! I suspect you’re right. LOL!

  5. Thank you for keeping it real. It’s nice to hear that even authors who can pound out 2,800 words a day, regularly, also have days, weeks, where they need to work the stories out in their heads. Happy writing (and revising) to you!

    • You’re welcome. I swear some days it feels like a crap shoot. LOL! But other days it feels like divine intervention. <3

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