Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Juggling act...

I had developed a pattern since November 1st, of spending every waking second that I was not at work, tethered to my desk.


But, since December is in full swing, all the stuff neglected in November is crying out for attention.  I had started to like ignoring it... but, you know.

I get up at 5am, go with obligations until approximately 6pm.  Cook diner.  Choose that evenings activity.  Go to bed too late.  You get what I'm saying.  So the point of this long and boring post is this:  on average, I write three days a week.  THREE.  ouch.  that's less than HALF of my goal.


Because on the days that I run myself into the ground, I skip writing and reading to fit in eating and sleeping and time with loved one... and laying on couch like a zombie, too exhausted to even take off my shoes.

Why does this matter?  Sure, I'm writing, and hey... that's great, but it's like when you're really into a television series, and you go a really long time without watching it.  You start to forget why you thought it was so great.

In the words of Stephen King: "The narrative thread begins to fade, the characters stale off and begin to feel like characters... and for most writers, that is the smooch of death." 

That is what runs through my mind every time I sit down to my keyboard after an extended absence.  I feel like I'm "playing writer".  I realize this is common, and that keeps me going. 

Yesterday was tough.  I stared at my screen for hours, trying to reconnect.  I succeded, but wow... a lot of wasted time.  I could have easily avoided that hassle by being just a tad more diligent everyday.  Just making sure I, at least visit my characters on those busy days.

I have started keeping writing notebooks with my inspirational pics and scribbles with me at all times.  Also, I am sure to only listen to my playlist, the exact same playlist, hoping to recapture some of that feeling I had the previous writing sessions.

I feel like if I just put this out there, a solid goal, to write EVERYDAY, not just my days off, that it will solidify my resolve.  Even just 500 words on my busy days would be a big help in keeping my story fresh in my mind. 

I don't want to be a bad housekeeper, or absent minded employee, but I do want to spend more time brainstorming.

Every writer faces these.  They make it work.  So can I.

Enough complaining. *deep breath*

Thanks for listening.  =O}

Saturday, December 3, 2011

When procrastination can turn to production...

I am a world class procrastinator.  Yep.  I have accepted it.  I have a lot of creativity in me, no doubt, and I have used much of that creativity for evil rather than for good. 

My procrastination demons are LOUD.

I like to use the potter's wheel, I paint and sketch, collage art, music, theater and movies, books and magazines on short fiction, and even TheSIMS2 *don't judge me*.  ALL of my procrastinations are in the arts. 

But, it is still procrastination.

I have, over the last two years started channeling some of that energy into various writing exercises.  For example, I have this novel that I have been percolating on the back burner for a few years.  I was missing something in the story.  I didn't know what, but the more I wrote, the worse I felt like I was making it.

I stopped writing.

I didn't want to write anything else, either.  I was so into the story that I didn't want to lose the connection or risk changing the mental channel and never getting reception again.  *you know what I mean*

When I am trying to find a voice for my characters, sometimes I use MSN image search and I will find one picture of an actor or actress that has qualities, or speech patterns of my characters.  I will print out a picture of each character and create a little profile sheet on them.  I am careful not to spend too much time on this, because it can turn into world-builder's disease very quickly, (also, my characters change sometimes), but it does help stir the scenes in my head.

One day, I took a few of these pictures of people and places, and I began telling my story in the form of news paper clippings.  I have seen books do this, and I was just sitting at my keyboard... it just happened.

Before I knew it, I had a stack of news clippings from a fictitious new paper, all by lined by a fictitious journalist that became a major character in that novel, and solved a lot of my problems with the story.  These clippings weren't great, but they got my story going again, like jumper cables to a car battery!

My point? 

If you want to work, but can't:  point your procrastination in a positive direction. :)  It can be wonderful.

*and so much fun* :)

Grounding the reader using "The Pyramid of Abstraction"

In my geekery on writing education, I have stumbled upon a concept introduced in both of these sources by Brandon Sanderson (whom I have ...