Knowing Your Strengths vs. Laziness

As I wait for my agent to take a look at the latest draft of Wildergirls, I’ve been toying with the beginning of a new project. My process for the very beginning of things thus far seems to be that I get a sudden flash of the first 100 words, and then need to spend a while fleshing out the world.

I wrote the first 100 words of this nascent project and, as is instinctive for me, they came out in first person present. It’s the natural state of my voice, the POV in which I find it easiest to write. But since then I’ve been trying to rewrite them in third past.

Wildergirls is in first person present, and if the second book in that duology ever happens, that, too, will be in first person present. Is it laziness to start another project in that same POV? Or is it knowing my strengths and playing to them?

What do you guys think? Where do you draw the line between challenging yourself and making things harder without real cause?

This can apply to so many things besides POV – I have a fondness for teeth imagery, but relying too heavily on it definitely feels like laziness rather than playing to my strengths – but POV is probably where I struggle with it the most.

Whatever Works

I’m writing this at 4:15 AM, which has somehow become the end of my regular workday.

I’m in the middle of revising Wildergirls to send back to my agent, and I’ve found myself surprised at the way my process has changed. When I was writing the very first draft, I squirreled away tiny chunks of time while at my office job. Five minutes here, another fifteen there (if I was lucky), and whatever I could manage at the end of the day to get to my 1k a day goal. While writing the second draft, I became That Person – the one who sits at the same table in the same coffee shop for hours on end.

I thought I was a daytime writer. A desk writer. An “X words a day” writer. But now that I’m in revisions, I can’t seem to get my brain in gear until I’m settled in bed at 1:00 AM.

I’m lucky, in that my day to day life can absorb a drastic change in schedule like that. Not everyone is, and that can be incredibly frustrating. In the past I’ve found myself arriving at my most productive time of day just when I need to go to sleep. But these days I have that flexibility, and if you can, if you’re able, I say take what’s working and run with it. Work with your brain, not against it. Your routine will change a hundred times over, and that’s fine.

Sure, my old routine felt more Writerly. I ordered coffee refills, and I got on a first name basis with the cashier, and I figured out which table got the best light. But that’s not working for me anymore, and my current process might not look like what I pictured, but it gets the job done. It gets the words on the page. So I’ll work with it for now.

P.S. Please consider every instance of the word “work” in this post a pun. Like, I’m not exactly sure how they’re puns, but they’re puns.