First off, what do you all think of the new set up here at WordPress? I’m not sure if I like the new set up or not. It took me 4 refreshes to realize that, nope, my computer wasn’t misbehaving. Then it took me about 4 minutes to figure out how to get to my dashboard. It doesn’t help that I get on here before I have my morning coffee. That being said, on to the topic for today, change!
As a single mother who writes full-time, change is a part of my every day life. And I’m not talking about just diapers. I’m talking about my routine, the way I do things, how I get into my work, how I go about the job. Before the Kid-o came into my life my routine was pretty much set in a rolling stone. When and where I would work would always be in flux, but how I went about it was the same. I’d start with a free write, which almost always turned out to be a journal kind of thing. Then I’d get into the story by have a chat with the characters on paper. By this time, if anyone bothered me, head would roll. I wasn’t a nice person if interrupted when writing. I’d write for long hours, well after my hands began to protest, switching the way I held the pen and when that stopped working, I’d switch the hand I wrote with. 10,000 + words a day per project was normal.
Now, now things are different. I still pull long hours, I still switch between hands and ways I hold the pen, but I no longer enjoy a friendly chat the with characters or the free write at the start. My free write is now this blog, which I write while having that first cup in the morning. And I’m super excited if I manage 1,000 words a day across all my projects.
Before my daughter, I wouldn’t have thought twice about reading my work out loud when it came time to edit. I even got a kick out of it in high school when grown men would blanch at my writing and cross the street. I knew I had gotten it right. Now, I can’t read it aloud, except on those rare beautiful days when Grandma takes her. I would not let her read half of what I write until she’s at least in middle school and some even until she’s in high school. I’d hate to give her nightmares, and there are some things children just don’t need to hear that young.
Another change I’ve noticed between the pre-mommy me and the mommy me. My writing has become that much more intense. The short time she’s been with me has filled my life with horror’s no person should ever have to go through and that’s given me a whole new information bank to tap. I’ve become a better writer for it. And my characters have grown like weeds.
My characters have evolved from molded stock to real people, with dreams and fears utterly unique to them. And I can connect to them on a whole new level.
Change is a good thing, it allows us to grow and expand our writing. The same goes for the story. They need to breathe and grow and change just like anything else. Yes, you should have an idea of where you want the story to go, maybe even outline it. But, don’t force it on a path that you deem it should go. As you write allow the work to flow naturally and change as the story demands. You might be surprised where it ends up. I always am.