I usually prefer typing. I can’t explain but I seem to write more clear. Typing I’m less likely to skip words. During the last few creative groups I have been writing longhand and I think it has helped but in a different way. I feel I’ve been a bit lost with the writing direction I’m going. Longhand let’s me take my time during the session. I can let a topic flow in more detail. I still have major issues with longhand. I skip words, there are spelling mistakes, and trying to read back what I scribbled…ugh!
So far this has been working. There is an ease to the group. We chat, laugh, and everyone does what they need. A scribbled page, a sketched panel, or reviewed research. Look at me. I hadn’t had a blog post in a few months and even when I did post it was far between. I had trouble finding the time and energy to write with the weight of my job’s increased responsibility and it’s crazy scheduling. Now, two in a short amount of time and I’m feeling good. Confident. I know I need to start rework on a story but I’m not upset because I’m writing and with every piece (Whatever the piece is) I can hear myself improving. When I’m writing and it’s all working out, it feels right. As if this is what I’m meant to do. I know the struggles of creativity. When you can’t string a sentence together and a story seems impossible. It feels like the worst job in the world. But right now it’s what I need to do.
I worry what will happen when I don’t have this group of like minded struggling artists. Will I fall off again? No! I have to believe that will not be the case. We hold each other accountable in a friendly/challenging sort of way. It’s not a competition. It’s team work. We encourage each other so we all produce. Whatever that should mean to each individual. For me it’s simple right now, I’m writing again!
What do you do with a blank page? It is probably the hardest thing to fill. Only be creative. Right? Words form sentences that then tell a story. Finding the story is the hardest thing. Look at all those artist out there pushing their works like it’s the easiest thing in the world. But here I am typing away. Trying to find a story to make my voice heard. My voice.
The true problem, I’m unsure what to post. These posts have become too few and far between. I think I have a topic to write about, I want to post about my anxieties, but I don’t want my job to find out since some of my anxieties come from work. Also, I don’t want to sound as if I’m complaining. In the height of a moment it never sounds amusing. Humor takes work.
But I have been writing more often lately. I leave, take a bus to the train, to find encouragement from a creative group, to write. It’s fun, relaxing, and we also do work. More than I do at home. At home it’s easy to turn on the TV or search the Internet. TV is not the only problem. I don’t feel I have a space at home. My desk is a mess, my area cramped with objects, and a hole in the ceiling from a leak that gives a draft and amplifies the noise from the apartment upstairs. Upstairs the children run with heavy feet but the screeching or crying scream of a child, the yelling discipline that only seems to make more noise, and tense situations makes it impossible to concentrate. In a moment the thought hanging on the end of a sentence is gone.
A cafe is a space of noise but it’s static. Yes, people talk, and the machines make food and drinks, but it’s not familiar. There is no WiFi so my computer is only a recording machine. WiFi hasn’t been a problem outside my home. Cafe WiFi has only seems to encouraged me to write in the past. My words come faster. The conversation may be a little too long but its just the creative energy from pears with the same struggle. We all agree to work with easy and funny conversation, overcoming our insecurity whether it’s writing in public, not having a specific topic, or struggling with a piece.
I’ve read other writers give the advice of writing at work. Taking the free time you may have during break time or at the desk and write. I don’t have that sort of time at my job. I am mostly walking around, stocking shelves or ordering. I don’t know if I would say I wish for a desk job in front of a computer just to steal more time writing but there is one position at my job I have found I can thief some time to scribble down a few phrases.
I don’t always have information desk days but I have found I can get some writing done on info days. I write on little scraps of paper since I don’t think my managers would like seeing a notebook in my hand. I didn’t like info days before I found this little exercise. Writing tiny blurbs, feelings, or stories has helped my mood. Sometimes I try to describe the scene past the computer screen. I know my managers would give me a strong talking to if they knew but writing is what calms me against the boredom or suffering of info time.
When I get home I clean out my pockets. Scraps of paper collect on my desk, or end table. Will those words ever see a readers eye again? I may never know but, as the clique goes, practice makes perfect. I just am trying to take some spare time and use it to write.
