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Orange High Heels Spark Creativity

Yesterday I had lunch with "E" a literary agent and friend. She was in town to speak at the Romance Times Book Lovers Conference in Columbus.

It was sunny with blue skies as we walked from the Hyatt to a nearby restaurant, just enough warm breeze on our arms to feel good. Dressed up and downtown. How fun is that? Something I do only often enough to appreciate it.

As we ate we talked about her work, what books she's recently placed with publishers, how the industry is changing, how hard it is to sell good books, and then a bit about our personal lives.

Woe is me, she then asked about my current project. I was dreading the question. Let me explain, E was my agent for a couple of years and marketed my very first novel, a mainstream titled HUNGRY FOR CHOCOLATE, which was about a surrogacy gone wrong. Set in West Virginia, with a cast of zany characters, E loved it. (Oh, everyone in WV is not zany - just MY characters). The book was ultimately rejected and is now resting on my desk for another go through. The rough draft took two months to write and a year and a half to finish. When I first submitted it to E she didn't like the ending. I rewrote it and she then loved it enough to accept it.

I explained the premise for my current W.I.P. to her which she seemed to like. Then I told her about the three novels I had not finished. She wanted to know why. I explained that my process is to write a few pages, and then to start rewriting. Up until now that was the way I worked and I hadn't been able to change it.

I asked her for some advice. This is what she shared.

She tells her women authors who edit too early, to buy two bows, one blue and one pink - or any other two colors. One color is to be worn while creating the first draft - no editing allowed before writing the end. PERIOD. The other color will be worn when editing, and that begins only after the book is finished. (Guys will have to come up with their own version of the bows).

It got me to thinking as we finished our talk. I didn't dig the bow idea. But a light bulb went off when I thought of my beautiful orange high heels. Now my mind started racing. I would write daily on my story wearing my orange high heels. I would not edit, ever, while wearing those beautiful shoes. I'd finish the novel. Each writing session, the shoes would remind me that I'd made a commitment to myself. And to E. I think we high five-ed.

So I'm starting fresh on Monday. I'll be hard at work on my story wearing my orange high heels. I'll be wearing a smile. The shoes just naturally do that to me.

How about you? Do you have a process by which you work? Does it work well or not at all? How do you finish a novel? Or are you one of those persons for whom writing comes naturally, and you just write the novel and send it off?

I always start out loving my story and seeing so much potential. Then the rewriting starts and I lose focus and start changing everything. At that point, I become frustrated and overwhelmed.

This time, I'm going to let my orange high heels spark my creativity.

I'll be reporting my progress here weekly. If you have any advice, feel free to share. I hope you will share your tips as well as your progress with me.

Blessings on this lovely Friday afternoon! And on this next writing journey.


  1. Glad she gave you something that sparked your enthusiasm again! I never thought about it that way, but I wrote my entire first draft before editing. Guess I did it right the first time without knowing.

  2. What a great idea--to wear your orange shoes as a reminder! As you know, I'm big on plowing through. That's what I did with my (still unpublished) skating novel. As my writing group critiqued each chapter, I just stuck their comments in a folder. And isn't that how you got VF written so fast? So . . . I want to hear that those orange shoes are getting a lot of wear !!!! Good luck.

  3. Thanks, Alex and Elizabeth. I love reading what you both post. It's always been a struggle for me to write something novel length. I've had success with short stories and essays/articles. Slice of life pieces.
    Yes, I was so good when I wrote VF. Never allowing myself to venture off the path. Now I've grown placid. I have to get those orange shoes clicking. We'll all be congratulating each other soon. Of course Alex has his book soon coming out. Your turn Eliz.

  4. I go through my phases of outlining, drafting, revising, and editing. And many times I have to revisit the revising and editing parts. I don't edit as I write. I might go back and change a few things, otherwise I go straight through as I draft.

  5. I feel as though I'm going to make it thru the first draft this time without getting caught up in editing.

    Thanks for commenting. B

  6. What a good idea! Be sure to click them together just for luck when you put them on to get your writing time started.

  7. What fun! And a great idea. I hope it works magic for you and your writing.


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