I don’t write to be famous, I don’t write to be known, I write because I am and I want to be read. How sad to fill a room with paintings no one sees or play music no one hears. Writing is talking without sound, singing without score and dancing without movement and yet, it is all of them. It is a solitary art conjured from thought and expressed by the need to communicate.

HEAD-SLAPS, SPEED-BUMPS and LIGHT-BULBS, one woman's WTF, oops and ah-ha moments of life.

They were published once, and as every writer knows, once is not enough.



Sunday, April 19, 2015

New and unused


We’re in the process of selling our house and I’m excited. Not only is the idea of downsizing a thrill but because it's being shown, I have come to love living in a clean house.

After twelve years it’s amazing just how beat-up, bruised and used the old place looked. I’ve freshened most of the walls and woodwork with paint, scrubbed and cleaned until my nails are nubs. And the place looks great especially with all the snow gone and the lawns and leaves popping green.

I’ve made a few changes inside the house and a few outside so even though we’re on the way out of here, the place seems new. Will I miss the homestead, yes, a lot of wonderful memories here, but I won’t miss the high carrying charges. We have too much room to roam in, I want less.

Up ‘til about a year or so ago I think my writing was very much like living a long time in the same place, relying on the tried and true, the dependable and predictable.  Though proud of what I was turning out, I was in need of freshening up the battered old phrases and ideas that have been stacked in the attic too long. As they say, out with the old and in with unused and new.

Though difficult, change is a good thing. It gets us on unfamiliar roads, looking for a different comfort level. It gets us ahead of the pale and stale old usage.

So, here we go, selling and moving and here I am discovering a new tact.

I will admit though, that one project, a short story I wrote almost thirty years ago, a story one wonderful editor said MUST be a book, is taking on a new and gleaming look and sound, I found my main character’s voice. From word one all are new. It is a rewriter’s dream. The core, as he said, MUST be a book, and so it shall be.

Is the best of what we do all about change or is it about looking at freshened up things differently?

When’s the last time your writing changed?

8 comments:

  1. Hi Carolynn(2ns)! Stopping in after reading the list on QOTKU's blog.

    My writing is constantly changing, but I do think that perspective really does play a part in why writing changes. Somehow freshening up for a ball leads to walking down the grand staircase of a spaceship. I like the tried and true of writing. I like knowing what works for me and what doesn't. But I don't think dependability is necessarily the equivalent stagnation.

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    1. I don't know Megan. What I see as stagnation from some authors is a winning formula for their fans. For writers who turn out the same old stuff all the time, I'm thinking that adding a little more than salt and pepper is a good thing. Although, if everybody likes you pasta sauce why mess with it. Ha, me and my analogies (it's my tried and true).

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  2. I actually think (hope) my writing changes with each new project and by that I really mean IMPROVES. Having said that, I think I know what else it is you're hinting at, and it's about writing something outside of one's usual wheelhouse. Different genre, POV's etc...right?

    If so, been there, done that, and continue to search for new ways to tell a story.

    So far:

    First book - coming of age novel set in Alabama, timeframe late 60's
    Second book - struggles of married couple living in rural NC mountains after loss/tragedy, timeframe late 1920's
    Third book - hard crime, set in Mississippi, 1970's

    And two of those in first person POV, and one in 3rd with alternating POV's.



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    1. And my question to you now is, what is the most comfortable to write, the one which feels right. And the question, let's say, in two years, is which is the most successful AND do you stick with the successful or the one which feels right. Maybe they are one in the same.

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  3. How exciting to be finding a new home, Cw2Ns!! Have you found your new 'dream home' or are you still hunting? Just think of all the new painting opportunities you'll have *wink*.

    I've tried a few things: short stories - not for me, I have too many words, romance - not for me, I keep wanting to add too much non-romance plot to the story and not add enough emotion, straight crime - just didn't seem to gel with me. So now I write cozies (which I love to do) and I hope that shows on the page. Am getting close to sending my first queries out into the world so I guess I'll find out.

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    1. I want to sell first, then find the dream home. BTW I am the only person I know who loves to paint as much as JR does.

      To write what you love is a joy. To be published, writing what you love, is a privilege. To make money, writing what you love, is the dream.

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  4. Hi Carolynn, waiving at you :-)

    I'm so glad that a wonderful editor told you that your story MUST be a book. And that you've found your main character's voice: WOW!

    Since I've been working on my current MS, my writing has completely changed in very surprising ways. And it's the happiest thing I've ever done…so I guess at this stage improving is my main focus.

    But I like surprises -- at least, good ones. ;-)

    Crossing my fingers for you to find your dream home after you sell your house. :-)

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    1. Hey Lilac, I'm crossing my fingers too. I always knew that when we bought this house we would eventually sell it. (It's awesome but too big). Now I want to fall in love with my home again.
      It's good that your writing has changed and you are happy with it. We spend so much time inside our heads doing what it is we do, it's wonderful if it brings you joy. Much luck.

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