Today I'm going to have you head over to James Scott Bell's post, "The Five Modes of A Writer's Life", in a bit. But first I'm going to talk about Flow in writing. James Scott Bell gets his point across, describing it as "hyper focus" when the writing comes. In other words you can't get the words down fast enough. You are in the "zone". Ever have that feeling? It's magical. Wonderful.
I remember being in a hyper focus zone a couple of times. I wrote a couple of short stories that way--one of them long-hand. The other piece was my fourth book in the Sabrina Strong series, Caprice. I was at it like a demon, and wrote it in 3 months. I also knew that I had to have more than one POV in order to tell the story. It was very different from the other three books which came before it. Funny. I've had a mix of different reviews. Some are disappointed. Some wonder what's going on. Yet others loved it--they "got it". I had to get the fifth one out, Crescendo, and hope everyone sees where I'm going with this. But probably won't.
This series is not supposed to go like any others in its category. It's singular. I know where it's going, because I've written to the 8th book. I'll probably piss off more readers/fans. Oh well. Not my problem.
You GROW as a writer--this wasn't one of J.S. Bell's "Modes of a writer", but it should have been. That's why earlier works will seem unrelated, or sometimes don't seem to fit. Unless, of course you write a whole series in its entirety in a year or two, and that's impossible. Even Harry Potter series wasn't written in a few years. Me, I go wherever these characters take me. They, and their world(s) are my invention. I've got their whole history in my head, and where they go from here on out.
Then, there's SLOW. You get to a point in the writing when you feel cautious, or not quite in the writing mode, but you slog along. I would add somewhere in here STOP. Sometimes you really need to have a break from writing. You need to go and enjoy your world--you know, the one you usually ignore so as to fit in the writing. Watch that program you just didn't dare watch, because it would take you away from the all important writing. Go for a walk, take a nap. In some cases you need a day, or a week off. In other times, when you just are not having fun any more (writing, that is) take a month, or longer. It will come back. Believe me. I've taken months, even a year or more off, and always have been able to return to it. Missing it, and probably in the meantime, have found something I'm excited about again.
Then there's NO. I'm sort of at that point right now, where I just don't feel like writing. I've got 3 more weeks of work (my regular work), before I'm off for the summer. I'll have to get some sort of work schedule set up so I'm not neglecting writing for my outdoors activities--among which involve a lot of heavy-duty work on clearing and reclaiming a spot in the yard that's gone to the wild. (I'll keep some of it wild, but I'm putting in trails, woodland plantings--I hope, and this involves digging, moving/hauling, cutting back branches, etc. This is my project, and my husband whose job is the park, is too busy to help me much. So, I'm getting myself into shape doing that).
I'm proofing book #6 right now, and I'm going SLOW, only because of time. Plus, it's been so nice out. We've had some beautiful days out there. I also need to STOP working in the yard so hard. I used the big clipper so much yesterday, it's hard to get the feeling back in my hands. So, today I'll be back inside doing a little work on the mss.
Here is The Five Modes of a Writer's Life over at the Kill Zone Blog, if you wish to read it. Have a wonderful rest of your weekend.