Weekly Recap 6/27

Pulling in on the reigns of my characters via plotting is proving to be complex. Would I have found it easier to let my characters show me the way instead of me leading them? No, I don’t think so. As difficult as plotting can be, pantsing this WIP would probably have been more confusing and overwhelming. I would have been sitting here perplexed about what should be coming into the next scene. Although I still believe that writing is an art form, it don’t have the abandonment that the visual arts have.

Still, there are choices…

Image provided by ShellyS  @ https://www.flickr.com/photos/shellysblogger/
Image provided by
ShellyS
@ https://www.flickr.com/photos/shellysblogger/

What is Journaling?

I had started a personal journal for the umpteenth time a few weeks ago. To my dismay, I just can’t get into the habit of keeping it up to date. Imagine, someone like me who lives for schedules and organization not being able to maintain a docket for such a simple activity. It’s baffling to me, to say the least.

First, the word, journal, can pertain to two different forms of writing. There’s the all out public form, which can also be called a newspaper, magazine, newsletter, or even a book (usually pertaining to academic journals). The second kind is a personal one that may be referred to as a diary (DO NOT confuse with dairy. The cow will not understand what you’re talking about.)

I’ve done both in the past. As a journalist, I written articles for a monthly newsletter put out by a regional branch of The March of Dimes. All of those articles gave information about disabilities and accommodations that the average person may not have heard about yet. If I was brilliant, I’d look into doing that again just so I’d make sure to keep abreast of new helps and procedures concerning my own disability. Does anyone have a bottle of brilliant pills I could buy?

I’ve done the latter too — many times, in fact. It started when I was ten. I received one of those little bound books with the lock and key for my birthday. Yes, my mom was pushing me back then to become a writer. You see, I was writing short essays, descriptions, and the rare short, short story as soon as I learned cursive in third grade. My writing wasn’t pretty like my mom’s but I was working on it. Lamentably, I couldn’t keep a diary up to date back then either. I would write in it for a few weeks until something more exciting to me caught my attention. It’s been that way ever since too. I’ll hit a card shop like Hallmark, or browse through the card section at someplace like Walmart and see colorful bound diaries. My next thought will be, “Maybe this one will inspire me to keep it up.” I buy it, bring it home, and start writing in it. A few weeks later I realize that I’ve missed five days of journaling. I try to keep it going again. Again, a few weeks later I remember that I should have written something in my diary eight days ago. At that point I don’t pull it out of the drawer. It happened this last time too despite the fact that it isn’t a physical book. I clicked into Word, created a template, and started typing away. I just cannot remember to write in it!

Yes, I’m disturbed by this. I can remember doctor appointments, people’s birthdays, to write something for my personal blog (without the help of a calendar, no less), and write on my WIP every day (yes, I have an alarm set for this one). Why can’t I remember to write exclusively personal stuff about myself and my emotions?

On top of all this, I find out that many successful writers keep a personal journal/diary. They track the progress they make on their projects. They note what’s working for them in their writing life and what isn’t. Ideas for new projects and adjustments for current projects come from these pages. The need for a personal written account becomes more important and this does include me.

Regardless, this past week I spent some time evaluating what kind of person I am, which is something I rarely do, I’m ashamed to say. What I want to say is I’m an introvert through and through — but I’m not. Oh yes, I am an introvert, liking the silence of the house after Hubby leaves for work, cursing every time I hear the phone ring, and shying away from crowds. Nevertheless, I do love having friends and family to have conversations with. The way I have found to do this, still keep my peace around me, enveloping me gently, is to converse online. I’d say I’m one of the active commenters in the blogosphere. And I do hope I keep people engaged with my blog posts.

While reflecting on all of this, I realized I’ve been more or less keeping a personal journal at my blog. Despite me being an introvert, somehow I don’t have any problem publicly journaling about my thoughts, about me in general. Sure, there’s a few things you out here in cyberspace don’t know about, but for the most part, my life is an open book to all.

Do I need that private secret diary? No, I don’t think so. At least I don’t need it at this point. Even later, I might go with a daily planner instead. Do you have a thought about this? Please speak up.

