Success only flourishes in perseverance -- ceaseless, restless perseverance.
--Baron Manfred Von Richtofen

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Writer's Intuition Where It Really Counts

Blogging about LTUE and book reviews and blog fests has been fun, but I'm ready to get back to what I was talking about before.

Writer's Intuition. Remember that? If not, you can read my other intuition posts here, here, and here.

Of course, where Writer's Intuition really counts is in the actual writing. Writing a first draft is not easy for me. I go rather slow (no NaNoWriMo feats for me). I edit as I go. But I don't always consciously think about what's going into the story. I have to just tell it the way I want it told and trust myself to know what's right for that story. I want to point out that I have had to learn to trust myself. I had to develop that intuition.

I'll give an example. I wrote a novel in 1998, and after getting a bunch of rejections, I put it away. For ten years. (I have probably talked about this before.) My friend asked to read it. I told her, "Sure, but it's probably really bad." She read it and assured me it was not really bad. I read it too. I was shocked. Amazed. I loved that book. I couldn't believe I had just set it aside and forgotten it. I had forgotten how much work I put into it. How much I loved the characters. And the plot. Yes, it needed revising. It needed tightening and changing. But for the most part everything the story needed was there. In some cases I just had to bring it out or adjust it.

So, trust yourself. You know how your story should be told. Know the rules, but don't bind yourself down with them. Let your Writers Intuition guide you. Yes, you will still have to revise. You'll need your intuition then too. But you have a story to tell, so tell it!

22 comments:

Lois D. Brown said...

Interesting. I tend not to trust my intuition on my new novel because of all the rejections I got on teh last one. You've inspired me to do better.

Jackee said...

I absolutely love this post, Angie!!! Such the advice I need to hear right now. I have a hard time trusting my instincts about my writing and especially about revising, but I have a gut and I need to learn to listen to it better. To trust myself.

Thanks for the insight and for sharing your experience--I'm going to put it to use in my own life. XO

Larry and Cindy said...

You have great intuition and you are a very talented writer so go get 'em girl!!! The time for publishing your novel is now! Love, Mom

Lisa Gail Green said...

I love it! Let your intuition guide you, don't second guess yourself. It's so true, and yet sometimes so easy to forget!

Terry W. Ervin II said...

You're right, Angie. A writer has to have a good measure of trust in their work. No, it's not ever going to be perfect, but it's rarely as horrible as a writer might try to convince himself/herself that it is.

Angie said...

Thanks, Mom. I appreciate your belief in me. =)

Lisa, it can be easy to forget. Thanks so much for stopping by.

Terry, it's so, so true. Hope your novel is coming along well.

Beth said...

Great advice. Thanks for the inspiration!

Aubrie said...

Great advice, Angie! Sometimes I read my own work and think it's sooooo bad. And then the next day, it's not so bad anymore.

Angie said...

Thank you, Beth and Aubrie. =)

Cathy Witbeck said...

It's nice to have a positive boost of enthusiasm about writing. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

WritingNut said...

Excellent advice.. it's so true... but all too easy to forget :) Thanks for the wonderful reminder.

Lindsey Edwards said...

I’m not a NoNoWriMo kind of writer myself. My way of writing may be all over the place, but I get the job done.

I very much like this Angie: “Know the rules, but don't bind yourself down with them.” Great advice!

Angie said...

You're welcome, Cathy and Lindsay. Thanks so much for stopping by!

Jolene Perry said...

Love this post. I see so many people get all panicked about writing rules, and do's and don'ts before they give their novel a chance to get off the ground. I'm in what I now feel is a fortunate camp (despite the hours revising) where I learned to trust the story I told, before I started to learn all the technical stuff.

Now I just roll through and get that story down and hope I remember all the ways I need to "tighten" it all up in the end.

Excellent advice, and something we ALL need to be reminded of from time to time.

LTM said...

what a wonderful post, and I agree with everything you've said here, Angie! I think that's how it's going to be w/Debut Novel. It's in the drawer, but I'll get back to it. Wonderful to find hidden gems just needing polish~ :o) <3

lbdiamond said...

NICE post! I think a writer needs to learn the "rules," but also needs to have the artistic freedom to break them. Actually, I think the rules allow writers to "break rules gracefully." (If that makes sense, LOL!)

ali said...

Ah, I love you Angie. And this was a fantastic post. Just what I needed today when I took a big leap because it felt like the right thing to do. ((hugs))

Wendy Swore said...

It's always fun to reread your own writing and discover that it doesn't stink. Thanks for the uplift. *goes off in search of dusty manuscripts*

Thanks for stopping by my blog. :)

Angie said...

Yes, I love when I discover it wasn't so bad after all. Thanks, Wendy.

Jan Markley said...

Good point Angie, you have to go with your gut in writing - especially in the first few drafts - then a little time gives you the perspective it needs to bring it on home!

Angie said...

Thank you for stopping by, Jan.

Velvet Over Steel said...

My most 'powerful' post are from my intuition every time!!! Great post and so glad that 'we' both listen to our intuition when we write!! Love it!!

Hugs,
Coreen xoxo