writing process

The Cheat: Battling Writer’s Block with Scheduled Posts

I have tons of recaps from previous seasons of American Horror Story, The Walking Dead and Doctor Who that I’ve never shared on my blog.  I started scheduling some to post, and it hit me that I was lucky that I had them because my brain is so tired that I’m not sure what kind of blog posts I could create right now.

My brain is exhausted, and that has crushed my creativity.

However, the desire to write is strong, so the trick is managing time to write.  If you make time, writing will come.

I was at a panel at Comic Con and it was mentioned that Benicio del Toro spends his mornings writing and his afternoons working.  I think this is the perfect balance. Of course, the first step is to get rich enough to be able to support myself so that this could be a reality.  I’m working on it.

In fact, that’s probably why I am so tired lately.

On Writing: Organization

Do you write chronologically? I don’t. Sometimes I wish I could. But you can’t argue when the muse just hands you the middle of an article or story or chapter and it’s up to you to figure out what to do with it.

I once woke up with the entire plot of a book in my head. That was over Thanksgiving weekend back in 2003. It is as vivid now as it was then, but I haven’t put it to paper just yet. I like to think it’s marinating in my brain.

But, I digress.

Every now and then I create an outline.  Sometimes I write the end before the beginning. I used to do the same thing in college. I never wrote introductions first. I wrote the thesis and then I moved forward, and at the end I circled back and did the intro. It just worked better that way.

In my fiction writing, sometimes I create detailed character profiles. My favorite characters aren’t profiled at all.

Do you organize your writing? Or do you let it flow and work with whatever manifests itself?

On Writing: From Paper to Blog

You’ve heard me discuss the merits of pens and paper. I keep a list of possible blog topics in a notebook (pink, of course) and lately I have been writing full posts in the notebook as well (mostly in pink ink).

So now I have 5-6 blog posts in a pink notebook in pink ink…and now I have to move them from paper to blog.

It’s an interesting process because there is unintentional editing that takes place as I transcribe the words.  All of a sudden, what made sense before makes no sense now, or the insertion (or deletion) of a word or two makes all the difference in the world.

At present, I’m not moving the posts from my notebook to my blog because I am instead blogging about the process.  However, I’m certain I’m not the only one who does this.

Do you have a process for writing, either for your blog or other projects?

The Pen Is Mightier Than The Sword, But Social Media Is A Killer

I have a conundrum. 

I want to write a fully researched op-ed piece for the newspaper. If I landed the interview I want I could submit it to the NY Times or LA Times. 

Sounds great, right?

But I’m not going to do it.  I was voted most outspoken in school.  And yet I feel like my voice has been silenced.  Why? Because I know that voicing an opinion that goes against the “popular” opinion (as suggested by CNN, of course) means accepting that I am opening myself up to criticism.  It’s not the criticism I worry about, though.  That’s to be expected.  It’s the vicious attacks that come on social media from uninformed people who like to speak their minds without knowing what they’re talking about.

I don’t mind discussing ideas with people.  I double majored in political science and history.  I like discussions and debates.  But the old adage is true–you can’t argue with stupid. And trying to stand up for your opinion while fending off idiocy is downright draining.

Maybe I’m not writing the piece because I’m lazy. Maybe that’s what it boils down to.  Having to be on the defensive to fend off attacks on social media is just too much of an energy drain.

So for now I’ll remain content just venting to my readers.  I’ll keep pondering this conundrum until the answer presents itself.

To be continued….

Reading to Help the Writing

I ordered a book last week and it arrived on Thursday.  I’m almost done with it, and so last night I ordered another one so that I have a new book to start when I finish this one.  They’re both business books by Alan Weiss and Marshall Goldsmith.  (This is the third book I’ve read by Weiss and the 4th is due to arrive next week)  The book I’m writing is nonfiction, and it centers around a philosophy I developed. Reading their books helps me to get my own book done.

I don’t think reading falls into my procrastination trap.  I think this is more like research.  However, I do find that I get lost in the books, to the extent that I’ve devoured several hundred pages in a few weeks. (I can read fiction much faster; nonfiction requires a different area of my brain, which is why I developed my own personal writing process)

On the one hand, I have tons of new ideas floating around my head.  On the other hand, I haven’t done as much writing as I should have.

Again, this is why it’s a process for me!

Over the Writer’s Block/Procrastination Hump: Inspiration Strikes

All of a sudden the words are coming.  My trusty pink notebook has been within arms’ reach so that I can record whatever pops into my head.

The system is working.  Procrastination as a form of mental warm-up.  Write things that have nothing to do with the book so that the brain is tricked into doing nothing but thinking about the book.

Silly brain.  I have you figured out now….

On a Roll…The Words Are Pouring Forth

It’s funny how much writing I’ve done today.  I laugh only because I am writing a little bit of everything.  I have a solid outline that is my backbone, so I find myself writing a little bit here and a little bit there.  I suppose that after a while, I’ll have everything done and none of it will have been done chronologically.

Is there any harm in this?  I’m going to say no.  

While it’s true that I eventually have to transfer all of these random pieces into the computer in some semblance of order, I’ll consider that part of the editing process.  Indeed, I think that this will allow me to tighten up certain areas because I’ll throw some of it out and add new material into it as I go along.

Again, this is all part of the process.  My process.  As long as it’s working, why would I change anything? (That’s rhetorical…there are tons of things I could change about this nonsensical process of mine…I’m just not going to do it!)

Quick Musing on Writing

This morning I realized that I’d probably have a dozen books completed if only I wrote down all of the things I think about that never make it to paper.

Sometimes I’ll sit and think about what I’m working on, and I’m lucky if I can capture half of those ideas on paper.

This is why they say writing is a process!