Thursday, February 04, 2010

Plunging into the Abyss

By Nichole Giles

I did a lot of blogging last week. I had some deadlines and commitments, but I also felt inspired to blog a lot. Not that it’s an unusual urge, mind you. But apparently I’m trying to make up for last week’s surge this week since I haven’t blogged at all until now.

And I can’t help but wonder if this means that inspiration comes in spurts for me. Does it mean I should only write when I’m feeling the all-encompassing need to write / blog? I don’t think so. Because I’m still feeling the need this week. It just happens that I’m funneling that desire into bigger, more important projects. And—I still have a few posts planned for my personal blog. I just haven’t taken the time to get them written yet.

Instead, I’m experimenting with one of my manuscripts. It’s a lesson in tense and point of view, and I’m liking it, even though it’s turned into a monster of a project. When I’m finished, I believe my ms will be much stronger. And if I hate the changes, I can either revert to the original version—which is saved—or go through it once again, keeping the changes I like and fixing the ones I don’t.

I’ve been thinking a lot about these types of experiments lately, and wondering what holds me back from trying new techniques, new styles. The answer? I’ve decided it’s fear. What if…someone doesn’t like it/it doesn’t sell/I ruin the story/the story loses its all important voice? Yeah, all that could happen, but that’s the beauty of technology. What if doesn’t have to be scary because we have the ability to save our original work while we try something new.

Basically, we can have our cake and eat it too. (Pardon the terrible cliché!) As I worked through this line of thinking a few weeks ago, it occurred to me that my fears are unfounded. There is no reason for me not to experiment, not to plunge into an old project with new eyes. In fact, it would be crazy NOT to give it a shot. I have nothing to lose. (As long as I faithfully back up my files.) So…what’s stopping me? NOTHING!

Well, nothing but my kids, their sports/music, sleeping habits, housework, blogging, email, Facebook, Twitter…

But none of those is any better of an excuse than fear. And so, I go. I shall plunge myself back into a manuscript that has been long since finished in an attempt to make it blossom even bigger, taller, stronger. And then, when I emerge once again from the abyss of a 400 page manuscript…yes, I’ll probably blog about it.


L.T. Elliot said...

I've felt that same way about changing up my style and voice but you're right! It can't hurt and maybe it will make things better than they are. Thanks, Nichole!

Nichole Giles said...

You're very welcome, L.T. and thanks for always being such a faithful reader and commenter.