Write Wherever… Whatever…

First, let me say this post for the second week of the month is supposed to be about me personally in some way, something preferably not related to writing. This week’s post is supposed to be designed so you, the reader know me, the entire person behind the tap, tap, tap on the keyboard. Be that as it may, I felt–do feel–this subject will reveal something about my personality and my daily life.

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Write Wherever... Whatever...
by Asheboro Public Library
https://www.flickr.com/photos/asheborolibrary/

A few weeks ago, I received a newsletter in my email inbox from David Duhr, one of the two founders of WriteByNight. He suggested I try writing in some way that would be unfamiliar to me to get the juices flowing.

Each and every day I sit down at my PC with my first mug of coffee, banging on the keyboard doing battle with my WiP, crafting a blog post, writing a comment on someone else’s blog, or scratching out an email to an online friend. My rear end is firmly in the chair during the day except for housecleaning, quick meals, appointments, minute exercises, and, of course, bathroom breaks.

David proposed I try writing differently. To be sure, my line of thinking went straight to where I physically am. This comfy chair is molded to my butt, after all.

Well, I do have a laptop I’m neglecting with some remorse, although not enough to leave my chair. I could bring it out from under the bed and set it up on the kitchen table where the light streams in from the deck’s sliding door. However, I’d have to wait for the gizmo to sync with my WiP folder at Dropbox. That may take only a couple of minutes, or it could take hours. The extra natural light would be sensational, though. I do hesitate nevertheless because I doubt the height of the table and chairs in the kitchen are going to put my fingers at the right angle for ultimate use on the keyboard.

Doubtless, there’s the spiral notebook and pen I could always divert to, which would give me the freedom to sit in more unusual places. I used to have pretty penmanship. Due to being left-handed, my slant goes the opposite of the way it should be. I position my paper so the top is to my right instead of to my left. My handwriting was small–dinky, in fact–but precise. I wrote longhand all the time before I was introduced to the personal computer. The thought of using a typewriter would furrow my eyebrows and vulgar words would spill out of my mouth. The hassle of having to set up the damn thing was something I didn’t want to endeavor. Nowadays, I cringe at the prospect of longhand because my penmanship has become scrawls that even I can’t read at times. I still write out the greetings for Christmas cards every year but I screw up at least five of them through the process. The ones that are sent out do not have that pretty handwriting. It rates as being legible at best.

It did dawn on me that I could get so foreign as to go outside the home altogether. Take my laptop or spiral and pen to the local library, for instance. Except for the height of chairs and tables, and the disgrace of my handwriting, the library would probably be inspirational. It would be quiet, yet give me something new to look at when I mull over on what to put down next. This is plausible if I can get a ride. The car husband and I have is a stick-shift. There isn’t any way I can work with that because of the disability. I’m mulling this over, finding the solution to the one hang-up with this idea.

Indeed, David wasn’t just referring to the physical aspect of writing. I write prose. I love stringing words along to spawn thought, concept, opinion, or story. I want to be elegant at this, which, of course, I’m not.

David suggested trying an alternate form of writing. The mere conjecture of me being able to write a poem is inconceivable to me. Sure, I wrote poems when I was in high school. Disgusting free-verse garbage about war and prejudice. Looking back at those, they didn’t say anything worth recounting in any way. Prose would have been so much better.

I don’t know the first thing about writing a play, whether it be screen or otherwise. Yes, I’m sure I could find a class to take to bring me up to snuff–kind of anyway, but I have zero interest in this type of writing.

Other writers have advised writing in a different genre in their blog posts. This has caused me to pause and consider, although I haven’t even come close to deciding which genre I should try.

I know I should try something altered from the normal hollow I know I’m saddle to somehow. After all, I keep on telling everyone I like change. Diversity is my buddy. It keeps me from falling asleep from boredom. This shouldn’t be difficult for me. Yet…

If you still can’t guess, the revision isn’t going well. I’m set on changing the entire story from first-person to third. This is taking up so much time and effort that is boring me almost to the point of tears. As I do this stodgy work, all I see is me telling a story. I only get glimpses of showing it. Ugh! Before I can even consider anyone else reading it, I’m going to have to rewrite the whole thing. Yes, I know first novels are like this. Nevertheless, I think I’m going to have to do this like a relay race, a snail-slow relay race.

