Saturday, November 26, 2016

It's the best I can do at the moment

I'm happily in my writing cave working on #2 murder mystery - "Invitation to Kill". (My first one has been renamed "Party to a Murder".)

Funny how at the beginning of a new book I've only got ideas that may, or may not turn into anything worth while. There's always that certain fear of simply starting the book. Toying with scenes and characters in my mind, turning them over, trying to see which way to go with them. Once I feel certain that my brain cells have fired well enough over this, I open a document and begin to work.

Anyway, I'd had the beginning of this one written out in my notes. Definitely rough, and still things would change, certain aspects and details, but I put it into the new document, happy to commit to this. And since then I've worked on that scene, adding or changing something. That's fine. I think every writer has to have instinct on how to proceed, how they want to write. After so many years, one gets the hang of it. There are some writers who wouldn't think of going through their work until they've got the whole thing finished. I can't do that. I have to meddle with it until it suits me, until everyone and so forth is in line with the way I want it.

I go by the adage that "no one can teach you how to write." I've seen and heard this echoed throughout my writing life.

There's another saying which I just heard only yesterday--in all places on a "Murder She Wrote" show. Not so surprising, since JB Fletcher is a writer and she connects with writers all the time.

It is title of today's post. "It's the best I can do at the moment". Somewhere someone had to have said this to a class, to him/herself. Anyway, it's good and I'm borrowing it for now. Mainly because it's so true for a writer. We don't become over-night successes (some of us never become really successful), but you work hard at writing, at making it better today than it was yesterday. You are doing the best you can do at the moment of inspiration, or when you go in to correct. Hopefully you are better than you were a year ago, five or ten years ago. You keep getting better, but at the moment you are as good as you can be.

It also occured to me that writing is like movement. Like walking or jogging. Sometimes you can only take baby steps, because you're unsure. But that's okay. Being unsure is all part of being a writer. And that's where this saying comes in handy. You have to give it your best shot and say to yourself, "This is the best I can do at the moment".

And once you get beyond your fears, you're walking (writing) at a good gate. My husband goes for a brisk one hour walk every morning--prefers before sunrise. I, meanwhile, do my yoga. We're different in what we need to do in order to get our hearts pumping. I like walks, sure, but my knees can't take the punishment of a brisk walk in the park.
Anyway, what I'm trying to say is everyone is different. We all have our way of getting through a manuscript. Whatever you are comfortable with, do it, or find it. I like to make notes in the evening while drinking a light wine and in between reading a John Grisham--or whatever--novel.

The next day, I look  at the notes, already thinking about how to approach the object of the scene ahead, or have a character figured out and can add that to the notes. It's a process of notes, mulling, and then writing it all out, and then later on, my editing, adding or taking stuff out. If I can get even a little bit down, just a thousand words, or maybe only 300, I'm okay with it. I'm not a marathon runner, and so I'm not pushing myself beyond my abilities.

I'm doing the best I can at the moment.


  1. I hadn't thought of writing as movement before.

    1. Yeah. I forgot to put down that sometimes it's like climbing a mountain, too!

  2. I love this post! The line, "it's the best I can do at the moment" and your thoughts on it are so encouraging. I love writing and I know that I want to continue with it, but sometimes it can feel discouraging. My first novel (co-written with my sister) was released in July, and even though that I'm happy about that, I still find myself worrying about how people will react to my book. Worrying that it is not good enough. Thank you for this post! p.s. found your blog through your comment James Scott Bell's recent post.

  3. Welcome to my blog (one of them), Bethany!

    All authors have same worries, no matter how many they've put out there. If you love to write, write. If it's your passion, do it, don't worry about what others think. If you have questions seek advice on line. I have a lot of suggestions here in my earlier blogs.


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