I had never seriously entertained a career in writing and editing. I had always assumed I would have another kind of professional career (I started college with the intent on getting degrees in psychology, and becoming a psychologist.) I loved writing. I loved reading. It was never a thought to make anything out of it.
The years that I was in school taught me a lot of things. I grew up a lot after high school.
Part of that was realizing that my passions didn’t lay where I thought that they did. I got more and more into writing and networking with other writers and blogging. I was less and less enthusiastic about my degree. I eventually ended up changing majors and working towards a degree in English, and after a lot of trial and error and hard work, I earned my AA.
Now that I’m working in my field, saving money to continue my education… I’m so very thankful that I found what I want to do, something that I’m truly invested in. Something that I love.
I’ve been thinking a lot about success. What does it mean, as a writer, to be successful? Does it come with stacks and stack of plotting material? Does it come when people praise your work? Does it happen when you get published? Published again?
I always used to think that success as a writer came when you’d sold millions of copies and signed movie deals for you five-book series, or when you were touring the world promoting and news networks were calling you for interviews. But how many writers actually ever get to that point? Do the millions of authors out there that never hit that point, count as unsuccessful writers?
I don’t think so.
It feels to me, now that I’ve been writing continuously, that success comes more from where you see yourself. Success can come from finishing a novel that you never publish, or writing poetry every day, or publishing a blog post on time. It can be found in a friend telling you they love a piece you wrote – or a complete stranger saying that you made them feel something.
There’s this sort of groggy, tired, early-morning plotting that I tend to do in the first thirty minutes of my day. It usually involves having had a very, very strange dream, and then in the haze of being roused from sleep due to my lovely alarm clock, it somehow ends up relating to something that I’m writing, or want to write. The – somewhat foggy, half-way brilliant – plotting that follows usually entails me laying face down in my pillow, talking to myself, before I realize that I might want to write that thought down before the thought runs away.
Up, out of bed (semi-reluctantly,) over to my desk. There I rummage about until I find the right notebook – because I have a notebook for everything, and I can’t just jot this brilliant idea down wherever I want, it’s got a proper place to go.
I let it sit there. I eat, organize, review the day’s to-do list. Perhaps I procrastinate a little on that video game I recently got back into. I go back to the brilliant idea. Sometimes, when I read the idea with a clear head, it’s not half as brilliant as my early-morning brain thought it was. Sometimes it’s more brilliant. Sometimes it’s stuck somewhere between complete mediocrity and the next big thing.
I’m thinking more and more on the idea of doing more flash fiction. I’m not new necessarily to one shots, but writing short pieces (really, really short pieces) I think will be good practice for me for learning how to cut down on words while still telling a good story. I’d also like to build […]
Sometimes it pays to re-vist old work, and revamp it. Other times, it’s best to just scrap everything that you’ve done and start from scratch.
I’ve gotten the fun/pleasure of doing the latter, and am working through an old(ish) fantasy world and giving it a complete overhaul after realizing that the initial story line and plot was… not good. Which is good! I’m getting better and better at finding what does and does not work for myself, and getting to the point where it’s easier for me to tell what’s good material and what isn’t.
It’s deadline day! And I’m excited. I have… a little over half of my assignment for a client done (which sounds like cutting it close, but I generally work in smaller chunks and then get a larger portion done last, I’m strange like that) and a somewhat free morning to get it all done.
I’m gaining more and more motivation and umph as the month wears on when it comes to writing and hitting goals and deadlines and such. I think it’s because I’ve gotten into the habit of writing daily (and so far, I haven’t missed a day, which is good even if I don’t necessarily reach my word count goal.) Which, is amazing, considering the fact that I’m notorious for saying that I’m going to do things, and then just put the things off.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I procrastinate. A lot.
I guess the take away is that self-discipline is a good thing, and I’m slowly learning it. So once again: to work!
Sometimes what we need is to step away from the computer for a while, put away the pad of paper, hide away the schedules, and just sleep.
Let’s face it, writers overwork themselves. I don’t think a lot of people take into consideration the fact that writing is actually a lot of work. There’s a toll. Your mind gets tired, you’ve been sitting in one place for hours and hours. You’re either focused and in the zone or struggling through writer’s block that you’re not allowed to ignore. It’s fun, but it’s work.
I realized this last night, while working on an assignment for a client that’s due tomorrow. I got about halfway done with the full piece, met my writing goal for the day, and decided to lay down for a nap to rest my brain. Just an hour or so, I told myself, despite the 8 hours of work previously in the day and various ‘life’ things happening.
I ended up sleeping for twelve.
Now, I’m not saying that you should always just take time to pass out for twelve hours straight, but I will say that I’m feeling considerably better than I had been at this time yesterday, and I’m in a much clearer state of mind to begin to sit down and work.
One of the most appealing things about writing is the fact that for a moment, you can get out of the real world and into another. The last couple of days have been tiring. Draining. I feel like I need a vacation that I know I’m not going to get. But just for a little […]
Most people think of story telling happening in physical books. Novels. The written word. You get the point. But there’s so much good story telling in other mediums. I’ve read comics and watched movies/shows or anime that have fantastic writing, played games that have amazing story lines. Mediums outside of books that keep you captivated because of the characters, the setting, the plot – the twists and turns that make the story unique.
It’s really amazing the different ways that people can tell stories outside of traditional books. I think that’s part of what makes story telling so fun – you can do so in whatever way you please as long as you do it effectively.
My mind is actually relatively blank this morning. Perhaps it was the burst of creative energy yesterday, but I feel positively drained (of course, it could also be the fact that I slept way too long last night. Either or.)
I think this is one of the biggest hurdles to over come being a writer. There’s writer’s block, sure. There’s insecurities. But you don’t even touch on those things if you don’t have the willpower to sit down and get to writing in the first place.
And let me tell you, powering through the grind of a mind that doesn’t want to cooperate despite looming deadlines is a task in and of itself.