Erin Lausten

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Side effects

Posted by erinlausten on April 25, 2011

It has been a while since I have written about my writing. Trust me, I haven’t slowed down. Actually I have been going gang busters, but with my head down and plowing through the manuscripts I didn’t take the time to reflect on the process as much as I had in the past. But now, now I have something really interesting to report.

When I am in heavy revision/editing mode it is extremely difficult to read other people’s work. I have been working on two books. One a novella I expect to release as an e-book in May, the second a full length urban fantasy novel I expect to release sometime this summer. Revision is fun. For me at least. It is like picking apart a puzzle. I get to use the analytical side of my brain and really work sentences into something real and enticing. It’s hard work. And I find as I practice I am getting better. This doesn’t mean I don’t love the initial creative phase when I lay the story on paper. I love that part too. One deals with possibilities the other takes them and makes them a reality. Together they make the whole.

But what about reading? Well, since I am in full analytical mode I find myself rewriting everything. Other people’s work included. So I sat down to read a book to relax and found myself rewriting their sentences. I couldn’t get involved in the story. I got sucked into the words. And I had to stop.

Eventually I found the switch that allowed me to let it go and just read, but it was a real eye-opener. And it illustrated how interesting the brain can be. I mean I never knew I had to turn one side off to use the other. Learning how to do it on command is even more difficult. I don’t know that I will ever be able to do it instantaneously.

So tell me, have you ever experienced something like this? Has your brain ever refused to cooperate and how have you learned to flip the switch?

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3 Responses to “Side effects”

  1. alexander said

    I’ve had that exact thing happen, I’ve done so much editing that I edit EVERYTHING, and in many cases, I know it would be WORSE if I actually did, heh. No, I haven’t found a switch. What’s yours?

    • The switch has been the biggest challenge. I have to put the book down and walk away from both for a couple hours and not let myself think about either. This is extremely difficult as I am always thinking about stories. But it helps, because I really need to get lost in other’s stories in order to feel grounded. I am averaging about a book a week reading and it keeps me from getting too hard on myself because I can get obsessive about my books to the point where I actually make it worse. At least this is what I think is going on. Honestly, I’m just making it up on my way.

  2. I am pretty good at shutting down one process to do another. When I am just reading. I just read. When I am editing, I am editing. It works for me so far. There may be a time where I get jumbled up, but so far that has not happened yet. Best wishes on your projects.

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