What I think I need now is feedback from others about what I think, do, and am. You, the readers provide that when you feel so inclined. It’s a fabulous give and take relationship we have without losing any of out peace and quiet.

Last Week’s Capers

  • Exercise: I flubbed up. The only excuse I have is that I didn’t feel good for two days, but doing the math, I should have been able to get all four days in any way with one to spare. As it was, I got two days in.
  • Searching for EBooks: I did find some, but I’m hesitant when it comes to buying any of them. I still have a couple of books about writing that I haven’t touched yet. As for fiction, I have four books sitting on a shelf waiting to be read. Maybe I’m jumping the gun a little on this.
  • Getting Out: I wasn’t outside much this last week. If it wasn’t blazing hot, it was raining. I do wish the weather would be a little more cooperative with me.
  • WIP: It’s amazing what a little planning can do. Some general plotting strategies seems to be what I’ve needed. This last week I managed to write 5,546 words. I’ve gone from 28,198 to 34,204 words for this project. The purpose of the larger word count isn’t for the numbers themselves. More words per writing session means better flow of ideas/thoughts.

This Next Week’s Antics

  • Exercise: (I’m looking up into the universe.) Please let me get in four good sessions on the stationary bike.
  • Get busy reading some of the EBooks on writing I’ve accumulated from writer’s blogs.
  • Let’s hope that the weather will be more cooperative with me so I can get outside more.
  • WIP: Revise the Setting Outline I got from Sherry Wilson so it’s more tailored for what I need. Try for another 5,000+ words again.

What are your plans for this next week? I know not all of the readers who grace my blog are writers. Don’t be shy. Tell me and the other readers what’s shaking.

A writer is dear and necessary for us only in the measure of which he reveals to us the inner workings of his very soul.
Count Leo Tolstoy

 

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26 Replies to “Weekly Recap 6/27”

  1. I used to be a major fan of journaling when I was younger and I’m fairly sure I’ve got more journals than I’ve had hot dinners. They’re everywhere. But somewhere around the time when my kids were toddlers, that journaling time was snatched up and replaced with storytelling time.
    It’s been a while since I’ve journaled, but all efforts now pour into the blissful act of writing, so I’m not feeling a deficit.
    Congrats on the proof that your creativity bank is overflowing with energy. That’s a wonderful word count for the week. I hope all those lovely words keep pouring out of you for the days ahead and that the weather brings a little time for you to enjoy outdoors. Rain, rain, go away (although, I really shouldn’t say that too loudly, right?) Everything in moderation. With the exception of chocolate.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fabulous word count, Glynis. Woo hoo!
    The reason you’re not journaling on a regular basis, is you don’t have a regular t.i.m.e.
    I swear I accomplished so much more when I worked full time than I do now. I used to write in my journal first thing in the morning with my coffee. Some people like to write at the end of the day before going to bed. I’m guilty as well and haven’t been regular but I try now and again. For me, it’s easier to have my electronic journal open all day as I do everything else. As soon as I think of something or want to make a note of something or an idea, I flip to the page and I’m done. For the moment. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Did I tell you I tried several diary apps for Windows? Whoever created them did a terrible job. I should tell my son-in-law about it because he’s a programmer. Between my daughter and me telling him what’s needed, he’d probably make a decent product. Yes, I probably should put it on the schedule like my WIP is, but between the WIP and picking up after Hubby (after he leaves for work), there isn’t a lot of time left. I have a feeling that I’m just not one of those people who need a daily account of my life.

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      1. I jot down thoughts and journaling helps me sort out things. I also make note of special events around my grandchildren or record things I might want to remember. Some entries are only a couple sentences.
        I haven’t been on top of mine either, but am okay if I keep open all day long.
        As far as a journal app, I just typed a fancy large ‘journal’ in the header, my name and page numbers in Word. ❤

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  3. It sounds like you made some progress Glynis. That’s what counts. I’ve never been a fan of keeping a journal. I write things down that I don’t want to forget, and I write things down that I can’t really blog about but may someday be able to work into some other writing. I want to spend what little time I have to write, writing stuff I can share. Exercise bike sessions got a little longer this week, as I started watching DVD series of The Outer Limits. It’s an hour long show 🙂 Still, not everyday as planned but several.