In between this ugly WiP, I’m going to start sketching characters for a new story and make a determination as to what the new genre for me will be. Additionally, I’m thinking about actually taking one of my best online friend’s advice by trying my skill at essays. [Thank you, Tess. ]

Has this post unmasked some aspects of my personality? There are times when I’m extremely mulish. It takes me a while to be insightful but I do get there more often than not if given the time. Sometimes I’m self-loathing.

I am irritated by my own writing. I am like a violinist whose ear is true, but whose fingers refuse to reproduce precisely the sound he hears within. ~Gustave Flaubert – QUOTES ABOUT WRITING

 

What Do I Want?

Image provided by Mike Carroll https://www.flickr.com/photos/druidlabs/
Image provided by Mike Carroll
https://www.flickr.com/photos/druidlabs/

Today is Thanksgiving Day here in the U.S.. Although I could’ve done the usual post for this occasion, telling you what I’m thankful for, I don’t feel comfortable spouting off about such things so dear to me. I know, weird, but that’s just me. Instead, I’m giving you a post telling you about a “want” I have.

I’m kind of in a lull in my writing right now. I’m not moving forward, and, instead, reworking what I have so far. Yes, I know. Numerous writers out there are going to be saying I should get that first draft done before altering anything. However, the tense I was using was holding me back, making it painfully difficult for me to find the right words to use in so many of the sentences. Anyway, I’m reworking my project and am feeling satisfied with what I’m accomplishing.

I’m close to done with this rewriting phase and will be, once again, making the journey into the unknown of the story. While musing over what I’ll soon be doing and what I’ve done thus far, I’ve asked myself what I want from this whole experience of writing a story.

Sure, it would be marvelous to have a book published with my name showing as the author. My family and friends would be so proud. For that matter, I would be too. Still, I honestly can’t say this is first on my list of seen goals.

When I think of publishing, I think of fame, even though it might be scant. I’ve never been one to jump into the limelight. I’ve been on stage a few times playing a flute. I can’t say I get stage fright, but my anxiety level certainly does do some soaring. I feel this same tug at me when I think of my name placed on a book as the author. I can’t say it’s a pleasant feeling.

After this story is considered done, I would like to write another, and maybe another one after that, maybe more. I do enjoy that rush I get when the words are flowing out of me onto the screen. To have this feeling time after time for many years sounds glorious to me. It is one of my goals, but I can’t say it’s foremost because I experience it now periodically. How can it really be a goal if you already have experienced it?

I think what I want is for one person, one reader, to read my book and be able to say he or she [probably she though] thoroughly got enthralled in the story. It’s this that would make me believe that the journey has been a total success. And I could re-experience this if I find someone who feels this each time I finish a book.

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I hope your day is all it should be. Those of you going Christmas shopping tomorrow, I wish you complete safety throughout your day.

Also, my newsletter will be out tomorrow. If you haven’t subscribed, please consider it. The link is as the top of the sidebar on this page.

“Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value.” ― Albert Einstein

 

What Should My Blog Be Doing?

What Should My Blog Be Doing?
Image provided by Cassiopee2010
https://www.flickr.com/photos/cmoi30/

Back Then

When I began this blog, my aim was to practice my writing and get a feel for what readers wanted. Both of these endeavors gave me more than amply room to explore. I figured I could “discover what my voice was”, dig into what genre I would be most comfortable with, try on different styles of writing, receive feedback from visitors, take advantage of constructive criticism, and get a good following going.

 

What Now?

That was a couple of years ago. I’ve become more focused, at least more often. My “needs” have changed. And the blogosphere has done some shifting as well. Most of the bloggers I follow aren’t posting every day as they once did. Other aspects of life have their attention.

 

Aims Forward

I’ve learned that “my voice” will discover itself. I can tell you that I enjoy writing in the more casual frame where verbs are often found hooked to nouns by apostrophes, and word usage filled with slang. Does this mean I’m a lazy or sloppy writer? Some of you may think so and you’re welcomed to include it in your comments. Just so you know though, I don’t think of myself that way.

Finding the genre I think I should write in has been a bewildering ramble. I know what fires me up to write, but finding the name of that genre has left me thwarted. What would you call a story that deals with inner conflict as the main theme? The story may, at some point, have a death in it, or it may not. It may not have a happy ending, or then again… The main character may be worse off than when s/he started, or may have come upon the solution. Would this be called a psychological suspense, maybe? Whatever it’s called, this is the genre I like to write in. I’ve done a few flash fictions, character sketches, and scene sketches in this blog, although it’s been a while. I’ve pondered on doing more, but I think I’d narrow them just to this genre now because then it would be a practice session for my WiP and hopeful others. As a visitor, would this interest you?

The past few months I’ve been mentioning my WiP often in my posts. Most the time, I’ve been questioning how I’m approaching the process of writing it. Although I’ve seriously considered the organized methods of authors with a few books under their belts, I always go back to setting my butt firmly in my swivel chair and letting my muse do most of the guiding through the story. All of it is trials and tribulations. Are readers, in particular, are you interested in that?

The life of a writer can be intriguing. That is, if the writer is doing something other than writing and is willing to share those times with the audience of his or her blog. I’ve been falling way short in this category. Most of it is due to the fact that I don’t have what I’d consider an exciting life anymore. This is an area I need to work on. I doubt that my life will get fascinating anytime soon, but there must be some things I can tell you so you know me at least. I’m hoping you, as my visitors, will give me some critical feedback on whatever I write in this persuasion.

I’m told that as a writer, my blog should be promoting me and my work. The problem is that there isn’t all that much to me or my work right now. I want to write essays for magazines once in a while, but I haven’t a clue as to which magazines I should submit to other than what my essays would be about. Even at that, until I write the essay, I don’t know what the topic is. What magazines are more likely to accept a writer who’s been unpublished for over twenty years? If you know of any, please click on the Contact link at the top of this page. [By writing essays, maybe I’ll find more content for this blog.]

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During these last two months of 2016, I’ll be working on a newsletter for this blog that will be published once per month starting in January. This is in the effort of raising the number of followers I have. In December, I’ll tell you more about this project.

“Sometimes you need to sit lonely on the floor in a quiet room in order to hear your own voice and not let it drown in the noise of others.” ― Charlotte Eriksson

 

Preposterousness

Preposterousness
Image provided by
Drew Bennett
@ https://www.flickr.com/photos/abennett96/

Have you ever had an idea in your head that seemed to expand, giving you a headache with each passing minute? Ideas of this nature can only be squished by doing something with them. At least, that’s been my experience thus far in my life.

I’ve tried just pushing one of these notions out of my head, telling myself the scheme is ludicrous, even if someone else has succeeded in implementing it for themselves. After all, what works for one may not necessarily work for someone else. Sure, what has worked for one could work for someone else, but for me this is the exception instead of the rule. I’ve never understood why this is with me, but, nevertheless, it is.

The last time I had an idea that fit into this category was a couple of weeks ago. I was at the climax of the first draft of my book, knowing that the end was imminent. Even though the final draft was and is still months, maybe even a year or two away, I thought now is the time to start working on getting potential buyers for my book. I figured if I did it slow and nonaggressive there wasn’t any way I’d look presumptuous.

And how was I going to get this do? Many bloggers get followers by putting out a newsletter. Some do it every time they publish a new post. Others fill the inboxes once a week. There are a few who get their newsletter out bi-weekly or once a month too. As a ‘new author’ (please don’t go by my age), I had to come up with an article or two to put into my newsletter for each time I would send it out. This isn’t an easy feat so I opted for a quarterly newsletter. It wouldn’t intrude on my time writing on my WiP or my blog posts with it being so infrequent.

My newsletter would have articles about strategies I’m learning along my journey to becoming a published author of novels. (I am already published as a journalist, as minuscule as it is.) The concept would be to give other writers suggestions that might help them in their struggles that they may have missed on their adventures through cyberspace. Plus, I’d be promoting other writers blogs by giving them credit for the initial strategies.

Does this sound promising? Well, it did to me anyway.

The one thing I didn’t realize — or maybe just refused to acknowledge — was most of the people who read my blog aren’t really interested in learning, at least not from me. What they do want is for me to entertain them. I guess I do an adequate job at this because I do have repeat visitors.

What made me act so preposterously? I don’t know. The foolhardiness of it is just astounding. Moreover, how, in the world, is having followers of my blog reading a newsletter I write going to help me find buyers for my eventual book? My marketing strategy was, most definitely, haywire. I should know better too. I took business courses in college, which included marketing along with management. First rule is to know your market, know what group you want to target. I went flying right over that when I knew I shouldn’t have.

I still like this idea about the newsletter. I just need to make sure that my target audience is right.

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Whether you’re a writer or are in some other entrepreneurship, take heed. Do not be  impetuous. Cover all bases before proceeding. This is important when you only have yourself to rely on.

Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending. ~Carl Bard