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back above the garage

this weekend i was able to catch up with a fellow writer and spend a couple hours talking shop. it was great to share the joys and frustrations of the process, the business and the craft.

one of the things he asked was about my writing space, and whether i’d been up above the garage for my writing. i said no, because the story i’m currently working was not quite ready to begin in earnest yet, that i was still getting down some of the backstory and fleshing out the plot.

the latter part was true (backstory and plot work still going on), but the first part, i realized the next morning, was not.

i haven’t been above the garage because i’ve been afraid. well, resistant, at least. going above the garage means i’m writing in earnest, that i’m committing myself and running with it and working it through to its end. this is a daunting thing, as i think i’ve mentioned before. knowing the work and the effort and the rollercoaster of frustration and euphoria that’s to come tends to put me off. i know it will be great, but, as he and i discussed in our talk, writing for me is like exercise: i don’t like starting it, but i love doing it and finishing.

so, the i pushed myself up above the garage* and wrote like mad: about another 1000 words of character work and storyline development, as well as a wealth of additional tidbits for current and future storylines and side characters and subtext and so on. i came down an hour and a half later with chilled fingers, a worn pencil and a racing, excited mind.

i didn’t intend to. i actually expected a bit slower of a start, but i was wrong, and so happy to be so. i did the same again today, and even more great stuff came out. the main characters are nearly fleshed out, the primary storyline is probably half complete, and the tone and feel of the work as a whole is coming together better than i dared anticipate.

the garage is good, very good, but i probably wouldn’t have made it up there yet, if not for this weekend’s conversation, for which i am deeply grateful.

* armed with a cup of tea and some lovely cookies my wife had baked, along with the quilted overshirt that can never come indoors, a hat,  a blanket for my legs, and a pair of fingerless gloves. yes, we have a space heater, but i didn’t turn it on. it wasn’t quite that bad up there, actually.

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