Tag Archives: writer

An Update

Hello,

It’s been seventeen days since I start to write continuously, both in this blog and off the blog and I don’t know how this is impacting me at this point.

On the one hand, I’ve written more in this short two weeks than I did in the last six months prior to starting this experiment.

And I feel that it has been generally of better quality.

Well, I don’t know about the blog.

The blog has been the hardest part of this, constantly trying to come up with something even new to talk about without this just being an entire month of beer reviews and writing about writing.

I think, at the very least, I’ll level up my discipline a smidge.

And that might be worth this whole process.

-D-

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Public Writer

Hello,

I’ve never been someone who likes to write in public. The thought of setting up my laptop in the local coffee shop, which will most likely be a Starbucks, and proceeding to tap away makes me cringe inwardly.

But that’s what I’m doing this morning.

I have time to spare this morning, time to kill, and I’ll be damned if I let a spare minute slip away.

That’s been an interesting side effect of writing every day and really pushing myself toward writing more each day instead of just a hundred words here and there. I look forward to it and I’m starting to have things to say again.

Always write, always keep writing, if you want to do this for a living, you should always be writing.

I still don’t like writing in public though.

Feel exposed.

Signing off from a Starbucks in Waltham.

-D-

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Ideas

Hello Again,

I’ve never been someone that believes in writer’s block.

There’s always something you can be working  on, always something you can be making.

Granted, I say that as someone that has never needed to survive by writing on a deadline.

I can always flit back and forth from one story to another and that’s  large part of why I never get anything done.

See? I’m already losing the thread of this blog post and it’s been less than a hundred words.

Writer’s block, to me, is not so much about “can’t” and more “don’t know how”.

I don’t know how to tackle this dialogue. I don’t know how to tackle this scene. I don’t know how to move the story forward.

And every attack point is an exercise in frustration.

Moving forward isn’t an option because it feels incomplete and wrong.

So instead, I’d move on to another story or a blog entry and then maybe eventually come back to the story and try and finish the damn thing.

But most likely not.

That’s something else I’m trying to learn while I’m doing this. To continue to barrel through a story when it doesn’t feel right. To just get on with it and see where I can go and then when I have something completed, I’ll be far more likely to fix what went wrong.

Like Sam Beckett in Quantum Leap.

-D-

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An Update

Hello Again,

Whenever I do one of these insane writing challenges, I feel the need to beat myself up about not meeting the self imposed rules that are, often, brutally unfair.

That being said, I am going to say that as a result of this challenge (one blog entry, one five hundred word story per day) I do feel that I’m finally rebuilding writing muscles I used to have, but I’ve now let atrophy.

Atrophy.

That word seems pretty goddamn pretentious.

I think it’s important to challenge yourself as a writer, but I also think it’s important not to let the failure of those challenges discourage you. Things like NANOWRIMO are meant to be hard, meant to be tough and are meant to push you passed limits. The only way you grow stronger is to test yourself, constantly. If you just do the same thing, in and out, day in and day out, you will never get better, you’ll just plateau.

If you fail, keep going and try and do better next time. You won’t win every race, won’t win every match. The most important thing is that you pick yourself up and you keep going.

The people who persist are the people who are more likely to succeed, even in light of failure.

Persistence is what matters, even over basic talent. If you have basic talent, but don’t have the ability to persevere, you will not succeed. Always keep battering against the wall, always keep fighting. And learn from the people who have broken through.

I have a story to write.

And I know you do too.

-D-

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Writing On Writing About Writing for a Writer

Hello Again,

I’ve been going back and forth on what I want this blog to be and that’s just given me plenty of great excuses to not write anything.

And, if there’s anything I excel at, it’s creating excuses.

In an attempt to make sure that I write something, anything, in this space, I’m freeing myself from any and all restraints. I’m not going to try and make this some politically intense blog or  a blog about just horror or pop culture or dinosaurs or whatever else I happen to be interested in. I’m going to come here, once a day and just write whatever I feel like. I spend so much time, so much energy, in just finding the best possible way to limit myself that it’s time to loosen up and see what happens.

In that vein, I’m also bringing back an old writing exercise I used to do on a now defunct blog. During the month of October, I used to write one complete story a day, no shorter than 500 words in length. One of the biggest problems I have as a writer is just finishing a story. I’m going to go back to basics and relearn some skills I know I’ve forgotten.

I won’t be publishing those stories here. I’ve learned from other mistakes in the past when I just had stories published on websites and they’ve now migrated all over the internet. But maybe one or two of these new stories will see the light of day.

I’ll see you here again tomorrow. Not sure what we’ll be talking about then, but I’ll be here.

-D-

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31 Days of Spoooktacular: The Little Things

During the Halloween season, people reach for the big scares: movies, haunted theme park rides, horror conventions, creepy costumes. And, I think, they neglect the little details that permeate our lives that are truly unsettling.

Take the following spam comment I got on one of my older entries:

“How should I tell him the bad news?He is respectful to his elders.What happened to you? Please fetch a chair from another room.Don’t forget to keep in touch.what a lovely little girl she is!what a lovely little girl she is!Follow me.Can I help you? Bob has always had a crush on Lucy.”

Spam is almost always nonsensical, but follows a thread of sanity. “I like entry. You should write more peanut allergy entry.” Mostly coherent, but on an entry in which I don’t mention allergies at all. That’s fine.

This one…this one makes no sense in the context of a comment. It just doesn’t fit. And I can’t help but try and put the comment into a context that makes sense.

She’s an older woman, in a room of white, floor, ceiling walls. She’s sitting on a cot, rocking back and forth, curled tightly in on herself. She doesn’t  stop talking, just a constant low murmur directed at no-one, her eyes drifting around the room in aimless directions. She’s worried, agitated.

“How should I tell him the bad news? He is respectful to his elders.” Rocking in time with the words, back and forth. She starts to cry. Crying with no sounds. “What happened to you?”, her hands reach up and clutch her thinning, grey hair. “Please…fetch a chair from the other room.” Tears run down in her face leaving bright tracks under fluorescent lights. “Don’t forget to keep in touch.”

Her tone changes. Fear, trickling into her tone, her breathing increases, becoming erratic.

“What a lovely little girl she is! What a lovely little girl she is!” Rocking back and forth, faster. The words a ward, a charm, spoken emphatically.

She stops rocking, her breathing back to normal in an instant, and turns to you.

“Can I help you?”

She smiles, revealing teeth too even and white to be anything but false.

“Bob always had a crush on Lucy”.

You hear footsteps behind you.

-D-

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Filed under Halloween: Rock and Shock, 31 Days of Spooktacular, Spoooky Beer Reviews and More

31 Days of Spoooktacular: The Gauntlet

Way back in the beginning, you may recall that I said that 31 Days of Spoooktacular was part of how I planned to force writing to become a habit for me. Writing has always been something I do sporadically, intermittently and with no true pattern. Even over the course of this year, where I’ve given myself the goal of writing ten entries a month, which I have done so far, I don’t evenly space those entries throughout the month. Usually they’re all shoved in at the end of the month and then I go on another, three week long sabbatical.

But with 31 Days of Spoooktacular, you get one entry a day, every day, for 31 days. And that’s great for me and great for you and everyone is happy, except for people who aren’t so interested in me writing about horror day in and day out. But, if you remember, I said that in order to successfully form a habit, you have to do it for around 70 days. I need to continue to write every day for another 30 days (and some change) before it becomes rigidly locked in as something I just do as an impulse.

It just so happens that there’s an event for the entire month of November that dovetails so nicely with my needs. That’s right, I’m doing NANOWRIMO. Again. But this time, I’m picking up that gauntlet and I am slapping NANOWRIMO in the face with it. I am going to write a 50,000 word novel and then some. The way I see it, I’ve been in training for NANOWRIMO this whole month, a light workout to get me into shape for what’s to come.

And by the end of it, I’ll be the better for it, I think. I’ll have mastered a skill that has eluded me almost my whole life; the ability to stick with something through to the very end. I’ll work on a project, sometimes very close to the ending point and then just sputter out, within spitting distance of the finish line.

But not this year. I can feel it. I have the idea that I want to write about. I have the tools to write it. And here, on October 24th, I think I’ve managed to prove that I have the ability to sit down in front of the computer everyday and put words to screen and keep going long after the point in which I should have stopped.

I have never written a novel, though I have tried. For me, just finishing one, even it’s terrible, will be a triumph of sorts. I’m looking forward to the challenge.

31 Days of Spoooktacular, for all of it’s goofiness and beer tasting and horror conventions, is just the beginning.

-D-

PS Check out my profile here and cheer me on all next month. Or not. It’s fine.

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