I believe my new job is eating up my writing time. I am still writing but now I don’t have every waking moment to write. Procrastination and not scheduling my time properly has decreased my word output. It is the same struggle for many authors. They were able to write and publish novels with full time jobs. I guess the problem is I didn’t think it would take me so long to find my schedule. It could be my weekly changing schedule but I have to learn not to set a specific time. I don’t want my blog to suffer. I still believe I can post one article a week so don’t go anywhere. So far, I’ve only missed a week post here and there. All I know, it’s time to learn to take any free time available and write. I just hope my imagination learns to kick in when my fingers hit the keyboard or pen hits paper. Sorry muse but you either show up or I’ll be working alone.
How do you write with a changing work schedule? Do you still find same time everyday works best for you?
“You’re a writer? What do you plan on writing?” The dreaded question almost every writer hates. This line of questioning usually starts with the fact that I majored in Creative Writing in college but strangers really expect a detailed answer. Leave out how many people tell me what a useless degree I got, I have recently taken up the belief that I will not talk about the stories I’m writing. I find some people want the outline to the story you’re writing and to know the publishers release date. Just talking about my story can lead me to doubts or hesitations. If you don’t like the genre I’m writing than say I don’t read that genre but good luck. Don’t say something negative that is based on only your taste. There are many people in this world, you may not like it but the woman sitting across from you on the train may think it’s just the piece of fiction she needed to shake off her hardships of work or life. Also, your suggestions on how I can write my story doesn’t help. If you think you can take my idea and direct me how it should be written you’re wrong. Thanks for the help but I didn’t ask for help. Remember you asked me what I was writing. If you don’t like what I’m doing with my idea then write it yourself. One of my favorite lesson in fiction class was when the teacher would tell everyone to write a page story based on a topic, theme, genre, or scene. No one wrote the same story.
I’m not saying I don’t mind talking to strangers all the time. I’ve met some really interesting people from some friendly, polite conversation. I’ve just learned to expect the questioning but I don’t take everything said to me to heart. Since I’ve been insulted, and praised I will just keep quiet on my future writing plans. I know some will try their best to pry answers out of me but I don’t know you and I owe you nothing.
I don’t know what to write about this week. Sometimes this blog seems so easy. I know what the topic of the week will be and the words come easy. Other times, like now, I can’t seem to fine a theme. When I find myself at this wall I just start free writing. Write anything that comes to mind and see where it leads. It may not advance the story I was hoping to work on that day but I’m writing. Writing and reaching my goal seems to be the only thing that matters. I use pen and paper instead of a computer. I can feel the wall crumble. I may never use what I wrote but never can I say it didn’t help. I have found free writing a great way to get over writer’s block but I still couldn’t think of a blog topic this week.
How do you find your blog ideas?
Son, Husband, Father. Rest in peace.
Has anyone done research for a story and it killed the idea? I have had that recently happened. All I had was an opening scene that was swimming around in my head and I wrote it down but as I finished that scene I thought, “This could be bigger. This could be a novel.” So, I started to research some passed legends and myths to help build the world. It was really helpful when it came to building the character’s personally and look but it destroyed my plot.
I started to outline the first idea with my new found research and my story fell apart. I discovered my idea was weak and I had to scrap my original idea. I’ve since put the story down. I think I have to step away from the narrative so I can distance myself from my old plan. Problem, I can’t help but drift back to the past concept. It’s frustrating.
I’ve been trying way to move on and one solution is to write my first opening scene as a short story. I’m hoping if I give this brainchild a voice I can move on from the first idea and still weave a story from the research.
Have you had this happen? How do you move past broken ideas that seem to be causing trouble with your writing?
I wrote a six word story last week. Some may think I cheated on my writing production but many famous authors have used this form of writing to tell a story. There is even a story behind the six word story. It goes, Ernest Hemingway was challenged or bet he could write a short story in six words. Hemingway wrote, “For sale: Baby shoes, Never worn.” He won the challenge/bet with this powerful, simple six word story. In 1991, Arthur C. Clark wrote in a letter, “he still can’t think of it without crying.” After many years there is some question whether this actually happened and if Hemingway even wrote this story but the legend lives on and inspires people everyday to write their best six word story.
I’ve decided to take on the challenge. It’s not as easy as you think. I don’t know if I’ll ever write anything as moving as “Baby shoes” but I will continue to challenge myself and you will witness it from time to time on this blog because I intend to post when I have one I think is good. Do you fine the Six Word Novel as good writing tool? Does it help or hinder?