I just ran into some old notes from one of the books I started. Just seeing that, seeing them and getting plunged right back into the person I was when I wrote that, kind of makes me want to cry. In a good way, but cry nonetheless. I suppose it should stir me to finish the book I’m working on now so that I can get back to it.
The main thing is to write. Yes, read, a lot, all the time, anything you can get your hands on. Yes, live, gain some experience, do something meaningful.
But, on top of it all, write.
Today: typing up my handwritten story. Printer: running low on ink. Will need to mooch.
Fifteen pages of story typed.
God, let this consume me. Let it consume my life. I think that’s a personal requirement if I’m going to get this anywhere decent (Damn you, finals! Quit taking up my time!).
Like all writers, or most of us, I have good days and bad ones.
On good days, the words flow seamlessly into one another. They’re music across the page. They have a life all their own, and they inspire me. These are the days where I have to race to catch up to the angry mob screaming either vulgar or beautiful poetry and prose at me inside my head. I like these days, as most writers do. This accumulates a pile of stuff I like to go back to.
On the bad days, I meet the old ball-and-chain. My characters are stagnant, and claiming mutiny. I have to pull the words out of them, things they don’t even say, because if I don’t meet that one page goal every single day, I’ve failed. Usually, the characters come along, but kicking and screaming, the way little kids do in the cereal aisle when mom doesn’t get them Captain Crunch or Cocoa Puffs. They hold their hands over their mouths as I reach in and try to make them talk, or they cover the scenery with tarps and black plastic bags. These are the days that my “children” hate me. Believe me, there are lots of them.
Bad days are also the days where I don’t want to write. I have no desire to. My heart is in some other land where I can pretend I haven’t made a previous committment to what I’m prematurely calling “my life’s work.” I have the world ahead of me, why do I have to stick with something NOW? Or, these are the days where I put too much cream on my hands and I smudge oil onto the paper, and I say, “Oops! Guess I can’t do THIS anymore! I think I’ll go see what my brother is watching…” Or it’s too hot outside. Or it’s too humid, or too nice out (summer days and sunny days, I’m looking at you). Or, the worst culprit of ALL TIME (for me, anyway): I get bored with what I’m writing.
Bad days can be the worst. I can sit and watch all the author interviews I like, but they don’t do anything. They’re not writing the book, or the short story, or the poem (though I only write poetry when the mood takes me). They’re inspiring, but that’s it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for inspiration! I read inspirational quotes and books all the time! Getting to the next step, though, is the real point. You’re inspired. Okay, good. Now…what? Are you moved enough to do something with it?
I write every day. One page is the goal. I started it last year on New Year’s, and I could’ve increased to two pages
but I didn’t, because the only way I’d ever get anything done was to limit myself. During the summer, sure. During vacations, sure. In fact, vacations are a god-send. It’s almost a personal treat - I get to write more pages and not worry about the homework that I’m not doing! I don’t even limit myself to just one page, if I happen to go over. As long as I make one page of writing, no matter how far I’ve gotten the day before (if I wrote one page or five), I always write another page. Unless I’m bedridden with no use of limb or any mental capacity. Then a word will suffice. Hey, let’s not completely kill ourselves!
My point? It works for me. Some writers have word counts they reach. I write until the goal is met or the story is finished. If nothing else happens in the story, if it doesn’t really go anywhere, at least I have a page of something to sort through. The more I have, the more I get to work with.
Happy writing, guys! Blessed Be!
- and when to break them (of writing, I mean). Without a thorough understanding of the rules, you absolutely cannot break them effectively.
And, one of my personal favorites:
“No day is too busy that you can’t find ten or fifteen minutes to write. Plus, getting into the habit of doing it every day will help on those days when you Don’t Wanna Butya Hafta. It also makes the point, to yourself and to others, that writing is important.”
Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!, Lili St.Crow (yes, that is her real name)
And, again, we go to Sean Ferrell, who she oft quotes throughout her fantastic blogs:
I write every day. Especially when I don’t feel like it. Especially when it’s not working. I can always choose to not use something that I wrote and that I realize later is the wrong tone, doesn’t fit, contradicts other parts. I can’t decide to use something that isn’t written. I can’t use something that is still in my head. Better to have something come out half right than have all of it perfectly in my skull. (Sean Ferrell)
I love this man’s blog about writing processes.
ALSO: “Let every rejection, bad review, hard edit, or misunderstanding be an invitation do do better. Anything else is a waste of your time.”
Write to write, people, and NOT because you want somebody to read it. To me, that seems as bad as saying that you’re going to be a writer because of the money. Firstly, that sounds like saying you’re going to be a teacher because of the money (ha-ha, very funny!). And secondly, don’t do it, unless you’re seriously in love with the craft, and the characters, and the story.
A new plot-line just showed up, and my characters are nagging and angry. On top of a 3-part story, with multiple different plot-lines, and now this. ><
They’re never going to give it up. I need to go put somebody to rest.
Happy writing, and Blessed Be!
Well, I don’t know, but I’m sure going to find out!
Do not ever doubt that you have a story to tell.
Lili St. Crow
You are a writer.
Your greatest asset is your cynicism, your greatest weapon your way with words. You know this. And what you carry is determined by who you are trying to destroy. You carry the same pad of paper, the same trusty steed that is your pen with you everywhere you go - but…