D.V. Sheppard

The web-log of a duck-herding author.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

"Ah-ha!" Moment

It's Tuesday! Tuesdays are my official writing days. I try to treat it like a job and be lotsa productive. I woke up prepared for this - but after about an hour I still haven't written anything. Instead I dabbled on Facebook - got riled up by political and religious posh thereon - and decided for my health's sake I'd stay away from that for awhile. Looking for distraction, I went looking at some blog posts and laughed my tookus off watching the video on Lisa Ann's blog. Then, in an attempt to get closer to writing - I opened up Scrivener AND my Liquid Story Binder. Then through a small series of unimportant events I found myself in an "Ah-ha!" moment.

You, see I've worked on three major book projects in my ickle life. The first I wrote when I was... say... 14? It wasn't til a couple years ago, when I found the printed manuscript that, I realized that I had in fact written a book from start to finish. How cool! I hadn't remembered this.

The second book project was called Banded. I worked on this for years - probably from 15ish to 22ish. It just kept evolving and changing and it wasn't until the last year of working on it that I finally put my foot down and decided what I wanted. I practically scrapped it and started from the beginning. I then realized that it couldn't be my break-out book, so I shelved it. This was significant, because  the other day after reading someone's post, I though, "Could I really shelve a manuscript? Could I really make myself let go and move on to more perhaps greater projects? Would my arrogance allow?" (I recently realized that I am in fact arrogant. It seems being arrogant makes it hard to see your own arrogance.) Turns out I've already shelved two manuscripts.

I'm working on the third right now which has the working title of Unbanded (yes, yes, my creativity is earth shaking- astounding :p). I intend to prove myself with this book - but I've found myself thinking "Wow, I hope I can do this, I've never written this much before." Apparently, I have the memory of a goldfish, or the observation power of a blind goldfish - or both. Today, I transferred all of Banded over to Scrivenar and got a word count of 111,946. I nearly laughed. You see my prospected word count for Unbanded is 110,000.

So... I guess my point is... if I've done it once - I can do it again!

Does this happen to anyone else? Do you catch yourself not remembering the credit you earned in accomplishing things? Perhaps thinking you couldn't write something "moving" enough, or long enough, clever enough or maybe make a character "real" enough - only to go back to something you've written and see that you actually have done just that?


First of all, congrats on sticking with your writing. Many people would have abandoned their project after struggling with it for so long. Tenacity is key to finishing a novel, but I'm sure that's something you already know.

Hopefully third time's the charm. I'll keep my fingers crossed that this is your breakout novel. Best of luck.
I was looking through some old moving boxes that I haven't opened in literally years. I came across a short story I wrote in high school that I hadn't looked at in over a decade. I was floored because it wasn't as bad as I remembered. Glad you're sticking with the writing, 100k + is an accomplishment and yes, if you did it in the past, you can do it again, and better!
So glad you liked my walrus clip! And yes, I am sometimes pleasantly surprised by my childhood writing. I wrote stories pretty much non-stop from childhood up until high school--when I decided creative writing wasn't "cool" for awhile. I recently uncovered many of my middle school ramblings, and they aren't nearly as dreadful as I remembered. Some are actually quite cute, and it's nice to be reminded how dedicated I was back then. Good luck with your new manuscript!
LisaAnn - yeah, I loved that clip so much that me and my husband were laughing and acting it out. And thanks so much for the well-wishes!
Elise - I've been there! Sometimes it's really empowering to read something you've forgotten you'd even wrote - and find that you like it. It gives you a glimpse of what a reader would experience - which is hard when you're in the middle of it :p
Andrea - You're absolutely right. Sometimes I think I should make myself a writing t-shirt that says "Tenacity". I don't know that there's a better word :)

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