Posts Tagged ‘writing process’

writing blog picI’m in the midst of writing a short story. Since I mostly write poetry, this is a bit of a change. Especially since I’ve challenged myself to write every day. Consistency is not my strong suit—not when it comes to my own personal schedule. But since this story has grabbed my attention I’ve written for eleven days in a row (it’s a start…).

I think I read somewhere that you need to do something for at least twenty days in a row for it to become a habit. As much as I love to write, I’ve been inconsistent and haven’t made writing time a true priority. This was part of the reason for setting this challenge for myself—how can I seriously call myself a writer if I don’t take my writing seriously? I guess it’s not that my writing isn’t a habit; it just isn’t a very consistent one. That’s something I’d like to change.

Something I’ve learned during these past eleven days: I kinda’ understand why some authors drink. Ha! There have been moments, and tonight is one of them, when I’ve been nervous about writing. Not because I don’t know what I’m going to write, but because I’m not quite sure how it’s going to come out. I can totally see how a drink or two would relax you before you take to the pen—or keyboard, as the case may be. (Please understand that I’m writing this tongue-in-cheek. I’m not advocating alcoholism for anyone, author or otherwise.)

So tell me, does anyone else get nervous about writing a particular scene? I’ve been getting actual butterflies in my tummy at points. Typical? Or am I more neurotic than I thought?


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Yesterday I went to one of my favourite stores. Ever since I was in high school, Pen & Pad has catered to my love of fine writing instruments and beautiful journals. Luckily this store is, decades later, still a part of Albuquerque’s fairly fixed and little-changed retail landscape.

I enjoyed browsing amongst the pretty blank books and the pens. Oh, the pens. Especially the fountain pens. There were some truly divine specimens on display, and I wanted to take several of them home with me.

And then I found the Visconti collection. Oh, my goodness. A lovely grouping of beautiful fountain pens whose designs are influenced by Vincent van Gogh. My favourite writing instrument and my favourite artist combined. Unfortunately, the collection of twelve pens are sold as a group, for $2,950.00. Yes, almost three thousand dollars. Granted, that works out to $245.83 per pen, which is not too bad for a fountain pen. But still. Buying all twelve at once is a bit of a financial setback.

Since I couldn’t take just one home—and had that been a possibility I very well might have made the splurge—I considered snapping a quick photograph. But there are some objects in this world that are simply too beautiful for pictures. These pens (and the word combinations I would create with one) are just such objects.


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Sisyphus (photo via Yahoo images)

“No, I do it. I do it.” Followed almost immediately by “Mommy, help!”

This is what I’ve been hearing several times a day lately from my three-year-old. Yes, he has reached that age where finding the delicate balance between independence and security is a tricky proposition indeed. And I don’t think we ever really grow out of that stage, do we?

Definitely not if we’re writers!

Writing is a solitary activity when it comes to actually sitting your butt in the chair and writing. But before that time comes, there’s a lot of brainstorming and thinking out loud (listeners optional) and sharing and commenting and revising and encouraging…

I’m glad that I’ve found the ROW80 and blogging friends. The encouragement is so helpful. And at times, when the words won’t come and writing even one. more. sentence. makes it seem like Sisyphus had it easy, knowing I have a group of people in my (virtual) corner definitely makes a difference!

So, in terms of actual writing, not much has happened in the past few days. But there has been a lot of what I like to call percolating happening. I’ve got several story and poem ideas percolating in my brain, words and phrases and images swimming around, jostling for various levels of attention, coming in and out of focus and waiting for that moment when it will just be right to let them out.

When I try to explain the percolating thing to my non-writing friends, they just look at me like I’m crazy. Of course, they do that a lot anyway, so I’m used to it. But I know that you will get it.

And, of course, I’ve been keeping up with the reading a short story every day. I’m still fascinated with Neil Gaiman, but I’ve also recently discovered Lydia Davis. I firmly believe that all this reading is helping with the percolating. And for me, the percolation stage is absolutely vital to my process.

So, while I’ve been relying on the help of  these published writers as well as my virtual community, there will come a time, and I think it will be soon, when I’ll sit down, ready to write, and do it!

Here are the status updates for all the other intrepid  ROW80 writers!

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