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  • Writer's picturePearl Lorentzen

Control the creative flame

I have always loved fire. The way that it ebbs and flows, and how stirring, blowing on it, or adding more wood makes it flare up and burn brighter.

Fire. Photo by Pearl Lorentzen.

I was recently reading some verses in 2 Timothy, in the Bible. Paul urges Timothy to 'fan into flame the gift of God.' He is of course speaking about the Holy Spirit, but the same can be said about creativity. It can lay dormant like smouldering coals, but with a bit of effort it will flare up into flames.

From January to July 2020, I'd written between zero and seven days on my novel a month. January was the most productive month, with most months closer to two days. These were often the first two days of the month.

However, as of August 25, I've written 15 minutes a day on my novel for 14 out of 16 workdays so far this month. The missed days were the Tuesday and Friday of the first week.

It's been a weird month. Usually, I tell people when I'm doing well and writing, but this month I waited until I'd written for two weeks before I mentioned it in passing to one person. Then when I knew I was going to have something every even of the third week, I asked some close friends for prayer that I'd keep writing. I was able to write every day and get my other stuff done.

Also, I've been writing in the evenings. In the past, when I've had a good streak of writing, I was writing in the morning before work.

The oddest thing however is my ability to compartmentalize. Usually, I spend all my time in between writing thinking about the project. This month I mostly think about it as I'm writing and then forget about it the rest of the day. As I set a timer, I will on occasion stop in the middle of a sentence, which makes starting the next day easier.

At the moment, my novel is progressing in a slow even burn. There've been a few days when it was difficult to convince myself to sit down and write, but I did it and I'm very proud of myself.

I hope to continue this schedule for at least another week, preferably several months. However, I think part of the trick has been chopping the work into manageable chunks, both in terms of time and emotional investment. When I get really excited about my work, I over do and burn out, but by keeping it down to 15 minutes a day and only weekdays. I've managed to write a rough draft of almost two chapters in 14 days. This is about as much as I progress than the last eight months.

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2 commenti

Pearl Lorentzen
28 ago 2020

I have a basic outline, but I put it in a drawer and free write. There's a bit of a mystery in the story, so I have a general sense of how that is going to resolve. I also wrote that section a few months ago. There's a lot of trial and error, and letting the characters move and change the story. I never really know where I'm going until the final edit.

Mi piace

27 ago 2020

Interesting tactic. Do you have an outline with an ending that you are working toward or are you just writing and hope to find a finish later on?

Mi piace
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