Sunday, August 8, 2010

Thousand Words, Part Three

Thousand Words, Part Three

Dave Moody, the producer I’m working with on the script, “Give My Love to the Chestnut Trees,” emailed a few days ago and needed a longer synopsis for the script than the one I’d given him earlier. Evidently there’d been some interest from a cable television channel.

I love writing screenplays and novels. Synopses--not so much. This is where writing is really shoulder to the wheel work for me. No matter how much time I invest, I always feel my synopsis reads as dry as a leaf blower operating manual. After working for several days on this particular one, I handed it off to my husband to proof for any typos as I walked away hacking and coughing from the literary dust caught in my throat. A little while later, he handed it back to me with tears in his eyes.

“This story always makes me cry,” he said.

Go figure.

Obviously, I can’t always trust my emotions when it comes to determining the value of my work. One of the best articles I’ve ever read on this was “Inspiration vs. Perspiration” by Mary Demuth in the January 2010 issue of Writer’s Digest. I served as an influencer for one of Mary’s novels, Daisy Chain. She’s an amazing writer and a gifted writing teacher as well. She says under her point, “Don’t Trust your Emotions” that “many writers I surveyed for this article had found that their best, least-edited work came from hard-won, perspiration-filled words. They might’ve felt each sentence lacked luster, but that feeling didn’t jibe with the reality of the final product.” She also says “…it’s the writer’s patient, consistent dedication to the craft in the mundane (perspiration) that fosters moments of brilliance (inspiration)…”

So, about the thousand words a day. I got several thousand words this week writing, rewriting, and rewriting again words I’d already poured over for going on two years now. The words did feel uninspired, but God helped me to persevere, and my husband at least felt differently about them.

So whatever your thousand words are, get them out. Paint the picture, weave the rug, sing the song if you feel like it and sometimes especially if you’re not feeling like it. And don’t be so quick to judge as Mary says the “reality of the final product.”

Hebrews 5:11 says “…consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about.” If God has called us to this writing journey (or whatever creative journey you’re on) and we persevere whether we feel like it or not, whether it seems the work is great or not, it’s always going to amount to more than we think.

If you’d like to read Mary’s article, Writer’s Digest sells back issues at writersdigest.com or if you’d like to know more about Mary Demuth and her work, you may visit www.marydemuth.com

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for the shout out. Isn't it amazing when we trust our emotions about a piece and they turn out to be wrong? Keep up your writing. It makes a difference!

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  2. Great encouragement, Bev.

    Working and reworking a piece often seems to wring the life and light out of it. I grow numb to what it might sound like to a reader. Yet, when reorganizing the writing files on my laptop yesterday, I found that plenty of the perspiration pieces in those dusty files were inspirational, after all.

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