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    1. I love The Outer Limits. It must have been as early as the mid sixties when it started because it’s in black and white. I do need to get on the bike. I know that I’ll feel at least 50% better if not 100%.

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  4. Journaling is not my idea of fun either. What about a weekly recap journal? Maybe the content/purpose doesn’t feel meaningful enough for you. I wonder if you might be interested in a writers app that an author recommended last week, it’s called ‘Scrivener’ and looks ideal for plotting and planning, there’s also a free months trial on the go. Let me know if you’re interested but can’t find a link

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    1. You’re a sweet man, Cat. I do know about Scrivener. I even tried it out. I got a little lost in all the tabs it has. I’ve been using yWriter (http://www.spacejock.com/yWriter5.html), which is totally free unless you want a few more bells and whistles. It has the storyboard by scene and chapter, a tab for all characters, a tab for locations, even a tab for items in the scenes. It has a lot more than that too but those are the biggies. There’s a list of the features on the link I’ve given you here. (just scroll down a bit)

      The reason why I wasn’t plotting before is when I saw the word ‘outline’, I immediately thought of Roman numbers, ABC, abc, and so forth. I hate strict outlines. I couldn’t fathom why any writer would want to do outlining. But then I found out the term was used loosely. Maybe instead of calling them outlines, they should be called organization sheets.

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      1. Yes, the authors on another blog who were talking about Scrivener said exactly as you did. I did have a look at the free download, but decided it would take too long to learn, there was actually a 2hr tutorial video that came with it. Ywriter looks a little simpler and I’ve saved the link, thanks

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  5. I tried to keep a journal when I first got married, had the first child, and failed miserably. It became a chore. I never felt inspired to write, rather forced. I put it away and decided I’d go back when I felt the need. That never happened.

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    1. As I told Jill Weatherholt (right above you on this page), maybe I just get bored easily. Whatever happened yesterday probably was worth doing, but I don’t want to relive it. I’ve been there; I’ve done that; I’m through with it. 😛

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  6. Your post reminded me of when I had a diary when I was quite young. First few days, the words just flowed from my No. 2 pencil like it was possessed. Within a week every day was the same… “Got up. Went to school. Came home. Went to bed.”. Now and again I’d moan about some minor problem or irritation. But for the most part it was pretty consistent. And then I realized I didn’t want to bore poor, beautiful, Dear Diary with her pink embellished cover and gold tone lock with the monotony of my life. So i gave it up until I had something more to say. Lol. Im not a fan of forced writing exercises.

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    1. That’s another thing I find strange about me writing in a diary. In school, everything from English class was forced writing exercises. I didn’t have any problem completing those. I was always delighted to get a teacher, no matter what the class, who would tell us, his/her students, there wouldn’t be a final test and, instead, there’d be a theme that would have to be turned in by the end of the semester. Despite all of this forced stuff, I can’t seem to keep a personal account of my life up to date.

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  7. I’ve never been much of a journaling person, the public or the personal form for the longest time. My thoughts would swirl around in my own head, sometimes not even making sense. Recently I’ve took to writing some of them down and looking at them…and feel that I can make peace with myself. The thoughts, out there, that’s reality; if I can do something about them, then I will. Good to hear the writing is coming along.

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    1. Mabel, it sounds like you may be trying journaling, which is terrific. Sometimes when something is weighing a person down it needs to be thrown out of thought in to words to be examined. The revelation can be astounding. Go for it if it’s helping you. ❤

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  8. No journaling for me…I blab enough about my daily life on my blog or it all comes out in conversations with my husband. I always complain about not exercising because I don’t hold myself accountable to the commitment of exercise. It’s an ongoing complaint, but I know I will conquer it. As far as this weather? I am sooooo tired of thunderstorms and mostly gray skies.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t mind the thunderstorms. BUT, being from the arid west, I hate all this humidity that sticks around afterward. I’m not used to it and probably never will be.

      Accountability — I have the opposite problem. I keep on beating myself up emotionally when I flub up. 😦

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