I wrote this on my Instagram the other day: “Nothing destroys the fun of writing novels for me than reading books about how to write a novel. Now I’m so in my head I can’t hear anything but rules.”
It is true, guys/gals. I sat in my living room last night with two craft books, a notebook, and a pen and thought, “Okay. I am going to outline this sucker and I am going to figure out what my two characters dark moments are and . . .” And I just stared at the page.
I don’t outline. That’s not me. I’m what fiction writers call a “pantser.”
But this time I thought, maybe, I would outline. I can be organized, plot and do all those things “a real writer” do, right?
I don’t know, though. Is that what being a real writer is? Being so organized that you plot every detail to the point you are technically perfect but lack feeling? This is what happened when I fell in love with photography. I learned all the rules and immersed myself in learning about the craft. I needed to be technically perfect, right?!
Within two years I hated the craft because I never felt like I wasn’t doing it right. I finally pushed aside all the books and rules and just photographed from the heart and that’s where I stayed. I couldn’t get clients in the area I live in – they wanted “normal” and “traditional” – but I am a lot happier.
So, I don’t know — maybe immersing myself in everything there is to know about the craft of writing novels isn’t really the way to go this time around. Small bites of information might be better in the long run. As for this week, I just need to write and figure it all out along the way.