Thursday, November 13, 2014


At my new writing desk, in its new room, I sit one window east of where my old desk used to be. I'm closer to the sill and the glass is cold. Now that the leaves are falling away, I begin to see a small piece of Manhattan's skyline. From this window, the Freedom Tower is just out of view. But I know it's there because one window west, at my old writing space, it is.

Tonight, I relish in the new view, in it's new angle. I am an impatient writer. I don't always like the pace I write at, which is to say, slow. In the month of November, everyone ticking away words, I feel especially less-than. But in the past few weeks, nothing worked, and I had to stop myself from soldiering on the cluttered path. I became slower than a slow writer. I became a writer who didn't write at all.

And it was exactly what I needed.

I cleared away some of the doubt and smudge and, this week, I returned to a story I had been working on. 

I had crowded a character with too many competing plots and I thought I was the grand puppet master. I thought I could bend anyone and anything to my will. I thought, I was the storyteller. Ha. Ha. 

Once I let all this go, I realized that she, alone, knows her story. I stand up to the microphone, make my introduction, swing my arm out in grand gesture, and say, take it away.

Holy smokes. She has a lot to say. 

I'm finally listening. I'm finally seeing what's been there all along. 


  1. I find the NaNo word count updates on FB annoying and demotivating. I am considering "muting" a few people for the duration of the month.

    It comes when it comes. Sometimes slow, sometimes nothing at all, and then sometimes in a gush. And yes, you often have to let that nothing period happen so it can get quiet enough to hear a character's voice whispering to you.

  2. I'm a slow writer too, Melissa. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. As far as I'm concerned, taking breaks from a project can only help. It gives your subconscious time to work on the problems.

    I took a three-month long break from the YA novel I've been writing for a year and then wrote 15K words in two weeks. But I've never tried NaNo and I doubt I ever will.

    How exciting that your character has a lot to say. I hope we get to read it someday.

  3. Love this post. Writing is so individual - as are characters - and it takes time and often a break to rediscover the direction of both the story and the characters. People are complex, so characters are bound to be, but it is finding out which parts of a character are ready for exposure in a novel. Seems as if she is telling you!! x