The first draft of Writing Fiction: A Guide for Pre-Teens is finished. Whew! It’s printed and covered in a bright red folder–and it’s going to stay there for the next couple of weeks. I’d love to start editing right away, but the material is too fresh for me to be remotely objective or clear-sighted about it. So a break is in order.
So what’s on the agenda in the meantime? I’m finally revising the sequel to The Dragon’s Pearl, The Dragon’s Revenge, that I wrote last summer. I’m three chapters in and, thankfully, enjoying the process. As much as I love the writing process, I’m never so in love with what I write that I can’t change it, or cut it, or find something missing that needs to be added.
Actually, I enjoy editing. I like finding all those pieces of clunky writing, and I don’t feel remotely ashamed of having written the awful things in the first place. That’s what first drafts are for. What makes me feel good is figuring out how to make something better or cutting the bits that are beyond saving. I hit Delete and think, “This one’s for you, reader!” Yeah. I like editing a lot.
I’m also working on a conference workshop presentation for fellow college teachers called “Finding Quiet Space with Pen and Paper – Tips and Tools for Journaling and Creative Writing.” What do you think about journaling? I find it a great way to get my day organized so that I can actually picture some creative time in the rest of it. Journaling also helps me deal with negative thoughts, worries and just mental clutter. If I write in my journal first thing in the morning, my writing goes much better later on. The messy thoughts are dealt with for the day, so creativity comes easier. I sometimes write before I go to bed, instead. The writing calms my thoughts, and, if the day hasn’t been particularly creative, it makes me feel as if I have honoured the writer in me for at least a small part of the day.
If you’ve got some tips for helping develop the journaling habit or some thoughts on the benefits of keeping a journal, I’d love to hear from you. In the meantime, I hope you have a creative week ahead!
P.S. Word likes “journaling” spelled with one “l”. WordPress likes it with 2. The word doesn’t exist in the Merriam-Webster online dictionary. I realize that turning a noun into a verb isn’t everyone’s cup of tea in the first place, but if you’re not totally against the word altogether, how do you think it should be spelled?