I’ve reached the end of my blogging for 30 days spectacular.
I’m pretty happy about that.
I found out that it’s really hard to think of thirty interesting blog entries sequentially.
But it has kickstarted my interest in writing and has gotten some gears turning again that I thought would be forever rusted up.
I’ll be back to blog here next week (Monday!) but I need a small cooling off period.
And I’m sure you’ll be glad of the break as well.
Thank you for reading,
I’m not a plotter.
I don’t like planning out my stories at all. It robs me of the thrill of discovery. I sometimes start a story having no idea where it’s going to go, but that’s what makes writing exciting to me. I can go on the same journey as someone reading the story as I go.
But starting a story with no particular place to go might explain why I have so much trouble finishing my stories.
But I’m tackling a story that demands I know the ending before I start, so I’m trying to write it before I write it.
So far, my notes read like a madman’s paranoid manifesto, but I think I’m getting somewhere. And I think there’s room to discover in between the plotting, the hidden secrets between bullet points.
I can keep the mystery hidden from myself this way, at least for a little longer.
I’m nearing the end of my experiment to write in this blog every day and I’m looking forward to that last day.
There’s only so much I can say, day in and day out and I’m sure there are days when y’all could tell I was checked out, especially on those 11:00pm postings.
But it’s made me think more and more about how I view the world, how I approach writing and getting me back into some kind of writing shape.
I feel I analyze things more, pay attention more, and put more effort into my writing in general.
So I want to thank you for bearing with me through this process. After this period is over, I’ll be going to a more regular posting schedule, down to two or three entries per week.
Talk to you tomorrow.
Music and I have an iffy relationship at best. I’ve never been the kind of person who sits and just…listens to music. The idea of doing that doesn’t even really make sense to me, although I’m aware that my attention span requires a very specific set of circumstances to keep me in my seat.
Most of the time, music for me is background. It’s just there if I need a certain amount of distraction to keep me focused on my writing or cleaning or whatever. If I’m writing a western story, I like to have Hank Williams. If I’m writing horror, I like AC/DC. If I’m writing a my 22nd consecutive blog entry, it’s anything.
Although, today it’s the James Bond themes on repeat again.
Because if there is something that i will listen to over and over and over again, it’s soundtracks.
I have an immediate emotional connection to a soundtrack that I don’t have with just a random song. And this applies to terrible soundtracks as well. It doesn’t matter how creatively bankrupt a song is if it conjures up images of giant robots cutting through sharkticons with buzzsaws.
In my heart, I feel like this makes me a bad person, that I should appreciate music more for what it is on its own. The chords and the melodies and the notes and…the other…things and pieces.
But…in the end, I know I’m just to continue to use music as a tool for other purposes, rather than appreciating it for what it is on its own.
I lost the internet today.
I’m not exactly devastated by the loss, but it’s cramped my style, at least as far as blogging goes.
So, I’m going to apologize in advance for what’s going to be a tedious entry.
But, God as my witness, I hate writing on my phone. Texting, blogging, snapping: whatever it is, it puts my back up.
I’m not gong to pretend there’s anything deep or meaningful about this.
“It’s the confinement. My words don’t have the space to breathe. ”
Lord knows I’m never pompous or overwrought.
I read a article about a writer who would dictate into her phone and I felt genuinely angry.
I think that says a lot about me and none of it really good.
I think I’m going to wrap this up.
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.
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.
Signing off from a Starbucks in Waltham.
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.
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.
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.
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.