Friday, June 19, 2009

Catching the Waves by Tristi Pinkston

I recently reviewed Agent in Old Lace by Tristi Pinkston. In case you missed that review, you can find it here.

Tristi is currently touring the blogosphere to let people know all about her contemporary romantic suspense novel Agent of Old Lace, and I agreed to host her. Actually, if she hadn't asked I would have offered because I loved her last book, Season of Sacrifice so much, I knew I wanted to read Agent in Old Lace the minute it was available.

Though Tristi told me it might be dangerous, I allowed her to take the reins and discuss whatever she wanted to today. So, I'm taking a nap for a few moments and Tristi is moving in.

Catching the Waves
By Tristi Pinkston

When a surfer wants to catch a wave, he goes out into the water and gets ready, holding his board poised just right. When the wave comes, he takes full advantage, placing the board and hopping on, holding his arms just so in order to keep his balance, and he rides that wave as far as it will take him. As he’s standing in the water, waiting, he doesn’t feel guilty if the wave doesn’t come right when he thought it would. He just waits a minute, remaining ready, and then enjoys the ride when it comes.

Spurts of creativity are very much like waves. They come and they go, sometimes pounding into the beach and sometimes gently lapping, often with gaps in between. Writers ride those waves of creativity, tapping out pages upon pages as the wave takes them into shore. Yet, for some reason, the analogy stops here. Whereas the surfer patiently waits for the wave, knowing one is coming, the writer frets and stresses. “Where’s my next wave?” he moans. “I’m a fraud. A failure. I’ll never get published. I’ll never finish this book. I’m stuck and I don’t know how to fix it. I’m a loser.”

What the writer needs to realize is what the surfer knows instinctively. The wave will come. It might not come right now, or thirty seconds from now, but it will come. No amount of stressing or whining will bring it any sooner. The question is, are you poised in the water, gripping your board, ready to leap on when the time is right?

1. Are you getting enough rest? Sleep is one of the major factors in creativity. If you just can’t come up with a decent idea to save your life, it’s time for a nap, or two or three … whatever you need to recharge.

2. Are you feeding your mind? If you’re writing a romance, are you reading romances, watching romantic movies, and snuggling up with your sweetie? You’ve got to feed the fire. If you’re writing a historical fiction, read them. If you’re writing a nonfiction text, read them. Keep your brain firing on those topics so that when your idea flares to life, it won’t be like trying to start a rusty chainsaw.

3. Are you taking enough time away from the computer? That might seem counterproductive, but it’s not. Sitting in the same place day after day, staring at the screen, isn’t the most awe-inspiring place you could be. If the screen is mocking you, take a break. Go for a walk. Get some oxygen flowing. Go shopping. Sometimes changing your atmosphere is the best thing you can do to get those ideas coming again.

You are not a failure if your ideas seem slow in coming. You just need some time to recharge yourself and possibly even remind yourself why you love to write in the first place. It should never feel like a chore. If that’s where you are right now, take a break. Then get back in the water and wait for the wave. It will come.

I'm back! I popped in at Tristi's blog and noticed this post from the day she kicked off her virtual book tour. It's not often I read of an author interviewing herself, so please check it out.

You can also find Tristi online at her website.

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