I DON’T HAVE TIME…

images_014Who does, but that’s the point of this blog. I should be doing laundry, making out a new “to-do” list, answering email, anything but sitting here striking at the letters on the keyboard, OR is this what I should be doing and letting other things get done later? I choose this and will not sweat the small stuff, if the dinner salad does not have a tomato sliced in it, or the laundry does not get done until tomorrow. I’m not going anywhere and the jeans I have on are clean, my sweatshirt is clean and warm. Hey, even the coffee pot is still warm.

Yet, there are times we tend to make our “to-do” lists bigger than necessary, and still leave room to add more on at the bottom. Sometimes, this makes us feel important, until we cannot cross off even one item. The more we have to do, the more we can do, right? Not since the last time I looked at my list before the shredder ate everything off the paper.?

Yes, there are always errands to run, appointments for doctors, dentists and other important items, and once these get accomplished, we can write. WRONG. Somewhere down the list, we forgot to enter in our writing time. For a lot of writers, published and not-yet published, this is foremost the important part of our lives. Why? There is no list needed to remind us to write. Writers write and we are the writers. But if you are new to the living world of writers, you might use a big, like huge, colorful sticky on your computer. This will trigger your mind to know what you should be doing.

Even if you have fifteen minutes, you can write. You might read over what you wrote earlier, do a touch-up to a few words (better known as a revision). Or, you might get in the mood with ‘Morning Pages.’ Remember The Artist’s Way and the morning pages? These pages are for no one but you. You can scribble, draw pictures, develop your lovely lady or find ways to make hero a great villain and likeable at the same time.

What helps a writer is to establish a routine, but make certain it is not chiseled in stone. Another idea is to write even when you don’t know what you will write. This is one of the best ways to begin and follow your heart with words. Writing every day sets the pattern of a writer, but writing every day at the same time helps your writing become more efficient. Sure, we stumble along the path and when that happens, step back, take a deep breath and think small. You are not sitting down to write the complete manuscript at one time, rather scenes of the manuscript.

And, be prepared to write and write and write. Sometimes garbage fills the page, but before you delete or cross through, keep your writing just the way you put it on the screen. You never know when these words may be just the ones you need at a certain scene in your manuscript. Remember, writing is never finished until you add “THE END” to the last page, and then you may make many more changes again.

Happy Writing Every Day. Happy Morning Pages. Happy Garbage Writing.

JUST WRITE

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WHAT MAKES YOU WRITE?

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A not so simple question. One that does not fit every writer. Some writers get up and can’t wait to hit the computer keys. Their minds overflowing with thoughts or dreams from the night. Some don’t wait for the computer, but find themselves scribbling down bits and pieces from a pad beside the bed. Others carry a notebook or use the napkin at the restaurant. Compulsive? Nope. These are writers who know writing is in their heart, head, and are helpless to do anything but write.
Others, write, but only when the mood strikes them. A television show pulls them away from writing. They want to write, but become bored with the same characters day after day. If they decided to write something different, they feel guilty leaving their characters hanging in a scene. Or, they have so many stories started and cannot finish one. Still they want to write, more out of habit than from their heart.
How can we get back to the conscious desire to connect to our writing? I asked some of my writer friends to help me out with this blog. No, I will not use names, as a matter of privacy, but I did get some great suggestions.
1. When was the last time you really enjoyed writing? Take yourself on a backward journey. Do you remember what you were writing: poetry, short story, novel, or an article? Were you writing with a pen, pencil, on notebook paper, in a small journal, or on the computer? Can you picture yourself and feel the joy? Then go back to whatever method of writing you were doing and start this same practice today. Not tomorrow. Today, when this is fresh on your mind.
2. Stop trying to write. Yes, we are told if you are a writer, you must write every day. Do not believe everything you hear. What will happen if you miss a day or a few days? Nothing. Your characters stay the same until you change them. The setting won’t blow off the paper and the hero/heroine will still get their chance at love. In fact, you might have some new ideas.
3. Take yourself to a quiet spot. Leaves the kids at home, do NOT bring your cell; well, okay bring it for emergency uses but leave it off. Take a long walk and notice the different trees, flowers, paths and other walkers. Be observant of everything you see, hear, and feel. No, don’t write them down, keep them in your memory. Plant these images or feelings deep, and they will be there when you need them later.
4. Be gentle and remind yourself this is your ‘catch-up’ period. You can push yourself only to a point, and then the well runs dry. Take some deep breaths and relax. You need to revitalize your writing experiences. Your ideas will begin to flow again and the frustration or boredom will disappear. You will be energized to keep ‘going and going and going’.
See which of these fits you and your writing. Maybe all. Maybe none. But somewhere in your writing, you will come up against the dry spell. Hey, not to worry. Relax. Smile. Walk. Energize thoughts, and you will not be able to find a pen, paper, notebook, or computer fast enough.

HAPPY WRITING TO ALL

P.S.I’d love to hear your ideas, too.

WRITE EVERY DAY

images_028As writers, we hear this phrase all the time. We read in magazines the need to put the pen to the paper, fingers to the keyboard, and let the creativity flow. Some days are not creative days, but do you write?

I do. I write grocery lists, to do lists, which become more frequent as I get older. I check the calendar for any special information and jot this down on another list. Now, my lists have lists and I feel ready to hit the road. Later, I remember I did not add to my story and my manuscript needs attention.

Does any of this sound familiar? Sure. Now what? I learned to force myself to sit at my desk and pound away at the keys. Kinda like scribbling with a crayon. Some days these squiggle words cover page after page. About the time I want to give up, a fresh wave of creativity rushes in and the doodling turns into fresh material for my work-in-progress. This flow of words keeps me writing and writing until I feel worn out and empty. Then, I know my writing time is up.

As I read what is on the computer screen, I am surprised at the way the story is taking another twist. I didn’t plan this, but I won’t argue with the flow of creativity.

To be honest, some days I write early, real early, in the mornings, after the coffee pot burps into my empty cup. During these sessions, my mind races back to thoughts I had during the night. Thought that would not have appeared later on in the day. I get them captured right away. I also write in the late afternoon. I’ve gotten out of the house, sat in traffic, listened to conversations, watched people, and somehow, new ideas are born.

This is where my trusty three-ring notebook comes into play. I jot down bits and pieces of what I see or hear. It is my way to jolt my senses into their right places: feel, hear, taste, touch, and see.

Stuck, I go for a walk. Also the fitness classes I teach, help shake things around and I get another breath of energy.

Make your daily writing a positive affair with words. Bring new life into your manuscript and have fun. Yes, writing is work, but when work becomes a game with words, scenes, and characters you are creating. Go for it.

CREATIVITY IS VISION.

Happy Writing.