Hold That Thought!

As an “organic writer” (aka “pantser”), I follow a non-linear writing habit, edit while writing, and deal with the competing demands of new stories and ideas when they happen. I think that my having raised four children, all born within nine years, prepared me to do this.

An Epicycloid, by Sam Derbyshire

To me, new ideas are more vulnerable to loss than established ones, so I always make time for them. When I return to the earlier work, I feel refreshed and I make good progress with it again.

A Hypotrochoid, by Sam Derbyshire

Think “Spirograph.” If you’re working at the right speed, you won’t jump a gear tooth when you loop to a new idea, you’ll navigate safely back to where you started, and you’ll have something beautiful to show for it.

Various Spirograph Designs. Anonymous. Wikimedia Commons.

Various Spirograph Designs, by Anonymous

It’s what I call “epicyclic thought.” In other words, the kind of multitasking that mothers get used to doing, without their even knowing it.


And that’s Life in the Parallel Universe … the Place where Novels are Real….

Cassini Apparent Astronomy, Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1st ed., 1777

Cassini Apparent Astronomy, Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1st ed., 1777



Filed under Fiction, Novels, Uncategorized

8 responses to “Hold That Thought!

  1. Ali Isaac

    Cool post! And I remember having one of those spirographs when I was a kid in the 70’s…lots of fun! And paint everywhere lol!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I LOVE this post! Your analogy is brilliant, Christine, and your “epicyclic thought” hypothesis is spot-on. I’m more of a pantser than anything else, and I love how described those of us who are more “organic” in our writing. Thanks for a great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Awesome post, I can see how the diagrams relate to this kind of writing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ah, I REALLY like this and can relate to it! Thank you. As a newbie writer, I’ve wondered if my non-linear way was wrong. I’ve read advice for writers that is good, but some of it hasn’t clicked with the way my mind works. There are several projects, or conversations, going on in my head too all the time, and I know what you mean about feeling refreshed returning to earlier on going work after making time for new ones. Thanks for a super post!

    Liked by 1 person

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