Archive for Writing

Pathetic Attempt to Keep This Blog Alive

I read. I read a lot. Especially when I have a lot of work to do. It’s called procrastination, and I am a master at it.

So, when faced with a steady flow of editing/social media work, what happens? Other things become so very important. You know I’m procrastinating if I’m actually writing a blog post. I haven’t been here in six months!

I just read this article, and it made me laugh. It seemed appropriate to share it here. You know, because I’m procrastinating. From McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, I give you “The Ultimate Guide to Writing Better Than You Normally Do.” http://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/the-ultimate-guide-to-writing-better-than-you-normally-do

 

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Learning a Lesson

Today I begin an online freelance writing course. Years ago, I took a continuing education/university evening class about breaking into freelance writing. The timing wasn’t good, though, as I had just moved to a new city, had begun a new job, and was starting a family. I admit, I’m not great with multitasking. I prefer to give one task all of my attention, and then move on to the next item on my To Do list.

So, this writing course. I’m a bit overwhelmed by it. As usual. I’ve received only the first lesson, and I’m still hesitant to dive in. But dive in, I will, as that’s really the only way I’ll get myself started. I’m either on the precipice of something wonderful, or not. We’ll see how it goes.

BLAH-g

So, I’ve heard that it’s not that writers like to write–it’s that they have to write. They feel compelled. If that’s the definition of a writer, then count me out. As evidenced by this bare blog, I don’t feel compelled to write anything. My lack of writing drive is so strong that I had to enforce a “Monday blog entry” rule so I’d have some regular content. The alternative would have me, in a month or two, remember, “Hey, I have a blog. I should probably write something for it soon,” thus adding yet one more thing to my mental To Do list.

That list is spotty, as is my memory. Most of the items aren’t even verbalized–they’re just vague notions not quite formed that only result in a stressed out sense that “there’s something I should be doing…” and my inability to identify what that is. So, if I don’t formalize and put into words the tasks I need to do, their ghosts haunt me, bringing about feelins of inadequacy and dissatisfaction.

The result of this Monday rule is this entry. Blah, blah, blah. Just a bunch of words–a stream of consciousness. I find such streams helpful, though, for forcing the ghosts in my head to pass through some form of thought process to become words. Once they become words, they become real to me and no longer vague notions.

This week’s entry: I don’t want to write. I have to write, because I told myself I had to. I don’t think that’s quite the same as needing to write.

Something Is Missing

I sense that something is missing — as if I should be doing something else, and I’ve forgotten what it is. No, it’s not this blog. That would be too easy.

Sitting here knitting and watching my husband asleep on the couch. My exciting life.

I knit because I’m constantly looking for something to fill the void — to keep me busy. I’ve always felt I should be doing something. I can’t just sit and watch TV, as shown by the fact that I’m sitting here in my family room, in my plaid chair, watching the Today show, and writing this blog entry. I’m in this chair a lot, reading, knitting, working.

I can write, but I’ve always considered myself more of a technician than an artist. My main job is to take another’s words and clean them up, smooth them out. And I’m comfortable with that. It’s safe. Writing means I have to stick my neck out, be vulnerable, and give my words to someone else to evaluate. What if they’re no good? What if I’m not a good writer? What if what I have to say isn’t worth saying?

As a lifelong good girl who stayed safe and never really faced failure, I’m now looking for something more. Has middle age made me brave? As I watch my face in the mirror, as gravity pulls my eyelids, cheeks, and chin to the floor (other body parts are almost there), am I willing to leave the safety of my life and do something really dangerous? Only in my life would writing be considered dangerous.

My work schedule is full right now, which in freelance life, is a very good thing. So I have an excuse to not write. That’s all I need, really, a valid reason not to, and I’ll happily subjugate my desire to be something more and just be me.

Misunderstanding As Inspiration

I saw a movie a few weeks ago that disappointed me. After seeing commercials, I formed an impression of the movie and thought it looked good. It turned out to be less a psychological thriller (Inception) and more a shoot ’em up, action movie. I really dislike movies that contain gratuitous “action” sequences. If a writer fills 15 minutes of a screenplay with car chases or gun slinging, I’m out. To me, that’s not creativity, although some stunt folk and explosive experts will likely disagree with me.

The amazing result, though, of this colossal waste of $50 (the whole family went) is that it sparked an idea for a book. I am now inspired to write about a family tragedy with a bittersweet, almost-postive spin to it. I have an idea.

I’ve always been a technician of language. I can string words together well enough to form sentences, but I lacked the imagination to come up with story ideas that inspired me enough to actually begin writing them. I have a folder full of ideas, but this is the first one I’ve begun writing. Ironically, it will likely be filled with action sequences.