Wednesday, January 18, 2017

#WriterWednesday: Putting In The Work

Pink Heart Society columnist Kristina Knight talks about putting in the work - even when you don't want to.

I've always been able to see the accomplishments that other people have made so much more clearly than I can see my own. That is both a blessing and a curse. I've never been a conceited person (benefit). On the other hand I think its important to self-esteem to really 'see' what we've done.

RadioMan and I started biking two springs ago. I don't care what they say, riding a bike for the first time in ... well, too many years, isn't easy. It's hard. There is balance to be re-learned, peddling to master. That first ride I barely made it around the outside loop of our neighborhood (a 3 mile stretch). I had to stop once and I wasn't fast; I think those 4 miles took a solid 30 minutes. I liked biking but I wasn't at all sure I could do it.

The next day, same result.

The following day, same result. And an added pain - literally - in my, ah, rear end. I wanted to quit.


Obstacles aren't just in exercise programs. Obstacles can be anywhere - a particularly hard class in school, chasing a dream or making a change from Job A to Career B and most definitely in our writing. Every time I start I new book the same fear hits me: this will be the book I can't write.

The same summer I started biking, I really thought I'd hit the writing wall because I started a book that I just couldn't get a handle on. I started it, stopped it, re-started and stopped again so many times I wanted to scream. I tweaked characterization, motivation, goals and conflicts so many times I just wanted to toss the project in the trash. So I started something completely different...and the messed up characters from The Project That Wouldn't Let Me Write It bugged me until that new project imploded, too. So I started tweaking and fiddling and tweaking one more time.

No, there was no lightbulb moment and at no point did the heavens open and angels begin singing...but hard-fought-for-word after hard-fought-for-word made it onto my pages. Conflicts and resolutions came into that book that I'd never imagined. Good conflicts and good resolutions and eventually I was able to write The End - something that, had you asked mid-summer, I'd have said would never happen.

I don't have any great advice on how I worked through the block that was that book except this: every day I made a little bit of progress. Some days it was a thousand words, some days it was figuring out a single conflict moment. And all those little bits of progress turned into a book that I'm really proud of (The Daughter He Wanted, my very first Superromance for Harlequin).

What is better is that I can look back at the battle of this book and I can see how this particular battle changed my writing process and how I approach a story. It changed how I look at writing, in general, in a good way. This book, as awful as it was in the middle of it, has made me a better writer and has inspired me to open another blank document and start the process all over again. This time, I'll remember the battles I fought to write that book. I'll draw on the strength that kept me on that bike for 18 miles and I'll remind myself that I can....even when I think I can't.

Oh, and the biking thing? I kept trying, even through the pain, because each time I rode there was a moment when I didn't hurt and when I remembered how much fun I had riding my bike as a kid. My goal was to be able to ride 20 miles per session by the end of the summer...I hit 18, and I think that is a good accomplishment. 

How do you work your way through a block?

Kristina Knight's latest release, What the Gambler Risks, released October 3 from Crimson Romance:

Twenty-something ice queen Sabrina Smith enjoys fame and fortune writing about her life of celibacy. The fact she's the Oldest Living (Supposed) Virgin in Vegas? Just keeps her readers interested in how she juggles dating in Sin City.

Jase Reeves knows Sabrina's secret - that she's not nearly as cold as she would like people to think - and he's through keeping it. He didn't intend to have a one night stand with the Vegas Virgin but he can't get her out of his head.

When Jase returns to Vegas Sabrina has one goal: stay away from the handsome gambler before he melts her career - and her heart.

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You can find out more the book and Kristina on her website, and feel free to stalk follow her on FacebookTwitter or Instagram

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