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I am wrestling with the beginning of a new story right now. For me, this is the hardest part of writing. There are so many different possibilities. And I often need to try out several of them, before I can find one that will sustain the story I want to tell. And even then, I will likely come back later and have to change it all, because the story I think I want to tell isn't always the story I need to tell.

When I think about it too much, I freeze. I stare at the blank screen, thinking-thinking-thinking, convincing myself that I need to get it right, that there must be some way to find that perfect beginning that will make it all fall into place.

I need to remember that sometimes (a lot of times) I need to explore. I need those false starts to be able to recognize the true one. And I am not going to find it if I sit here, frozen.

So off I go.

Image of a horse and rider crossing a frozen lake
That photo is Ice Rider by Matthieu Paley.


While I am off getting un-frozen, here are a few other things:

If you are plugged into the online writing community you have probably already seen author Jo Knowles marvelous and inspiring post on living life. But just in case you haven't I will point you to it again. Do try to watch the video she includes, which is an interview with Maurice Sendak. It is sad, but I found it uplifting as well.

Here's a thought-provoking article from the NY Times on the nature of story-telling and how it is changing with the rise of visual media.

And lastly, if you need soothing or cheering, there is a brand new litter of puppies on the Explore Service Puppy Cam. They are just starting to walk! Once they are older, they will be trained as service dogs to help disabled veterans.



( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 16th, 2013 12:33 pm (UTC)
the story I think I want to tell isn't always the story I need to tell

Beautifully put, and so true.

Much empathy on the freezing! I usually make many false starts until I find one that propels me forward - and then, when I'm done, I almost always end up changing the beginning anyway. I wish there were a simpler way.

Wishing you courage and luck!
Jan. 17th, 2013 12:14 pm (UTC)
Thanks Amy! I figure at least it is progress that we recognize our own patterns, so they are (slightly) less frustrating! :-)
Jan. 16th, 2013 12:33 pm (UTC)
Thank you, Deva. Here's to a fast defrost. <3
Jan. 17th, 2013 12:14 pm (UTC)
Thanks Jo!
Jan. 17th, 2013 06:56 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Jo, for writing that, and to Deva for sharing it. It hit me like a ton of bricks, yet in a good way. (No, I have no idea how that works, but that's how it feels.) I'm at a place in my life with a lot of change and some death going on where your post not only spoke to me, but increased my resolve to do what I'm doing, make those changes, stop waiting for other people or circumstances or "The Right Time (TM)," and... Well, live my life. Thank you for that.
Jan. 16th, 2013 03:24 pm (UTC)
Deva, this is exactly where I am with my new (post-Low-Road) novel. Thank you for writing about it so beautifully.
Jan. 17th, 2013 12:15 pm (UTC)
Love the icon for your comment! And good luck to you in getting unfrozen too!
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )