It’s not even one o’clock, and I’m cranky. It’s one of those days. We were promised thundershowers. I am looking at brilliant sun through the clouds. I did not ask for brilliant sun. It burns. Yesterday was productive, I was looking forward to more of the same today, and yet…ugh. Hit the wall. Not my favorite thing to do, but writing a blog entry gets at least one thing knocked off my to-do list.
Since I am grumpy today, but want to get this entry up, I am going to be lazy and draw from yesterday’s productivity. I had my all purpose notebook with me and did some writing on Things I Have Learned about the way I, personally, write. These may or may not be of use to anybody else, but if I get this entry written, I get to bribe myself with a walk, which should bust me out of my funk, so here we go:
- The goal/task list I make on Monday mornings is my set of goals for the week, not the for the day. I do not want to say how long it took me to realize that, but I finally get it now.
- I need to write stuff down, or I will lose it. Writing it down also means that I get to play with pens and paper and highlighters. I am a visual person. If I like looking at the page, I will want to spend time there.
- Bullet points are life. That’s how my brain works best when getting stuff out.
- I don’t count words when writing a first draft. That completely paralyzes me, and I’ll shut down. Not going there again. Let me tell the story, though, and watch me fly. I think in terms of scenes. Bullet point draft the scene, smooth it out, get feedback, move on.
- Yes, I do need to talk about the WIPs. I have tried, very hard, to follow respected advice to keep mum, and, for me, that kills the story. I’m talking flatline. It’s dead, Jim. Pinining for the fjords. An ex-story, as it were.
- I don’t mean talking the story to death, which I have also done. I have a time travel romance that I really, really love, like crazy love, on life support. It’s been there for years now, and I still can’t pull the plug. Still waiting for all the toxins –too much advice, from too many people, who wanted the book to be things other than what it was, and still is, often contradictory and mutually exclusive- to filter out of its system. Then we’ll see what we can do, but lesson learned.
- The happy medium is, for me, finding one or two trusted writer friends (and not always the same ones for every project) upon whom I can unleash my verbal onslaught, over cups of tea or instant message (or both at the same time) and keep it at that. For me, thinking and talking often happen at the same time. If I’m stumped by blank page or screen, talking it out is a lifesaver. Sometimes, I don’t know what I’m saying until I’ve said it. Then I’m good, and I can get the story down.
- I don’t know how many times I’ve started a conversation with “I have no idea where this story is going,” then spew my verbal sludge at a writer friend, only to be told that’s the whole outline right there. Often with extraneous details filed off, but one of these days, I will get smart and record these blathers. Probably when I can get someone else to transcribe them for me, because I’m one of those people weirded out by their own voice on recordings. Speech to text software is also an option.
- One of the CRRWA members asked, at this past weekend’s meeting, how it is that I’ve met my personal goals (self set, shared with the group and accounted for at meetings) every month since we began the program. What I said at the time was something along the lines of, “um, I like writing?” but that was also the portion of the day where being asked my favorite TV show stymied me to the point I could only mumble something about Bones, and that after some prompting. (For the record, currently How I Met Your Mother, but not the finale, which I refuse to acknowledge, though if we’re talking only shows in current production, The Walking Dead. Those choices probably say something about me, but I don’t want to examine it too closely. Said choices may change tomorrow, but those are they at the time the question was asked. )
- What I would have said if not caught on the spot, would be more along the lines of:
- Set realistic goals (aka know what you can do.)
- Word them vaguely when you need wiggle room.
- That’s about it for now, as it’s time for walkies.