You See, It’s a Series of Tubes

•17 June, 2008 • 1 Comment

I think there was a South Park episode regarding this recently, but imagine if the internet just ceased to exist. I have no idea what we would do. Everything would stop being as wonderfully easy as it is. Our collective memory and knowledge would plummet to the depths of ignorance.

It’s been that way at my house for the last month or so. I’ve been able to come to my university and leech some internet, but I’m getting very tired of it. This afternoon, I’ll be gifted with my own connection. Thank goodness.

I’ve been neglecting my writing, and I can feel the withdrawal. With previous arts, I’ve never felt quite this way. After a few days without touching my most recent project, I tend to get moody beyond reason. I guess that’s a clear indication I’m supposed to do this.

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What NaNoWriMo Left Me With.

•12 June, 2008 • 1 Comment

I may have been a bit too caps-happy with that title. This is a blog, though. I’m not too worried about grammar and nit-picky business. If you’re looking for stressed out, red-eyed, panting accuracy, you’re in the wrong place. And eat my shorts.

Today I was reminded of a certain aspect that NaNoWriMo burned into my forehead. For the unaware, NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month. During November of every year, thousands of people write (or attempt) a novel of at least 50,000 words. That’s a ton of words in 30 days. I’ve only “won” (conquered the challenge) once, but I’m enormously proud of myself for participating these five years.

In order to complete the challenge, writers have to conquer many demons, including the Inner Editor and the Naysayers. This is a great feat for any writer to accomplish. Still, I’m left with a bizarre side effect of completing a novel at such a breakneck speed.

Taking any writing slowly is a struggle for me now. In this year’s attempt at a second draft/novel, I’ve decided to go slowly and plot out as much as possible. Even in this, I’m bucking a bit by writing further elaborate summaries instead of wordmaps, idea bubbles, or any other ridiculous practice. I feel like I’m making progress now by just sitting with my words and writing at least 250 more each day. Writing a novel in a year is not a ridiculous concept.

Reading Bird by Bird has opened my eyes a bit. The synchronicity of reading it and writing this slow novel is just too coincidental. I’m learning a lot about myself as an artist, writer, and person. The following quotation from E.L. Doctorow has helped me come to terms with the idea of slow progress as an organic writer:

    “It’s like driving a car at night. You never see further than your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”

Lakeside.

•9 June, 2008 • 2 Comments

This is my last day on vacation. I must admit: I haven’t written anything other than journal entries. I’m not beating myself up about it.

Writing shouldn’t ever cause you to feel bad about yourself, whether for the reason of bad criticism, the dreaded block, or even not writing at all. If you start to associate negativity with writing, the problem will just persist. At least, that’s been my experience.

I’m not gonna sweat not writing on this vacation. It’ll be over soon. Besides, I’ve been reviewing outlines and thinking about my characters this entire trip. That’s enough in my book.

People Say the Most Ridiculous Things

•7 June, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I’m safely in MI after a very long bus ride. Thirty hours later, I’d written at least three pages full in my travel journal. The sights, sounds, and smells were too outrageous to believe. I’m trying my best not to hate the experience too much, if only because I have another thirty-hour journey on Monday.

Short entry, I know. Just to fill it out: Check out the latest Writing Excuses: “This Sucks and I’m a Horrible Writer.”

If you didn’t know before, I’m the second type of writer. I truly need to learn how to come back and edit my rough drafts. Ugh.

If I’m Not Back… Wait Longer.

•4 June, 2008 • 2 Comments

I’m about to take off on a trip to watch my esteemed sister graduate. Tomorrow morning, I’ll be boarding a Greyhound bus. This’ll be my first time on such a bus, so I may get shanked. If I don’t, though, I may be able to update and continue writing when I get to lovely Michigan.

In the meantime, I’ve realized that organic writing is the way to go for me. Only by actually typing with my hands and writing with my pen can I realize what my characters and plot are doing and hoping and judo chopping. I’m nearly done with all of my outlining, but there are three different characters that want to be the lead protagonist. Ugh.

Brandon Sanderson is my hero and idol. Wow, I’m a total fanboy at this point. I don’t think I’m ever going to stop. He’s that awesome.

Who Do I Write For?

•1 June, 2008 • 3 Comments

“Who do you write for? This question has been troubling me today, so I’m asking passing ships who love to write … Sounds like you do, correct me if I missed my cue :)…”

Mental Mists sent this comment my way in my last entry, and I couldn’t help but answer in a long explanation.

This question is a little vague. It can be answered in two ways, the first regarding my readers and the second regarding my identity as a writer. I write for people around my reading level and maybe a bit lower. My audience is anyone that appreciates magical realism, urban fantasy, or whatever the hell it’s being called these days. I write for the conscious late teen and early twenty-year-old. I like to ask questions through my works and hope the reader can find an answer. I never seek to provide that answer outright. My works are merely fishbowls.

That said, I write for myself. I write because I love it, not to please someone else. I think that’s extremely important to consider when asking this question. I think that this may be the best reason or person to write for. If you don’t love sitting at your computer and opening the writing vein, then why are you doing it at all? It is my love that will hopefully make my writing succeed outside of me as it already does within me.

I hope some of that made sense.

Daily Creation.

•29 May, 2008 • 1 Comment

My practice of traveling to the library has really helped my inner writer. I come here, update my blog, check my facebook, and then shut it all off to write. Starting this new ritual reminded me of a blog post from Davey Wavey’s blog: “BIG change is in the air!” In it he speaks of the new book from Harvard professor Tal Ben-Shahar, Happier. Davey’s got some new rituals. This one’s mine.

Most writers have a certain time of the day that they write best during. I’ve heard most often that morning is the best time. However, mine is in the early afternoon if not actually at noon. I don’t understand it in the slightest, but I’m much more prolific at this time. Well, time’s running out. I’ve got to get to it.