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…
“Life is too short to waste. Dreams are fulfilled only through action, not through endless planning to take action.” ~ David J. Schwartz, Trainer and Author
“Transformation isn’t a future event, it’s a present activity.” ~ Jillian Michaels, Fitness Guru, Author of “Unlimited”
“Planning is nothing but procrastination in disguise… Failure doesn’t come from poor planning – it comes from the timidity to proceed.” ~ Scott Ginsberg, “The Nametag Guy”
These are just a few quotes I reread daily to get my head in check. I am THEE Queen of lists and planning to a fault, I now realize. Overplanning, procrastination, over-responsible, not finishing projects: these are all traits of ACOA’s (Adult Children of Alcoholics) yet I struggle with denial. Anyone else do this?
Once I push past the “preparation” that pulls on every. fiber. in. my. being, I actually get a lot of real work done. For me, this means writing new or revised scenes for my LAKE-RESORT Novel. This Sunday, I sat on my patio in the gorgeous fall weather and wrote long-hand 8 notebook pages of a pretty tense scene between my teenage protag and her estranged mother. The key for me? Don’t over think it and don’t work on the computer (the internet is called the Web for a reason!)
How will you push past the planning and onto productivity today? Share your tips and tricks!
FREE SUBSCRIPTIONS! Just sign up! ; )
5 writing prompts to jolt your mind and soul:
- The lady with the red umbrella stood at the corner again.
- Bobby’s blanket still smelled of Johnson’s & Johnson’s.
- For a complete examination, please complete this form.
- When I talked about him, Jenna’s eyes lit up.
- “Dear Jorge, I am breaking up with you. Please give back the prom ticket I bought. Michael needs to use it.”
What prompts can you share?
SUBSCRIBE! And the Muse Fairies will visit you at night….
The first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: Decide what you want. Ben Stein
If you ‘ve been following my blog at all since Dec 31, you know that 2010 is The Year of Clarity. What does that mean? For me, it means to get back to my roots of writing and submitting fiction, narrowing my niche to better build my platform and before deciding to take on any more, put heavy decisions through a “filter” to discern if new writing or teaching gigs fit my “ecosystem” for my ultimate writing goal. What I want is to finish and publish my novel and inspire young writers in my community, with the long-term goal of continuing in these areas to eventually replace my full-time job.
Clarity also means to simplify: my goals, my lifestyle, my space and my relationships. Focus on the things that bring me most joy. This weekend, that meant hanging with my sons: window shopping and walking through parks and an old 16th century graveyard, visiting the library, and reflecting on the school year about to come to an end.
I bring “clarity” up again, because Christina Katz is talking about it in this week’s issue of The Prosperous Writer. What clarity means to us as writers. What does it mean to you? Perhaps after journaling about it, you’ll hit an epiphany. As I did on April 28 of this year:
I am so happy today! Excited with the idea that I WILL be writing a book. A novel I scribed in November 2008. It’s been fermenting in my hard drive. Hate the title. I’ll have to think of something catchy, deep and relative to the mood of the book.
Yes. Today I took the next step in finishing my first novel. I printed each of the 15 chapters, along with unconnected scenes, story map, plot outline, setting and each main characters’ description – from the forms I completed on storyright.com.
I was so afraid to look the mss. over after November 30 2008 struck midnight and I uploaded the whole messy beast into NaNo’s official word count thingamajig. I never looked back. Until today. And I like what I see. I like it a lot! : )
Traditionally, I’ve never been one for using outlines before writing. I always felt that it stunted my flow of muse; shorted out the creativity and freedom and surprise of not knowing where my story was headed.
However. I competed in NaNoWriMo last November and learned my lesson. All the freedom and creativity I could muster wasn’t going to get me past the “honeymoon” phase of writing a novel. The nooks and crannies of the character’s motives and inner thoughts needed to be mapped out or they’d fizzle on the page, left untouched due to frustration and boredom.
So, on Day Two of the Young Writers’ Summer Studio, we discussed the Plot Arc. Drawn on my board as a roller coaster, I plotted out the points of the arc: The Beginning (Introduction to the character and their world), The Inciting Incident (the moment the main Conflict is mentioned), The Rising Action (The bulk of the story which details the conflict and how the main character and minor characters are affected by this problem, The Climax (that ultimate battle where everything comes to a head and the main character either wins or loses), The Falling Action (how all the characters fare after the climax) and The Conclusion (all loose ends wrapped up, all questions and issues resolved, once way or anther.)
I then introduced the young writers to my favorite writing tool: Note Cards!
They were excited to spread out and utilize all the couches, chairs and window seats of the clubhouse. With note cards and plot arc in hand, the students were instructed to write one scene per note card and arrange the cards in the order they thought was most interesting.
How proud I was to see these young writers flex and meld with the tools given to them to fit their style and practice of writing. I was also in awe with how quickly they mapped out the plots. Sure, there were questions and switching of scenes; but no second guessing, no doubt about what their stories would become. I learned from these writers the true essence of creating: love of the craft and belief in oneself.
To be continued, tomorrow…