Now that the baby is here, I can write again. For some reason, with some pregnancies I can't write. And this was one of those. Nice to be able to put fingers to keyboard and have ideas come out again.
As usual, I find that when I open the blank page to start writing, I freeze. The act of reading a good book is such a magical thing, if I think about that I can't write. I'm sure I don't have access to the magic that will sweep you away into another realm.
So I have to keep telling myself: There is no magic. It's just words. All of the good writers are just using words. They're not even using them in a specially fancy way. They just tell what there is to tell. With the same words that I know, for the most part. Not magic. Words. And familiar words at that.
Sometimes, the blank page is too intimidating, and I just have to put "something" on it to get started. "Something" is a nice start for a sentence, and then the words start flowing out.
Sometimes I get stuck and don't know where to go next. A good writer who happens to be a good friend suggested that when I get stuck, I should consider blowing something up. That usually works. That, or going back and figuring out what I wrote that was wrong. If I fix that, things go forward.
And I've learned to ask myself, often, "Stop thinking about what you want to have happen or where you want to take the story. Now, look at the characters. What happens to them next? What are they going to do? What are they thinking? What are they feeling? What are they going to say? Let the story take you there." It's a little scary thinking that I only set the process in motion and then the story has to write itself. But it's a lot of fun!
So now I'm fixing that confusing spot in Poison Spindle Problem because I somehow can't let it go after 7 years, and also because it's easier to revise with one hand than to write from scratch with one hand. When I don't have a newborn in arms, I'm working on the first chapters of Melora and the Maltese Falcon, which might end up being more fun than I thought it was going to be, even though I had to throw away all the previous drafts--the ones that were well-written were flawed, and the ones without plot/character problems were garbage in terms of writing. Nice to start fresh sometimes anyway. And then blow things up.
I've also learned that it's easier to escape the clutches of the internet and start writing if I take potassium first. Focuses my brain. I don't recommend anyone else do this, unless they have the same metabolic issues I do, but it does help to eat and sleep properly if you want to write well.
Good thing I have no deadline, though. Having the baby born makes writing possible. It also makes it nearly impossible sometimes!