Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What Moving Taught Me About Writing

Well, friends, phase one of the move is complete. We have driven back and forth between our house and grandma's house a few times. Hubby had another kidney stone right in the middle of the process. We finally got the place completely empty and clean last night. And then we had the longest drive of our lives as baby girl protested being in the car for another 2 hour drive, while two boys fought and screamed and shrieked at each other. Clearly, it is time to be done and stay in the house for a few days.

As we were driving home last night, I thought about my story. The one that has been shelved for the past few weeks as we've dealt with the move and part-time job and other things that have come up. I realized that my move is a great source to draw from for writing purposes. So here's what I've learned.

1. Things happen quickly and you start right where the action is. For us, this move was a pretty sudden thing. We made the decision and moved in about two weeks. We had planned to move gradually, but that just wasn't the way things were going to work out. Most of the time in our writing, we have to put our characters right into the thick of things. We can't drag it out and leave them hanging around waiting for things to happen.

2. Things are going to go wrong. Kidney stones. Screaming kids. Multiple trips. Despite careful planning, things don't happen the way we expect them to. In a character's journey, they need to go through a few bumps. Things can't be smooth sailing the whole way.

3. Even when you get where you are going, things aren't going to be perfect. Because we moved two weeks early, the in-laws house wasn't quite ready for us. That means boxes are stacked in the living room. We are sleeping in the guest room. There's still some cleaning up of the little apartment we will be living in. And then things have to be moved into the attic for storage. With our characters, sometimes, the end of the journey isn't really the end. It's going to be the starting point of something even bigger.

4. There's a lot of clean-up and repair involved. We had to pack everything, but that wasn't the end. Once we were out of the house, we had to fix all the little things that we'd put off. Put up gutters. Patch the hole in the wall. Fix the leaky faucet. And then we had to clean it up. In writing, just when you think you are done, there's still going to be some clean-up involved. Tying up the loose ends. Making sure all the story is told. And going over it a few times to work out all the bugs. Do a little editing. It's going to need it and you'll only see it after everything else is done.

So there you have it, friends. What I learned about writing in the middle of my move. What have you learned about writing recently?


Angie said...

Those are great lessons on writing. I must say I like writing a lot more than moving, though! Good luck with everything.

Tara Tyler said...

sounds like you've had a rough go of it. kidney stones!
but there are positives to moving and writing, like meeting new people! and decorating new scenes!
happier times ahead=)

Liesl said...

Oh, kidney stones are horrible! My husband has had them and I now know what it must be like for him when I'm in labor!

But isn't it wonderful how well we can apply our life experiences to our writing? I hope you get settled in soon!

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

Wow! You've had your hands full. I'm surprised you could even think about writing while all that was going on. But then again, when I'm most busy and have no time to sit down and actually write, well that's when inspiration calls.

Much luck settling in your digs. :)


Ashley Nixon said...

lol...yeah, nothing ever goes as planned. idk why. I plan everything out perfectly!! And something always goes wrong...or I guess the case of writing anyways. You can't control your characters!

Lola X said...

Absolutely fantastic blog!!! Glad I found it! Love it!!!

Lola x

Jennifer E. McFadden said...

Moving is so much work, I don't know how you found time to even think about moving, lol. I hope you settle in soon. :)