Rowyn (rowyn) wrote,

On a Roll

Since last Saturday, I've written at least one entry of Silver Scales every day. I've written almost as many so far this month as last month, and there are eight days to go in February. I've already exceeded my fiction postings for all of 2004.

I'm pleased about this.

But what pleases me even more than the visible signs of progress is how much I'm enjoying writing.

sandratayler recently went to a panel, where Jerry Pournelle said something on the lines of "No one likes to write; they like to have written, but not the actual process of writing."

That describes my attitude towards Prophecy pretty well. I'm glad I wrote it. It's nice to be able to say that I've written a complete book. But I didn't enjoy writing it. Most of the time, writing it was a slog. It was difficult, frustrating, and held few short-term rewards.

But even with Prophecy, there were scenes that I enjoyed writing. There were scenes that made me laugh, and that broke my heart, and that thrilled m -- even while I was writing them out. I wrote a couple of thousand words one day, just because I could visualize the scene so vividly that I wanted to get it all down at once.

Still, the times when it was fun were few and far between. Gotta write, gotta make quota, gotta get this over with was a much more common attitude.

Silver Scales is different. It's fun. It's not easy-fun the way playing Puzzle Pirates is. It's not relaxing. But it's still fun. I look forward to being able to write an entry. I love thinking about what's going to happen next. I enjoy typing out scenes where I don't know what the characters are going to say next, and I'm waiting to be surprised by what comes out.*

A few years ago, one of the bloggers I followed was doing NaNoWriMo. He'd been a midlist author in the 70s, but hadn't written any new fiction in several years. He wrote about how exciting it was to be writing again, about how he plotted for the book during breaks at his job, and got up early to squeeze extra writing into the morning, and came home eager to sit down at his computer and write some more. I envied him that -- not that he was writing more than I was, but that he was so happy to be doing it. I couldn't remember what it was like to look forward to being able to write.

When I started Silver Scales in 2003, I rediscovered that joy for myself. And now I am reminded again, of just why it is that I wanted to be a writer in the first place.

I'm not sure exactly what the difference is. Is it because I am not bound to The Master Plan(tm) for writing Scales? Or because Scales is so much more cheerful than Prophecy was? I'm sure the audience is a factor. Although UT has a (deliberately) small audience, it's a very responsive one, and it's nice to look forward to feedback on virtually every entry. But I don't think that's the main factor: jordangreywolf responded enthusiastically to every installment of Prophecy that I sent, and while I greatly appreciated that, it only made me enjoy having written, not the act of writing itself.

I'd like to know the "why" of it. It'd be good to carry this joy into every project that I start, and to hang onto it until completion.

But whatever the reason, it's a good place to be.

Mmm, writing.

* Does anyone else have this feeling when writing dialogue? Many times, I have a general idea what the characters are going to discuss in a scene, but usually I don't know exactly what they're going to say until a few moments before I write it down. It's like my mind has to see, in writing, what Character A just said before it will decide how Character B will respond. If I need for characters to discuss certain talking points in a scene, I often have to go over the dialogue several times, tweaking and revising to get it all in.

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