Saturday, April 30, 2016

My Photo Essay is Published

I went with a little different type of inspiration and a photo essay is the result.  Here's a photo of the two pages with my work.  Our Canada May 2016 edition. 

Monday, April 25, 2016

Fear Plain and Simple, Revisited

From my archives

The concept is sound, I thought.  I would use April to launch my novel writing project.  Now April 20, 2015, I am less sure.  The outcome is not what I expected.  The plan that I expected to outline hasn’t happened.  The start point has not emerged.  Planning may just well be another term for procrastination. 

I know what’s going on.  It’s fear – plain and simple that has me stalled.  And the cure for that is to begin.  I have no plan but I don’t need one.  Many of my stories have been written without a plan as I use the D&D method.  Discovery and Decisions in turn has served me well in the past.  And many of my stories have been written without a plan. 

One of my writer friends describes writing as involving bum glue -place butt in chair in front of the writing project and work.  I have heard the advice ‘Stay in the room’ -work through the difficulties.  So here I go:  in the room and on the chair.   

April 2016. 

Fear isn’t particularly simple, but it is manageable.  I expect to have some fear/anxiety/nervous energy about writing and I have decided to welcome it.  Calmness might be seriously over-rated.  Calmness might be the opening theme for boring.   In the past year, I have learnt a few more things about planning as well. 

·       I now use sub-goal plans.  These sub-goals are tiny steps that I give my attention to.

·       I enlist accountability buddies.  At the moment, a friend and I are exchanging weekly logs that include the plan and the outcome.

·       I step back and view my actions as if from an outside observer.  Today, I see that I have checked my weekly log and I am writing a blog essay.  And the outside observer things works too as I imagine what I would do if I were moving towards my goals.  What I imagine often makes it onto the list of things to do. 

·       I take another angle if a goal is eluding me.  I was stalled in the goal of ‘make an outline’, so I borrowed one and made modifications. 

Monday, April 18, 2016

Thoughts While Writing

When I write a story, I also write down my thoughts about writing the story.  Sometimes it helps me to sort out what my mind is doing and to give me clues about what I need to do next.  I pulled this piece from my archives as an example of writing about my thoughts while writing.     

To birth the story; 

I think that I have to get out of my own way on this one.  It wants to be told, in the worst way and all my planning and fussing has been there only to frustrate me.  I will not make a plan, I will tell the story.  I believe that this is right and it does follow the writer’s workshop textbook that I have read.

I wonder if I haven’t been just over-thinking the process of writing as I have my files and resources and all the rest that seem to be prep work for writing but in a lot of ways is not. 


Thought writing can get me writing again but it can also become a diversion and in some cases can stop my writing.  I find that what I read; influences what I write.  So after I have stumbled or stalled in a story, and I have written about my frustrations, I turn to reading fiction.  My mind usually becomes clear and focused again on the story writing process and I move forward. 







Thursday, April 14, 2016

I-Write, You-Write

“The descriptions are vital to the scene.”  The writer said after several of our critique group said they had difficulty picturing the details within his story. 

I too, had the same problem.  Since some left-out details also raised problems within the story, I suggested that he select the details that the story needs and make sure those are clear. 

Now, as I think of this again, I would add this to my advice.

Your words do not have to give us a photograph, but an understanding.  And if that is done in an interesting manner, with words that are effective and entertaining, then it’s a job well-done.   



I'm bringing in a new feature at I-Write (formerly A Simple Blog).  Here's my first posting in the manner of a writers discussion, under the I-Write, You-Write label.

Just a tip, if you are unfamiliar with the label part of blogs, they are the words that can be found in red at the bottom of the essay.  If you click on one of them, a sort of similarly labeled posts appears.