Now, log off. Go WRITE.
Does the end result of your story stop you from even beginning? That seems to be my current problem…
“I dream of an Eagle, I give birth to a Hummingbird.” ~ Edith Wharton
There is a gap many writers experience. Between the expectation and the final product. In my head it’s a beautifully weaved quilt of literary genius. On paper (or screen) it’s a mess of my random connections between characters, inner intentions and very vague symbolism. An example is one scene I wrote in the Finding your Writer’s Voice Workshop… (can’t believe I’m sharing this; don’t stone me!)
Tiffany saw the way the Earth looked at dusk, but never from yards above the rooftops. She didn’t expect it to be so cold and wobbly. Though Gretchen did say there would be flashes of lightning.
“All the better to see you with, my dear,” she had said in her wicked witch voice. Complete with a cackle.
Tiffany couldn’t get used to that voice on Gretchen. But she really couldn’t get used to the energy that surged under her skin and lifted her feet from the ground.
“The umbrella is for effect?” She asked Gretchen.
“No, Mary Poppins, the umbrella is for control. The wind will carry your five foot frame wherever he wants, but at least you can guide the journey.”
Journey. Exactly what Tiffany had wished for at the beginning of the summer. This is not what she had envisioned.
When Dad came home alone from the hospital last month, Tiffany just thought the baby needed more time to grow, develop, heal. And mom, too. But Dad’s face…
The image that prompted this rambling start of a YA story is pictured below (the girl holding the flying umbrella.)
Yes, this scene is very disconnected, riddled with grammatical errors and paced awkwardly. Given, it was written in Three Minutes. So, I need to forgive the drafting phase and remember…
“Value the process, not the product.” ~ Jane Yolen
How are you valuing your process? Do you have rituals? Ways to work through the doubt, through the Big Expectation?
This is Intense. It WILL resurrect your creativity.
- You should have at least one partner, but a group of 3 or 4 works best.
- each writer brings 3 pictures to the workshop (cut from magazines, printed from online, taken from your own camera) images should be interesting because these will be used to prompt ideas
- everyone lays their pics onto one table and each writer selects 2-3 images that really pique their interest or speak to them
- back at your notebook or laptop, one person sets the timer for THREE MINUTES
- as a group, pile your pics together and choose one picture to start with, study it, let your mind churn out characters, settings, story lines or dialogue and get ready …
- Timer goes – Start writing! Write as fast as you can, no thinking, no plotting, No EDITING
- Time’s UP! Stop writing even if in the middle of a sentence.
- Flip to the next picture, look it over quickly – you should only have 60 seconds before starting the next round.
- Timer starts – Start Writing again! THREE MINUTES. This should be an independent scene or story idea from the first one you started, though if you’re an amazing prolific writer, you can connect the scenes….
- Repeat these writing sprints through your stack of images (should have 9 total).
- After the 9th scene is written, take turns READING aloud your story snippets to the group. You should read them straight through, pausing briefly between to give your partners time to jot down some thoughts on your work.
- After each writer has read aloud, offer your feedback. Feedback should remain positive – think of it as writing a fan letter to your favorite author. These are all very rough drafts, remember.
- One more time, each writer reads aloud straight through all 9 snippets of their writing.
- This time, each writer will offer feedback based on:
- How each scene made them feel
- What genre they believe this scene would fall into
- Ask what the author had in mind for the story plot and the ending
- Which of the 9 was the strongest story
At the end of this fun, fast workshop, you will each have 9 story starts, a full tank of confidence and a better idea of your writer’s voice and the genre that you write the best.
Here are the pics my group used:
Writing is more than creativity. It’s confidence.
So, I’ve talked about discovering SARK well after her height of popularity. But still, her concepts and inspiration ring true at any time. The magic of an artist’s spirit soars beyond society.
Some SARKisms I jotted down in my notebook:
“I believe we need to go to where we want to be, and the resources will follow us.” ~ SARK, Inspiration Sandwich
WRITE IN COLOR…use a sketch book as a journal and my old scrapbooking markers to journal, make lists, collect quotes and draw/doodle little flowers and random patterns.
INVENT NEW WAYS OF BEING…reflect on how my life has changed since practicing The Year of Nurturing
I HAVE A LOT TO SHARE WITH OTHERS…Writing is therapy – without the appointment
WRITE MY BOOK…only I can 🙂
What do these concepts mean to you? How can each help to bring your creativity to the forefront of your LIFE??
We officially passed the mid-point of the year (June 25) and my Year of Nurturing is still in progress… (what was your theme??)
So, I naturally gravitate to words like Zen, Spirit, Peace, Calm. I clicked on a link from Pinterest that had Zen and Writing in the title and landed in an article titled: Zen Power Writing” 15 Tips on How to Generate Ideas and Write with Ease. The blog post features tips mainly for article- and blog-writing, but I found this tip handy for my procrastination on my novel…
9. Leave end and beginning to the last. We can get stuck if we start at the beginning. The beginning is supposed to introduce the theme. But at the start of a writing project we may not know exactly what we’re going to say. So, it’s best to write the introduction later on. Once you have completed your first draft, it’s time to add an introduction and a conclusion. The intro can be short but it needs to say why your theme is important, or to outline the benefits that follow from reading your piece. The conclusion should tie it all together.
Do you procrastinate on any particular part of your writing? Beginnings? *raises hand* Middles? Ends? Editing? Querying? Maybe just sitting down with a vague and clichéd idea?
I’ve been struggling with resurrecting and developing my creativity since New Year’s Day, (2011 was filled with family and job drama, leaving me in an artist’s drought.)
I’ve made some false starts and some interesting, helpful discoveries. Wanna go on the ride with me? Come back tomorrow…
Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
Until one is committed there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness.
Concerning all acts of initiative there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and endless plans.
That the moment one definitely commits oneself then providence moves too.
All sorts of things occur to help one that would never have otherwise occurred.
A whole stream of events issue from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents, and meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would come his way.
Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. *Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.
Begin it now. ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Read how this creative spirit takes small steps (and takes other creatives with her!)
We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out. ~ Ray Bradbury, R.I.P.