As a creative person I am often trying new things like DIY projects that require me to learn something or do something I’ve never done before. For example, when I was planning my wedding over two years ago I saw these sheet music flowers that someone had made and turned into a bouquet and fell in love with them. Armed with different downloaded PDF’s of how to make the flowers, sheet music printed on various colors of scrapbook paper, scissors, and my hot glue gun I went to work. I tried different types of flowers and finally found one I liked. It was a great deal of work. I made my own bouquet, as well as the bouquets of my bridal party, my mother’s and my mother-in-laws as well as one for my aunt. SHEW! It was a lot of work, work that I was excited and nervous about. What if they looked like shit? What if they didn’t look nice enough? What if they fell apart? What if…
Tag Archives: inspiration
I have yet to find a writer’s group where I live. And in order to take writing classes I’d have to commute over an hour one way, so I found an online Fiction Writing course and have signed up for it. It begins in October and I’m super excited. The major theme of this course is Characters and since I’m a character driven writer I’m super excited about it.
I’ve looked into Writer’s Conferences, and maybe once I actually get this book finished we’ll be doing better financially and I can afford to go to a writer’s conference,but right now I’d rather have a new laptop. One day…
I’ve seen several posts on WP and Blogger, and Twitter #writingspace about the writing process, where writer’s write, and what their favorite things are or what inspires them. When I was in college I wrote in between classes, at the coffee shop, at the cafe, outside at a picnic table on campus, in my bedroom on my bed, at my desk…You name it. But that was homework, research papers, etc. Things have changed over the past 15 years.
Once I started taking my writing seriously instead of just thinking of it as a dream deferred, a hobby, or a creative past-time I began dreaming about having a writing shed, or at least a room of my own. And for a short while that happened, but alas I am now back in a main part of the house, which is fine when I’m home alone, but not so great when it’s not just me at home.
Above you’ll see a few pictures of the writing room I had for a brief period of time. Once my son finishes college (since the military thing didn’t work out for health reasons) and gets a full-time job I’ll get my writing room back, or by then we’ll be able to afford a wooden shed so I can convert into a writing cottage. But for now, where I write is in the living room.
We all have those people in our lives you are negative, who say “Why are you wasting your time writing a novel? Why don’t you get a real job?” or “I bet you spend all day on the Web surfing…” or “You do realize you’re probably never going to get published, don’t you?” I know I do.
Truth is, since I first started working on my writing full-time, pushed by my husband since I couldn’t work due to Uterine cysts, and then a torn rotator cuff, I have researched how to write a novel, outline a novel, etc. I’ve participated in two NaNoWriMo and three Camp NaNoWriMo’s. I’ve worked on how to outline, learned how to use Scrivener (at least to the point that I can outline and write my novel, I’ll need to learn much more when it comes time to edit and publish). I’ve learned and grown as a writer, but I’ve heard the negativity, the nay sayers, the negative Nancy’s…They’re out there.
But I believe in myself and my art. I have invested in myself and in my writing. Thanks to my wonderful husband, I am now taking my writing seriously. It’s more than just a dream, a hobby, it is a productive outlet, not to mention it can be a productive career. Will I ever be a Stephen King, Nora Roberts, James Patterson, J.K. Rowling, Jim Butcher, or Robert Jordan? No. But I’ll be myself…and that self is a writer, regardless of whether or not one of my books ever hits the New York Times Bestseller list or I become famous as a writer.
I had to learn to believe in myself as a writer. I had to stop the nay sayers, the real ones and the one in my mind, and tell myself that I’ve been dreaming of this, wanting this, for as long as I can remember (almost 40 years) and the years kept passing me by as I listened to the internal nay sayer in my head, as well as the external nay sayers who believed that writing a book was a waste of time, or that writing wasn’t a real job. Don’t get me wrong, there have been people in my life who have believed in me. People who believe that I am talented, a good writer, who have said, “You need to write a book…” or “Why aren’t you writing a book?”
If I don’t take my writing seriously, who will? No one (except for maybe my husband because he truly believes in me, even when I don’t believe in myself).
Yesterday I spent a small part of my day researching 2 in 1 tablet/laptops, reading about the structure of scenes, good dialogue…Almost half the day at the pool (my small 3 ft deep pool) on a float thinking about my character and where she was going, what she wanted, and who the antagonist really is versus who I originally thought he was, and then I spent the other part of my day writing. I went back to my WIP last night. By the time I went to bed I’d written almost 4200 words.
I had a good day. When I first opened the new project screen in Scrivener I felt excited. Like I was going on a new adventure, a bit like Alice must have felt when she went down the rabbit hole. Call me crazy, but every time I revamp or organize a WIP, I’m excited and then the excitement dissipates into the nether, and I’m left feeling overwhelmed, doubtful, and nervous. I read a book about how many first time novelist write SEVERAL beginnings but can’t seem to finish a novel. For over a year that was me. I managed to get my 50K word count for NaNo, but that was only almost half of a novel. Not a complete novel. That one went into the proverbial closet, the WIP shelved, and I went on to the next idea. A better idea. Yet I keep coming back to one of the two original ideas I had almost two years ago when I first sat down at the computer, after a long hiatus from writing.,
When I took that short break from social media, between being on the road with my husband, reading books, and thinking about my writing, and reading that book about why writer’s never finish a book, I realized something important I was afraid of success. Yes, I said that. If I actually managed to complete a novel then I had to worry about editing it. Once I edited it I had to worry about finding beta readers (which I haven’t a clue about), then I had do worry about whether to try to get it traditionally published or try self-publishing. My anxiety kicked in somewhere around the 1/4 to 1/2 mark of a novel and then I freeze.
I can’t worry about all of that when I’m writing. I have to begin at the beginning, write, write, write until I get to the end. and then stop and take a break. That’s all there is to it. It’s not impossible. I know it’s not. I’ve read enough free books on Kindle, enough traditionally published and self-published books, enough writing advice books to know that it isn’t impossible. Some books are adventures and they pull us into the book and we’re right there inside it. Chronicles of Narnia did that to me when I was elementary school.. Salem’s Lot did that to me when I was ten and I’ve been an avid Stephen King fan since. I’ll never be Lewis, or King, but I can be myself. And that self is actually a pretty damn decent, no good, writer. If I let myself be. If I’m not holding myself back by believing it’s not possible.
Regardless of how shitty this first draft is that I’m working on, I’m sticking with it until the very end. Until I can type or have my husband type, like Mike Noonan did in Bag of Bones, the END.
A fellow blogger wrote a post that made me think. She had a bad night and began having doubts, which seems to be par for the course for many a writer. No matter how well you write, you’re going to have times when what you write is utter shit. When you don’t like it and want to trash it… Delete, delete, delete. I’ve learned not to do that. I save it in a file called “Deleted shit” so that later on I can go back to it.
“Judging your early artistic efforts is artist abuse.”
― Julie Cameron
I’ve also learned that I need to take breaks from writing, especially if I’ve hit that sweet spot while writing and managed to get quite a lot accomplished. If I don’t take a break then I will either burn myself out, end up with writer’s block because I’ll get stuck after such a big run of it…
Or I might just fall asleep in my chair, sitting at my desk…
Yes, I’ve done that.
I’ve also done the whole take a long break from writing. There was a period of time when I didn’t write fiction, not even a short story, or poetry. I lost a lot of my poetry when I left the ex, and maybe that was for the best. I had serious inner demons back then and it took me a long while to exercise them.
Not that I don’t still have a few inner demons, I do, but now they’re the normal ones. I get tired, burned out, insecure, overwhelmed… there are times when I feel isolated and lonely… times when I’m not sure I’m talented enough… disciplined enough…smart enough…There are also times when I feel like I’m wasting my time and effort, that it would be much better for us financially if I went to work full-time instead of working on my writing full-time…
Thankfully I have a husband who is supportive. Who appreciates all that I do around the house (never thought I’d be a housewife). Who believes in me and has faith in my talent.I am working on a novel that has been simmering for almost 2 years now. NaNoWriMo 2012. I finally got the story right in my head, and now I’m working on it for Camp NaNoWriMo. Maybe it will be SHIT. Maybe it will be decent. Maybe it will even be great. All I know if I feel the need to write it.
“Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life as well. It’s about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy. …this book…is a permission slip: you can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will. Writing is magic, as much the water of life as any other creative art. The water is free. So drink.
Drink and be filled up.”
― Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
I’m writing for me. Maybe no one will ever read my book except for me, my husband and my children. It doesn’t matter. I’m getting the words of the story out there on the page. That’s what matters. And the words don’t always come easy.
“The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them — words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they’re brought out. But it’s more than that, isn’t it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you’ve said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That’s the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller but for want of an understanding ear.”
― Stephen King, Different Seasons
Being part of a community where writing is concerned, whether you’re blogging, writing fiction, or poetry or all three, makes you feel like you’re not so alone in the world as a writer–at least it does for me.. I feel as if I’m part of something so much bigger than myself and that I have a kinship of sorts with other writers. Blogging, being part of NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNo has really helped me branch out as a writer. I’ve learned, been inspired, and motivated over the past few years.
“Writing is a little bit like prostitution. First you do it for love. Then you do it for a few friends. Then you do it for money.”
“Thanks Mom. It was delicious,” my son said after dinner. My daughter reiterated my son’s comment with her own version…
“Yeah, it was friggin’ awesome…I’m going to get some more” or something like that. Right after she finished putting the last bit of food on her plate the little man fell from his Lightening MacQueen car and busted his lip open, a big gash, so he must have bit down on his lip when he fell…Blood every where. My daughter panicking… “Mom! What is it?” while I’m rinsing his mouth out with cold water so I can see where the bleeding is actually coming from because all I can see is his little mouth filled with blood and a piece of garlic bread which is now a dark reddish color. I manage to run cold water over a washcloth to try to…and but my daughter is in panic mode. She’s a first time mother. She’s making me more and more anxious. I’m trying not to panic. Why is it so much different once you’re a grandparent? Why?
I’ve cooked dinner. Baked cookies. Washed dishes. Done laundry. Tried to fix the damn vacuum cleaner that has gone through 3 belts, 2 of which were brand new–in the past 48 hours, and I’m already at that point where all I want to do is punt it across the room. Better yet, perhaps I shouldn’t but that is exactly what I want to do. I don’t. But I do however lose my patience with my daughter who has snapped at me several times over the course of the day, and has now snapped at me several more times as I am trying to see if my grandson actually needs to go to the ER. Nevertheless, I tell her to go ahead and take him. A couple hours later she comes back and tells us that he is fine, his lip is just busted and that the DR said he didn’t need to be seen to take him home and give him some Moltrin/Tylenol.
His lip is swollen. Both his shirt and my daughter’s shirt are in the washing machine on the second wash and I used Shout… his little mouth bleed like you wouldn’t believe. I was so worried. Not just because of him, but because of my daughter. Being a first time parent is hard enough, but being a single parent makes it harder. I worry about her all the time. I worry about the both of them.
I’ve been thinking about making one of my character’s a single parent. Full-time college student. Depressed over the break up with the baby’s father, who she was with for 5 years. Based on my daughter. She is one brave cookie. Strong. Independent. Creative. Talented. I’m such a proud mother. The rest of the details will come from my imagination, and not from my daughter, but she is definitely the inspiration for the character.
Now it’s time to get out my notebook and take some notes for the character. I’m still in outlining mode. Camp NaNoWriMo doesn’t officially start until April 1st so I have plenty of time. I think I’ll call her Raven.