The Same Way Twice

Written By: Janna - May• 18•13

“Things never happen the same way twice.” -C.S.Lewis

This can be applied, like so many bits of Lewis’ books, to a endless variety of circumstances.  Not the least of which is writing.

I’m embarking on a slightly scary, but enormously exciting, endeaveor of having my first book published.  While I’m in no way qualified to give advice (I am an infant in this field) I would like to share a few truths I have discovered.

  • No matter how many books you read on the subject, how much advice you get, or how obsessively you outline your synopsis, things never happen in the same way twice.  Someone else’s process will not be your process. So grab your cup of tea (or coffee, or vodka) park your rear in front of a word processor and make your fingers move over the keys.  That’s the only way to find out how you write.
  • When you finally get on a roll, your kids will interrupt you.  For a glass of milk, because one of them flushed an apple core down the toilet, or sibling #1 has hit sibling#2 on the head with a golf club and now needs stitches–it will happen.  It’s similar to Murphey’s Law.
  • What you have written will have to sit–for a week, a month, two months–until you can read it again with fresh eyes and decide if it’s readable, or it’s rubbish.  There’s no getting around it.  I suggest finding a new hobby to persue to help pass the time.
  • Half of writing is observation.  Learn to watch what’s going on around you.
  • Don’t wake your spouse from a dead sleep to read them your latest paragraph.  Their eyes might be open, but they’re not conscious.
  • Forward and foreword are different.  Learn them, don’t get them confused.
  • Don’t try to cook and write at the same time.  The results will leave a bad taste in your mouth.
  • When you’ve got writer’s block, you’ll find yourself hunting for something to clean or fold.  I’m not kidding here.  There’s science to back up the fact that if you engage the left side of your brain with a repetitive, boring task, it frees up up the right side of your brain for creative thought.  If you find yourself with no scrubbing of your own, I’ll send you my address.

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