A Transition and A Threshold

todayIwriteYou’re fully in the high of writing. Everything you think about, read about, dream about has some magnificent significance to your story. Words come quickly. You easily and eagerly show up everyday to write. No resistance, you’re in the flow. All your plans and desires for the future and any shame and resentment for the past vanish. Everyday new ideas pop up to solve old problems. Whether a plotter or a pantser or a plotser, a beginner or a seasoned writer,  it’s just you and your story. Then you’re writing the final scene, the closing paragraph, the last words, and you write, The End. You did it! You finished. Whether you complete the first draft or the final, final draft, next comes change, transition and threshold.

A Transition

Leaving behind the high you’ve just been on and transitioning to the next stage of your writing can be challenging. Yes, you’re euphoric about finishing, and feeling a bit sad about leaving behind the precious times you’ve just experienced over the past days or months or years. The high is over. Now what? 

transition thresholdThe process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another can be challenging. Why? Because change can be difficult. You long to return to your writing. Instead, now you’re required to revise or rewrite, publish, submit, turn in, or begin a new story. Rather than in the flow, you feel as if you’re starting over again, a bit timid and uncertain perhaps? Resentful even. Revision isn’t writing, you say. Sending out queries isn’t for you. You’re a writer and writers write. Yes, and they do all sorts of other things related to writing that isn’t writing per se.

A Threshold

Transition periods pointing to change can be dangerous. Rather than cross the threshold into the great unknown, many writers become lost, give up, put the story on hold, wait until the timing is better, start a new story, or dive right back into writing again without appreciating the true value of the threshold at a major writing transition. 

Threshold Guardian

At a major transition, we are often immediately tested by a threshold guardian who tries to lure you away from what you most desire. “You’ve been at it forever, you deserve some time off.” “You need a break.” “Aren’t you ever going to be finished?” “I thought you were finished!” As you hesitate, you may find yourself surrendering some or all of your authority over your own life to someone or something else. “I do deserve a break!” “I’m not ready for this.” 

Whether the threshold to the next step is open and invites discovery or is closed, thresholds signify a space of perfect balance. Something has happened and something will happen. Only this moment is real. A threshold is a point of truth. Now the question becomes: are you ready to cross the threshold into the next step in the process of being a writer? All that is required of you is to take that first step over the threshold. And, you’re off! 

Thresholds create suspense. Will you cross over or will you go back or will you simply stay stuck in that in between space? Or, as a plot twist will you not go back to the old or forward to the expected, but instead turn somewhere else entirely?

Revision

PlotMoWri New coverIf the next step for you is revision, join me! I’m using Revise Your Novel in a Month I developed years ago on my own novel. Step One took time to integrate all my notes, so many new scene ideas, and places to deepen and expand. I didn’t lose much time because I bundled Steps 1 – 3. I found true value in Step Two — coming up with the novel Concept. Shifts my thinking, demands focus, and opens even more awareness of the real thrust and deeper meaning of the story. Step Three — Looking into the character expression in the Beginning portion after just having finished writing to the end — invites you back into where you started but with new eyes and a fresh sensibility. 

No, revision is not like the writing you just finished. And, yes, I’m more than impatient to get back to writing and started on the actual rewrite. However, I know from experience and from feedback from writers who have revised by the PlotWriMo method, this transition into revising makes for a much more powerful rewrite.

Take That 1st Step

Wherever you are on your writer’s journey, a threshold symbolizes a transition to a new stage in your development. A threshold demands action. Take that first step. Cross over the threshold. Transition back into your story from a new perspective. No longer writing, still, you’re in the zone of imagining, embellishing, and making your story better. Soon, in a month (or less if you choose to do more than one step per day), you’ll be back to doing what you love the most — writing. Only this time, you’ll be writing from a depth of understanding you didn’t have before the revisionary process. 

For now, all you’re asked is to transition over the threshold of change…