Posts Tagged ‘literature’

I’ve been very busy recently, and haven’t had much time for writing. I decided I would write for 15-20 minutes before I left for work today and post whatever I came up with.

Once upon a time, there was a woman whose life was everything she wanted it to be. She traveled the world and wrote things down. Things she saw, things she heard, things she thought, and things she dreamed. Sometimes people read the things she wrote, sometimes they didn’t. Some people loved her, more people disliked her, and most people didn’t even know her name. It didn’t matter to her though; all that mattered was that she wrote down stories and someone read them. One day she couldn’t think of anything to write. She had written every word she knew. So she created new words. But no one else knew how to read them or what they meant or even what they sounded like. She tried to teach them, but she’d forgotten how to speak in the words they understood. So she continued to travel and write stories that no one would ever read. It didn’t matter to her though; all that mattered was that she wrote them down.


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II. Procrastination (Sloth)

Well I suppose the 18-day hiatus may render this post self-explanatory, but I’m going to write it nonetheless. So what is it that’s kept me from even looking at a word processor for the last two and a half weeks unless I absolutely had to? To be honest, I couldn’t say. It may have something to do with the new film internship I’ve started that has me writing new story editing reports and film treatments on a regular basis, or just sheer exhaustion from having to work full-time in retail as well. But I have a feeling it’s more than that.

As I’ve mentioned in other posts, I’m no stranger to procrastination. Putting things off till the last minute and performing under pressure was my method as a writer throughout my entire academic career. There are lots of reasons writers think up to justify procrastination. Our ability to bull shit, which we’ve so painstakingly cultivated in school, is now convincing even us!We persuade ourselves that we’ll write it when we’re more inspired, after we’ve done more relevant research, after we’ve watched the next episode; you can find anything to stand in your way.

Calvin and Hobbes

When I was in school, I really felt I performed best in the frantic creative mind-set of the last minute rush, but now there’s nothing really forcing me to write other than my own personal drive. I simply can’t find that same creative mentality that only a forty-page term paper due in 3 1/2 hours can bring. I definitely don’t enjoy the stress or the anxiety that comes with it, but I somehow find a flow of ideas, an understanding of how things should come together. I haven’t yet found a way to surpass my own mental roadblocks really… but that’s just another excuse.

Writers can’t forget that their ability to weave the threads of fiction could lead to their own ruin. Procrastination is essentially how good you are at persuading yourself to put things off. Rationalizing is a dangerous skill, yet one I pride myself on having. Some say the worst the procrastination, the stronger the writer… god I hope that’s right. All I know is that whoever said “you’re your own worst enemy” has got it right. But when you’re a writer, they’re an evil mastermind.


7 Sins of Writing (Part I)

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I find myself to be genuinely kind and good-natured, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have my faults. Behind this façade of do-goodery is a tangle of human imperfections, imperfections that I’ve only recently begun to notice greatly affect me as a writer. I think it’s safe to say that no one’s perfect, we all have some less than desirable qualities, but understanding how your personality shapes your writing style and habits will help you hone your craft. Be accepting of your faults, but don’t succumb to them.

I. Impatience (Lust)

This first one isn’t very obvious to some and I had to really think on how to articulate its effect on my writing. I’m not a very patient person. I like getting to the good parts of a story. Skimming over long descriptions, I sometimes find myself skipping whole chapters just to pick up the storyline of a character I really enjoy (though I always go back of course). This impatient desire to know what’s going to happen next is particularity troublesome when working on my own novels. I’m always getting ahead of myself, anxious to reveal the interesting plot points or awesome characters that got me invested in the story in the first place. I find it difficult to write what happens in between.

Sometimes my desire to get to a certain part of the story is so great that I don’t find myself writing anything at all. I can’t think of what’s going to happen next because I’m so preoccupied with what’s going to happen in ten chapters. I get frustrated when I can’t link my thoughts together, and end up leaving the project unfinished to start another whose ideas have captured my attention.

When things don’t come together as easily as you thought they would, it can be quite disheartening, especially if you know that the story has real potential. Even if we all hope to achieve it, success isn’t made over night… well at least not for most of us. I’ve tried lots of writing tricks to get over this insatiable desire to get ahead: write out the idea that’s on my mind, outline the story between plot points, work out character motivations to figure where they’ll take the story, but it’s not as easy as it seems. It took me a while to realize that impatience is something that must first be corrected in oneself; I need to become a more patient person in my day-to-day life. After all, it’s not like I stop being a writer when I leave my desk, it’s also a part of who I am.

But I’m starting to realize that this whole process may take some time… and we all know how impatient I can be.

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