There are countless posts online about writing habits. When I’m deeply entrenched in writer’s block or locked up in a procrastination two-step, I find myself searching those posts for inspiration, grasping for an “Aha!” moment that will finally make things click.
Unfortunately, I haven’t found anything that makes writing and being productive easy. I keep finding that productivity, and often success, is nothing more than a choice to show up and make an effort.
During one of my searches, I found this video about productivity, which I thought was very helpful. This little mini-lesson from Brian Johnson’s Philosopher’s Notes is called 50 lbs for an A and it actually changed the way I think about writing.
“Ideas about creating something perfect are not going to get you there. Engage with life and churn, be in the game, getting a little bit better and optimizing again and again.”
Even though I grew up reading novels, all I’ve ever written in the past have been short stories. I rarely ever find these easy to write, but they do seem more manageable, like the baby step approach to writing. And although it’s frustrating at times, if the story doesn’t work out, it’s easy to put them aside and move onto something else without too much time wasted in between.
Earlier this year, I started writing a novel. I did try my hand at novel writing for a brief period in Graduate School, but it was just too autobiographical and didn’t really work. I did LOVE my first chapter, though. I might end up recycling a few of those characters and using them somewhere else.
This novel is something a little different. I do like the story. I don’t think it’s Pulitzer Prize material yet, but I do think someone would want to read it one day. Not to give too much away, the story is about a college-aged woman who decides to leave school to spend the summer with her grandfather. He is a pretty well-known artist who specializes in portraits and lives in a somewhat secluded home in Northwest Alabama. When she arrives, the girl, a fairly wounded person, crosses paths with another artist, a friend of her grandfather’s. This other artist, a younger guy, has worked with her grandfather in the past and decides to come back for another summer. No one else at the house knows that they have a shared history and through ensuing tension, the girl is forced to confront a lot of her old wounds and decide whether to grow or continue floundering.
I think any novel has a deep basis in one’s own experience, but most of the inspiration came from a movie I stumbled upon and loved, Renoir.
The French film has some mixed reviews, but I really enjoyed it. There was something about the color, the leisurely use of time, and the overall style of the picture that had me hooked. Right after I watched it the first time, I got out one of my notebooks and started brainstorming plots. I wrote down whatever came to mind and after a month or so, I started writing the novel. Continue reading “Check-in: December 2015”→
Welcome to the beginning stages of my new pet project! I spend a lot of time reading and scouring the internet for inspiration, so starting a blog is something that’s been incubating in my imagination for the past year or so. I’ve struggled a little with the direction, but I think I finally have it.
Here’s what I’ve got:
My goal in this new venture is to create a space where writers, readers, and creators can come together to share resources, ideas, and encouragement.
So essentially, when your creative juices evaporate into a thin, odorless mist (as they often do), you can come here to camp out for a spell and reboot.
Below is a general list of what you can expect to find here:
Writing Resources: helpful guides, prompts of all kinds, advice from authors, etc.
What I Love About… (insert author name here) Explorations in style and the love of reading
I Need Help With…. (insert problem here: inspiration, discipline, organization, character development, plot planning) Advice and Pep Talks to get you going in the right direction
Doses of Inspiration… Writing can be lonely. Hell, existing can be lonely. These little posts will (hopefully) send you back out better than you came in.
Check-ins… Where I am with my writing and challenges I’m facing
To start off with, I have filled this space with a list of books, videos, and websites that have helped me tremendously with my own writing practice and life. Check out the resource page. Continue reading “Welcome, friends!”→