A pep talk from a friend.
When I was writing this morning, I hit a mini-wall. I wasn’t blocked, I just didn’t go all the way through the portal. I was aware of time, which is always a clue that I’m out of flow.
I glanced at the note I’d scrawled for myself at the start of the month: Find it through the scene. Just write images.
Ugh — it wasn’t happening.
I’m still only in the second draft, so I don’t really know what my book is yet, or what the story wants to tell me. But I do know that it has a few friends that it likes to hang out with for fun and meaningful conversation.
Currently, those are:
Neil Gaiman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane
N. K. Jemisin, The City We Became
Jess Kidd, Things in Jars
I opened up Things in Jars at random and read a few paragraphs. I love the present tense narration and the extraordinary detail. The humour! Now, I’m not writing about ghosts, and I’m not writing a mystery. My characters aren’t funny. And my book is definitely not historical fiction.
On the surface, this novel and my novel-in-progress have nothing in common.
Yet their connection created a spark that lifted my own sentences. It gave me energy, like a pep talk from a friend.
Our writing has its own cliques, clubs, BFFs, and social circles. Some of these connections are lifelong friendships, and some shift and change depending on what we’re working on, or where we are in a draft.
Everything we read and write is relational, and exists within a context and a network. Building these connections on purpose strengthens our work and makes it more meaningful.
Like friends, books can mirror each other, support each other, and bring out what’s best in each other.
Think about the connections that your writing is making.
What qualities does your writing look for in a friend?
What qualities does your writing offer in its own friendships?
Photo credit (top): Dom J on Pexels
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