As I walked to work one day last week, I watched a man drive into the middle of a busy intersection, narrowly missing a bus. He was on the phone.
I stood there shaking my head as another woman commented that the phone conversation couldn’t have been that important. Then she said words that resounded in my head like the vibrations of a tympani:
“Whatever happened to the intimacy of quill and parchment?”
This statement stuck a chord with me because I do a great deal of my idea generation by hand. For me, a notebook and pen (or pencil) helps me get close to my writing. Like I’m sharing a part of myself that otherwise don’t show. Almost like writing in a diary.
I love the closeness it gives me to the writing. The feel of paper, the flow of glossy ink. It makes me feel connected to the developing story. Pushing my hand across the page mimics my pushing the hidden ideas to the surface. When I finally sit at the computer, I not only transpose what I wrote on the paper, but I’m so connected with the notes—what I call “story starts”—that the words emerge more fluidly.
Sometimes, we forget to be intimate with our writing. We do all of the other things on our lists, rushing around until we finally plop down in front of the computer and expect the words to flow forth with ease. And when they don’t we’re frustrated.
But is the time we’re spending at the computer quality time?
Imagine a relationship in which you ignore your Significant Other until you need something. Then expect that person to consistently provide what you need, and do it happily.
Umm, yeah… No.
If you’re having trouble with feeling inspired or finishing a project, spend a little intimate time with your craft. Don’t force it, but make notes of things that interest you: a song lyric, a character name, anything. It doesn’t even have to be on paper, you can use a voice recorder. (If you write horror or erotica, I don’t suggest using the voice recorder when you’re in public. It could get you some unwanted attention.)
Keep these notes and read over them when you’re stuck. Let your own words inspire you.
Find a way to get closer to your writing. Maybe it’s changing your writing spot or imagining yourself with a successful publication… Or even writing in a genre you’ve never tackled before.
Just make sure to carve out a piece of your busy day to show your craft some love.
The above image is courtesy of the wonderful Mia at Nevermore Prints. Browse her Etsy store and have her create something special just for you. Nevermore Prints
A year can seem like the longest mile or it can feel like it passed in a heartbeat.
On my birthday last year, I made goals—promises to myself—that I would accomplish within the next 365 days. Some of them I reached, others… um, no. Because I’m a positive person, I’ll only mention the successes here. The goals I didn’t reach, I’ll re-evaluate and decide if they are still relevant enough to go on the next list.
Here are some highlights from my not-going-to-mention-my age-in-a-post year:
I’ve started this blog and stuck with (somewhat) regular posting. I’ve learned a lot from the process and I’ve gotten some good responses to what I’ve shared.
I started posting book reviews, many of the titles from small presses. From that I’ve learned to appreciate various styles, clarity, characterization, and pacing.
I’ve finished my novella, my longest work to date. It’s been edited, but I must comb through it one more time before I’m off to self-publish it. I’ve even announced it on my website: edenroyce.com (Eeek! I’m going to self-publish! *bites nails*)
Then I learned to take a break from writing to renew my commitment to it. (Trust me, you’ll know when you need that break.) My break took me to England for eight days with a very special person.
More traveling: I went on a writer’s retreat to Montana and met a group of fantastic women writers. Some were new to the page and others had publications under their belt. We were from various backgrounds but in those 5 days we became sisters. We still Google chat!
I also met some great authors this year, two of whom share my birthday August 5th. Check out their blogs to see what these other Leo ladies are up to. (What’s that sound? Is it a lion’s roar?)
gyngerfyer.blogspot.com – Gynger is giving away a gift for her birthday. By collecting all three keywords from all three blogs–mine is lion’s roar– and sending them in a Facebook message to Gynger, your name will be put into a drawing to win a prize. She’ll be picking the winner this evening around 7:00 Eastern. Good luck!
This birthday year culminates in my being asked to become the Horror submissions editor for Mocha Memoirs Press. Mocha wants to expand their speculative fiction titles (sci-fi, fantasy, and horror) and that’s where I came in. So I have a few things planned for MMP.
Seems like goals are creating themselves this time.
If another birthday’s come and gone and you’re wondering what you’ve done, don’t despair. Start making a list with what you’ve accomplished. You may surprise yourself.