22 May 2007

'Tardic Musings

Now that "Wildish Things" has been temporarily put to bed (at least until the edits hit my emailbox), it's time for me to open my Works In Progress folder on my laptop and figure out what to work on next.

Actually I should probably rename this folder the "Wildly Improbable Ideas" folder. This is where I dump random ideas, bits of odd research I've come across, and experimental scenes I've written. It comes as a surprise to a lot of people I talk to that not every book idea becomes an finished manuscript. The creative process is messy, full of fits and starts. The majority of ideas (mine, anyway), as cool as they sound when they first hit my brain, don't have the "legs" to hold up under the strain of 300 typed pages.

I think this is why God made novellas.

Most of the time I find this out in the early stages, when I write the first experimental synopsis. (Yes, I almost always write my synopsis first. Because, as my daughter says, I'm a 'tard.) Other times, I have to write a 50 or a hundred pages to figure it out.

Still, I believe no effort is ever wasted when it comes to writing. Heck, even the great master artists recognized when their painting wasn't working. They'd just slap a coat of white paint on the canvas and start over again.

As artists, and I think in many aspects of everyday life, we need to let go of the notion that everything we do must be perfect the first time. I used to be one of these people who was so afraid of doing something wrong, I wouldn't even make an attempt. No action, no mistake, I reasoned.

But I've come to realize that doing something - anything - is preferable to hanging back and doing nothing. Fear is a powerful thing, and it breeds regret. With the help of some of the world's best friends, I've made the decision, when I come to the end of my life, to have as few of those as possible.

So yeah. No more holding back. In life, in love - or in my writing.

My next Work In Progress (aka, Wild Idea) is going to be a Samhain Red Hots. It may be under a different pseudonym, because it'll be different from a Carolan Ivey romance. That is, if it gets published. There are no guarantees, and I might fall flat on my face.

But it'll be fun. And I won't regret the journey.

Oh, and because I haven't forgotten why people really tune in here day after day:


Samantha Lucas said...

Wow Carolan, you have no idea how much this post helped me. I'm ending and 18 year marriage which I just found out recently wasn't even legal to begin with!

Anyway, I've never been big on regrets but lately, I don't know, I've been terrified to move in any direction.

Thank you, this really helps and gives me some hope. :)

Carolan Ivey said...

Aw, sweetie, I'm glad my ramblings were of some help.

Hang in there, doll. As I was telling another friend who just broke up with someone, now that he's out of your life, there's plenty of room for something - or someone - wonderful to move in!