writer, recharged

Last update, I was fighting through the post-op fog & struggling to re-familiarize myself with my current work-in-progress (a Harlequin Desire I’m calling A Baby in the Billionaire’s Boardroom, but I expect that to change) & get back to writing.  And it wasn’t going well. :houhoh

Agent Extraordinaire suggested I go back & not only re-read what I had written already, but re-type it, as well.  So I did that.  And it kinda-sorta worked.  It definitely helped to refresh my memory of the story & characters, so that was good.  But when it came to carrying on with the typing of new words & ideas…  Um, not so much.

No matter how in the flow I thought I was, how ready to jump back in, every time I tried, I drew a total blank.  Very frustrating.

So I started to wonder if what I needed was a change in my normal writing process.  Something to jumpstart me, shake things up.  Usually, I use my beloved AlphaSmart.  In fact, I’ve written every book since (& including) Walker’s Widow on it exclusively; that’s 19 full-length books & 4 novellas.  Wow.

My trusty Alphie Neo wasn’t working for me, though, so I decided to try something different.  What if I tried writing by hand?

Now, normally, I only write synopses by hand.  For some reason, they come out faster & better that way.  My brain seems to function well on the big picture when I’m scribbling with a pencil & paper.  But I’ve never written by hand before because it adds extra steps; instead of typing once on the AlphaSmart, then adding the text to my computer & being done with it, writing by hand means writing, then typing, then adding. :santa

But since nothing else was working, I figured I’d give it a shot & see what happened.

I started slowly, nervously, even.  I wasn’t entirely sure of what I was doing because I’d never done this before.  Even before I got an AlphaSmart, I wrote on a typewriter or the computer; I don’t think I’ve ever written anything substantial by hand.

Something kind of miraculous happened, though.  It worked!  The words started to come & the story started to flow again.  I was even—gasp!—kind of enjoying myself!

Another great thing was that ABCFamily Channel had just run a Harry Potter marathon, & I’d recorded them as a refresher.  (Sure, I’ve got them on DVD, but who can be bothered pulling those out? :cat )  So while I was working to recapture my creativity, I had some great, creative stuff playing in the background to entertain me.  It was almost like magic…or like Professor Snape was standing over me with a menacing look until I started writing again!

I’m still writing this way, too.  Yes, it’s a little slow & I’m still dealing with that extra step of having to type up what I’ve scribbled by hand, but whatever works, right?

“Without that tablet, we’re nothing!”
(Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian)


7 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Jessica Lemmon says:

    Yes, whatever works! I keep hearing from authors that each book is different, each has its own issues. Maybe this one just needs to be handwritten? :santa

    Congrats on finding your way! I, for one, am relieved. You with writers block equals me our of new reading material. 😉 :turk

    …by the way, when is the “I Do…” Desire due out?

    • Heidi says:

      ON THE VERGE OF I DO will be out in April 2012. Sounds like so far away, but it will be here before you know it! :snow

      I don’t know about each book being different; for me, it’s always been a matter of “this is your job, just do it.” But these are extenuating circumstances, I think, & writing by hand has actually turned out to be kind of fun. :skate

  2. Anne says:

    Inspiration by Potter. I’ll have to remember that.

    I’m the same way with DVDs. I find myself watching movies on tv with commercials when I have a commercial free copy on my shelf.

    • Heidi says:

      For me, I like watching stuff on TV over DVD for two reasons:

      First, because it puts the show right at my fingertips. DVDs mean digging them out, using the DVD player & a different remote. I also have this semi-obsessive need to know “what else is on” at all times, & I can’t bring up the on-screen guide if the DVD player is on. :reindeer

      Second, being able to zip thru commercials makes it feel like the show/movie is going faster. Not sure why this matters, but it kind of does.

      When I’m in the mood for a real marathon or want to see something uncut & with all the good swear words, I will dig out the DVDs, tho. :candycane

  3. Dorthy says:

    I’m so glad you found something that is working for you!!!

    I have heard of these AlphaSmarts yet have never seen one. Why do you like writing on it?

    I sometimes write on my computer, but usually that blinking cursor on a blank page freaks me out and all the ideas in my head freeze.

    • Heidi says:

      Oh, I (normally) loooooove my AlphaSmart. Sitting at the computer is too uncomfortable; it hurts my back & eyes after a while. And I hate laptops; can’t stand the keyboards of having that big, hot machine on my lap, having to deal with booting it up & rebooting if you close it to run to the bathroom… (& if you don’t, the cat walks across it & messes everything up! :cat )

      With the Alphie, there are no disks or cords, you just turn it on & off as you please. The screen also only shows you 4 lines at a time & *all* you can do on it is write, so no distractions like the internet or Spider solitaire. :turk

  4. Laura J. says:

    Okay…need to see a pick of this AlphaSmart. I’m intrigued with anything and everything technological! Not that I want one, but oh I LOVE the shiny gadgety weebly wobly (sorry, Dr. Who #10 possessed me for a moment).

    My first thought when when I read your post was “COOL! She’s channeling her inner Jane Austen!!”

    I got to ask though…how are the cats handling your new writing style? :turkey :turk They have to be wondering what’s up with you not using *their* butt warming machine. Poor kitties must have some cold bottoms. (hehehe j/k).

    I’m looking forward to this book. Having some major Heidi book withdrawals. Guess I’ll just re-read MLV. Oh…the hardships! :booby :turk

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