How many people do you know who have written a novel or a handful of stories? Do you count only yourself?
Writing is a singular endeavor, and it is doubly so when no one understands your compulsion.
So why do we write?
When you are in the middle of writing your first draft, it’s like standing in a stream. You can’t see the current, but you can feel it. This is the story flowing out of you and you should follow it. This is good work. You have found the sweet spot, the wormhole, into your story. I believe that all the novels you want to write are already written. They already exist inside you in a preverbal, rhythmic, motor place in your body. The trick is to find a way of tapping into them. Getting to this place can be elusive. Sometimes it happens early on in the writing process, sometimes very late; but once you find it, your story will flow out of you in a natural, organic way.
The above italicized paragraph comes from Richard Skinner's great article from earlier this week called Know Thyself...By Writing Your First Novel.
Read the article. I think you'll find it inspiring.
If you're nearing the end of a project or have just completed a novel or several short stories, knowing what to do next in the absence of a critique group or formal workshop can be confusing. Do you put your novel or story in the drawer for six months and return to it later? Do you revise it immediately, and if so, how do you know where the soft spots are, where the opportunities for improvement can be found? Are you going to query agents or upload your manuscript to a self-publishing platform? Or send your short story to a batch of literary journals?
What is your next step?
If you'd like to talk about what to do next, contact us HERE and we can set up a time to talk on about where you are in your process.
At the very least, take a moment to read Richard Skinner's article and allow yourself to be okay with the uncertainty. That is where all writers live. You're in good company.
Executive Director, Writing Workshops Dallas