A writing growth spurt

 Do you remember when babies have growth spurts and routines go out the window for a while? Well, I think I’m in the middle of a writing growth spurt. The blog has been a bit neglected, but my attitude to writing has improved. I am no longer slogging away at my favourites, thinking the next draft is the ONE. I whipped a few others I’d neglected into shape and sent them on their merry way. I also started a brand new story Early Shirley, which started as a rhyme but now is in prose (for now ;) ). I’ve actually fallen out with rhyme, we’ve come to loggerheads on the basics. By basics I mean I’m just not enjoying the hard slog of it anymore. More than one person this week has told me I’m throwing things in to make them rhyme. So if I’m doing that on more than one project, it’s time for some evaluation. Could all my rhyming stories be turned into prose? Is that really necessary? I’m not enjoying writing rhyme as must as writing prose, and you have to enjoy it right? Or should I just start afresh with new ideas. There’s so many opinions out there it is hard to know what to do sometimes. Are you a quitter if you leave rhyme behind for now, or are you using sensible judgement that something isn’t working and try something else? I have learned so much these last few months and it has been quite a busy time. Now it’s time to re-evaluate priorities, and concentrate on what works for me. What project am I the most excited about right now? I am itching to pick up where I left off with the MG and YA novels I started donkeys years ago. Unfortunately the latter is on another computer somewhere in the depths of our spare room! Maybe this long weekend, I should hunt it down. I am still very much into picture books, they have been a delight to work on and I feel growth within that genre too. I would like to write slightly longer stories with child protagonists rather than humorous animal stories. (We’ll see how that pans out!) So how about you? Do you wake up every day wanting to write exactly the same stuff in the same way? Have you ever been through a growth spurt? What did you learn from it? Something to think about. Have a great Thanksgiving weekend everyone!

10 thoughts on “A writing growth spurt

  1. I went through this awhile ago, too, so I can really empathize with what you’re saying. All of my rhymes were being enjoyed, but the meter was being torn apart. And while it was educational for me, it was also painful to endure. So I started working on my prose more, and it seems to be doing better with the crits.
    Honestly, I think that you should write story the way that you want to and just go with it. I’m not going to stop rhyming just because I’m not as good as I could be yet. It’s a journey. Not to mention, we all have to pay our dues to the writing gods, so to speak. It’s just one level of h**l that we all have to endure before we become the authors that we want to be.
    Think about it like this-forming diamonds takes millions of years of hard pressure, but in the end, you have a gorgeous, flawed piece of jewelry that is one-of-a-kind. We are those one-of-a-kind authors. No one else out there writes the way we write. But it will take pressure/critical advice to make us the authors that we know deep-down that WILL become. Its’ all part of the process of developing tough skins. We can’t really appreciate it if it comes easily, can we? (No, seriously, can we? LOL. I think that I might be able to. Just kidding)

    • Good points Jessica, I think reading the book by Anne Whitford Paul really helped me to think outside the box. It is normal to completely re-write a story, write it both in prose and in rhyme and back again. I had no idea f this before. Every story has the potential to be a great published masterpiece if it is worked enough with breaks on in between, lots of reading, and improving your craft. I don’t think there’s any such thing as a bad story, just an underdeveloped one. (that could be a while new blog post!) I simply didn’t take enough of a break between drafts. Oh I’m not knocking professional and crit group advice btw, I welcome anything that moves you forward.
      I just need to take the time to stand back once in a while. I think this is a really exciting time for me as a writer and I’m thrilled to have found such a wonderful crit group.

  2. Hey Catherine, I think Jessica has made some really great points. And I don’t think it’s giving up at all to change from rhyme to prose (or back again). Whatever you’re doing, it all helps you grow as a writer, and remember, you can always pick rhyme back up down the track :)


  3. I think sometimes we have a love hate relationship with writing. Usually the initial idea brings so much excitement, but then we get to the editing and that’s where the hard work comes in. Some pieces just refuse to be whipped into shape no matter how much we revise and edit and rewrite. Sometimes it’s best to put them aside and start something new and fresh. Maybe you’ll come back to the first piece with more insight and new perspective later to make it work, or maybe it will end up as the story that was never meant to be. We all go through it. And every piece we write/edit makes us better writers.

    • Well said Jo. You only have to look at the greats, Nicholas Sparks wrote loads of novels he didn’t get published. I have learned loads from writing, it’s time to write some new stuff and go back to the others later.

  4. Oh, yes, I go through writerly “growth spurts,” too! Mine’s kind of cyclical, it seems. I started writing short stories. In college, I wrote 100+ poems, and half a YA novel. Then two years later, I went back to school to get my K-6 teaching license. Then I had children. The teaching and parenting (and general love of writing) all combined to create my passion for writing picture books. But I’ll still finish the YA when I’m ready. Even if it’s never published.

  5. Lots of good points from everyone. I think the key thing is that you said you’ve been losing your inspiration and enjoyment for doing things the same way. That suggests it’s time for a change, to reinvigorate your work and your enjoyment of it – and hopefully that’ll allow you to tap into a whole new type of creativity too!

  6. Exactly Adina, and a new style of writing too. For a long time I’ve been avoiding softly softly, dreamy picture books in the library and all of a sudden they are drawing me in. I can feel a new me coming. And overdoing it on the net doesn’t help with creativity either. Here’s to a fresh start everyone!

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