Thursday, July 1, 2010

Conquering Chaos 101-A Writer's Journal

OK, this is my first time as a blogger, so bear with me. I've been a writer for a number of years, but, like many of you who may be new to writing or just need to read about someone else's writing problems, I thought it might be helpful to both of us for me to journal my progress with its ups and downs and talk about possible ways of circumventing all the excuses.
For years I pretty much stuck to a schedule, usually spending 3 to 3 1/2 hours in the morning at my desk. Was every moment creative/profitable/intensely focused? Of course not. But even with the daydreaming, trips to the kitchen for coffee refills, phone calls (yes, I answered the phone), etc., I managed to get a masters in fiction writing from Johns Hopkins, get a couple of short stories published, come in as runner-up in a short story contest, and (no small feat) write a novel.
Yes, I'm patting myself on the back, and for good reason. For the last year and a half, with the exception of a few book reviews, I've written almost nothing new, and I need to remind myself what I can accomplish when I put my mind to it.
Why, you may ask, have you been so stuck? Good question. There have been specific issues in my life which have interfered with my creative processes, but whatever yours are, they're just as valid. Family problems, boyfriend/girlfriend problems, frustration in getting published, medical problems, even, god forbid, the death of a loved one. So it really doesn't matter what my specific issues have been. The idea is for both of us to get back to it.
So today I'm committing to you that I will write every day (or at least 5 days during the next week), even if only in my journal, which has been spotty to say the least.
While fooling around on my computer this morning to get myself in the mood, I found a very old, very short short story that obviously needed a lot of work before I could submit it anywhere. I've seen that story many times in going through my files, but today, for whatever reason, it peaked my interest. So I worked on it for an hour and a half and took a break for lunch. I thought I'd watch some Wimbledon on TV after lunch (yes, I'm one of those people who likes to watch tennis, and no, I don't play), but I actually had the urge to work on my story some more!
Can you believe it? I can't. Why that story? Why today? Who knows.
Hint: I think the fact that I gave myself permission to just fool around getting organized at my desk took some pressure off.
Anyway, I'd love to read about your situations. Maybe we can have a dialogue.
I'll check back in with an update next week.

No comments: