The Muser has returned!In my blog entry of July 2012, I discussed Jeanne Carbonetti’s seven stage Cycle of Creativity. So how might this process apply to writing a novel (or two), a central task of mine these last few years? I’ve taken a crack at it.
WAITING: The germ of the story forms until you can no longer resist it. You have a desire to create.
OPENING: You design your main character(s) and uncover what makes them tick; you begin to form the shape of the plot. Your mind is spinning with the possibilities. Maybe you start making lots of notes, creating character sketches, composing shards of unconnected scenes. Maybe you do some research. The project is still a fantasy without a body, but it has a spirit.
CLOSING: You are in the thick of your writing process, fingers flying on keyboard. It is all you can think about if you don’t let other things distract you. You are goal-focused.You produce a first draft at this stage. You’re proud of your baby. You feel like a writer.
HOLDING: Now what? Despite having a draft, your novel isn’t nearly finished. It needs revising. You may feel stalled, wanting to work on other projects. Maybe you let it gestate awhile until you are ready to attack it anew. You have a dream after all.
RELEASING: Now is the time to share your work with others and get feedback (and support), which you must accept gracefully and ingest rather than fight back. It is not your job to explain to your critiquers what they can’t see. It is your job to take what is right and good, to fix it so that what others see matches your vision for the project. You make as many revisions as you need to, sometimes feeling constipated and unable to let go. Take a laxative if you need it, whatever that is. Allow yourself to continue to release your story. That is your mission.
EMPTYING: When you can do no more, you will stop. It is done. It is time to send out your manuscript to agents and hope that they appreciate your vision.SITTING: And then you wait until the agent calls with the good news, or you move on…. Time for another project. You will accept your destiny, whatever that is, and soldier on, hoping that a new desire starts to form.