Friday, February 24, 2006

To write or what to write, that is the question

How do you decide what to blog about? Sometimes it's obvious, but usually it's not. Throughout the day I come up with lots of blog ideas, & then I think better of most of them. Today, it's all random: 
  • After saying I was seeking environments that are creative physically as well as mentally, I should have been excited about Mommy & Me dance morning at my son's arts preschool, instead of dreading it for a week. Instead, I did dread it for a week, & then it turned out to be rather short, without much to it. (Under 45 minutes, half of which was just talking.)

  • One nice change in my life: I can now sit on my front porch, rocking in my porch swing while being online with my laptop (as, in fact, I am doing now). My old house didn't have a front porch you could sit on, and my old laptop wouldn't work for more than 10 minutes without being plugged in.

  • Oh yeah, and we have a DVR (digital video recorder) here! I'm not a big TV watcher...but how did I ever live without this?! Survivor or the Olympics? No problem, Survivor and the Olympics! Even if I'm not home when they come on.

  • Some of my former co-workers are blogging about turning points in their lives. I think it's a neat idea, & leads to some interesting posts, but I'm not sure I'm up for it. It's so personal! But if anyone else wants to share, I'd love to hear it. ;-)
As for writing...assuming I should start writing again in earnest one of these days, and realizing that if I wait for an organized living space it may never happen, I compiled a list today of manuscripts I could work on. Which one to work on should be obvious, too, but it's not. Here's what I can choose from:

  • YA novel #1: Thoroughly revise existing draft with last critiquer's suggestions in mind. This is probably the wisest choice, but it needs such a major overhaul that it's really daunting, so I wonder if I should start with something easier.

  • YA novel #2: Finish a draft of the stupid thing. I've been stuck 8 or 9 chapters in for years despite having a full synopsis. But somehow I can't get the voice right anymore, & I'm having second thoughts about a lot of what I've already written.

  • MG novel: Decide whether to plow on through to the end (I'm maybe 2/3 along), or rewrite from the beginning with a different tone & faster pace. Then do it. I've lost interest in this one after a great start, because it got so weighted down as I went, & stopped being fun to read or write. Sometimes I think I should just get to the end & then go back; other times I think that I'd be getting to the end of the wrong story & need to start over now so I'll even know where to go with it.

  • Chapter book: Pursue currently vague idea for a chapter book series, possibly mysteries. They would be light & pretty short, & might be a fun way to get writing again, if I could think of a plot for one, and if I could decide if the characters should even be people or animals! (I do have several titles and characters for them, but that's almost as far as it goes.)

  • Children's play: Draft a play with the idea I currently have. It's a fractured fairy tale, which is probably completely out right now with theatres, but it's the idea I have & I like it.

  • Picture book: Figure out plot and/or new characters for my zoo book! I have this rhyming PB manuscript about a zoo. All the critiques have been favorable, except that it has no plot arc, and that's a doozy. When it's in tight rhyme, changing the story is almost like starting over. And I will almost start over, except all my brainstorming has still not given me a single idea I find worthy of pursuing.
I also have several other PB manuscripts that are theoretically finished but seem completely unmarketable, an idea for a dark, difficult YA short story I don't even want to touch right now, and a whole bunch of other midgrade, YA novel, & picture book ideas that haven't moved past the idea stage, or maybe a few pages of text. My list of novel ideas currently has 15 ideas on it, including 1 idea for a midgrade series but not including the chapter book series mentioned above. Again, I'm thinking of Linus saying the greatest burden is great potential! (Or, according to one source, "unfulfilled potential.") I'd sure hate to die with all this stuff unwritten, when so much of it is already real to me.

1 comment:

Babs said...

hey alison, of course I remember you! And after checking out the picture of you from Valentines Day, I can say that you look exactly the same!

thanks for commenting on our "turning points"... I'm more impressed that you've had a blog for almost 5 years already AND you're a "real" writer. Now, who did you say looked like me?!?!