Freefall

Ever think you'd like to do this?

I’m digging through the parts of my manuscript that have had me the most worried.  Worried kinda sick, if you want the truth.  Paralyzing worry.  I’m re-reading sections I’ve been avoiding for months and months, certain they’ll be even worse than I’ve imagined.  But guess what?  Not so bad.

I’ve also gone through all of my scrappy notes.  Good leads to (maybe) follow.  Themes.  Character issues (of real live characters).  At least a dozen awesome, biting sentences (yea!).  Waaaaay too many bullshit “notes to self.”  Some not-so-dead dead ends.  The “what if I go heres,” and “don’t go theres?”

Still.

Still, when I step back far enough, I see what I’ve really been avoiding:  DISCOMFORT.  More risks need to be taken.  I’m being too fucking careful.  Careful is the death nell.  It’s not my manuscript that needs to be set on fire.  It’s me.

This afternoon, my friend Andrea sent me this video.  It’s her stepson, JT, doing a commercial shoot.  I’ve seen video of JT doing way crazier things, but today I kept playing this little jump over and over.  Doesn’t he look Excited?  Happy?  Successful?  Relieved?  It’s no coincidence this clip showed up in my inbox today.  Time to take a big-ass freefall of my own and see what happens.

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19 thoughts on “Freefall

  1. erikamarks

    What always amazes me in writing and revising is how much further we can always go. I’ll look at something and think–wow! That’s fierce, that’s rough, that’s even on the windy side of ugly–only to get a note that it could get fiercer, rougher, etc. And I’m always reminded of how acting directors say you can always get an actor to pull back but it’s getting it out of them that’s the real trick. I think it’s the same with writing. We don’t want to be overwraught, we want subtlety, we want safe–but going for it brings its rewards, I firmly believe that.

    I’m thrilled for you to be revisiting your ms–and yay that are you finding it as wonderful as I am sure it is (but our own eyes are the worst. No, make that our EXPECTATIONS.)

    That is such a delicious feeling when you return to a piece and think: Hey, I wrote that? It’s damn good. Cool.

    Run with it, my friend. The fire is started and things are heating up, I can feel it!

      1. erikamarks

        You are so kind to remember! I actually just got a finished copy in the mail yesterday so it seems especially real now. I confess I can’t stop sniffing the thing. I know I can admit that here among friends.

  2. Lyra

    JT needs a Badass Like a Unicorn shirt.

    We should channel that guy. If for nothing else, let’s agree that the joy, the passion, the fierceness is something to aspire to above all else. Okay? Okay.
    Go get ’em.

  3. macdougalstreetbaby

    I have to admit, if there’s one thing I’d like to do before I die it’s jump out of an airplane. Of course, no responsible parent in their right mind should ever do it and I realize how easy it is for me to say I’d like to knowing that I’ve got the safety net of children in place to stop me. Still… it does excite me to watch.

    Good for you for tackling the hard stuff. Please, may I borrow your light? It’s time for me to kick start my own WIP.

    1. Teri

      I can’t even ride in the car over high-ish cliffs, so I’m sure I’d pass out or freeze at even the IDEA of jumping out of a plane. You are brave, MSB! (even if it has to be in your mind …) Now get to work on that WIP, only don’t tell yourself it’s work. 😉

  4. amyg

    please know how comforting your picture was to someone who also keeps unbinded reams of paper held together with a rubberband.

  5. Averil Dean

    I’m going to save this post to toss at you the next time some dumbass puts you down and stalls your work. I think you should channel some of that fury into your book, and consider that she did you a favor by lighting your fuse.

  6. lisahgolden

    Pushing past that fear. It’s a recurring theme of every day. Most of the time I can’t even define what it is that I’m afraid of.

    That video is exhilarating, but my palms were sweating by the end of it.

  7. Laura

    Oh man, he jumped out of the plane without even a second glance. I was just discussing sky diving the other day with some people. It always seemed like something I’ve wanted to do, but let’s face it, it’s not going to happen — mostly because “I’m too fucking careful” is like my mantra. Sigh.

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