Thursday, June 28, 2012


  • Have you neared the end of your manuscript and wanted to chunk the entire thing?
  • Reread the rough draft for editing and wondered why you spent so much time on that?
  • Get a few agent rejections and cease trying to send the WIP out?
If so, you are not alone.

THE ARTIST'S WAY explains this phenomenon.
  • "An artistic U-turn arrives on a sudden wave of indifference."
  • "Creativity is scary, and in all careers there are U-turns."
  • "Typically, when we take a creative U-turn we are doubly shamed: first by our fear and second by our reaction to it. Again, let me say it helps to remember that all careers have them."
  • "A successful creative career is always built on successful creative failures. The trick is to survive them."
  • "Creative U-turns are always born from fear--fear of success or fear of failure.
I know these U-turns all too well. Nearly two decades ago, I stopped writing altogether. My SF WIP --THE DAWN AND THE LION--was deepening. I needed mountains of research to pull it off. My ability to describe the many fantastic settings was not good enough. The plot seemed to be stagnating. Even though my history students (who knew math and physics far better than I ever will) were enchanted with the story and had helped me create a simple time dilation equation, I  stopped. Even with a rapidly filling four-inch binder. Writing felt too much like work.

I had no clue then that a rough draft isn't the same as finished. All of them take revision and revision and some more revision. I didn't have a clue what craft skills I needed, but I knew I couldn't do the story justice. At that time, I had no clue where to go to find out about craft skills.

That was then and this is now. Besides having two published devotionals, I have not only the SF trilogy on the back burner, but a rapidly growing comtemporary trilogy that I'm calling women's fiction for the moment. That's subject to change. But far more importantly, I know that this isn't a quick job, and I know where to find instruction on craft--both in books and on line.

My U-turn is over...for now. ; ) I know I'll see a more down the road, but I won't stop this time--not now, not ever.

What have your creative U-turns been?
How did you get back on the road?