Tag: Creativity

When There Isn’t Enough Time to Write

As I’m sure you’re aware, there have been few posts here over the last few months. My MFA program took over my life, in certain ways. I also finally found a full-time job and had my sister’s wedding to help put together and participate in. Other things found their way into my calendar as well.

And here I am.
It’s November now.
I’m one week away from the last submission of my first semester in Lesley University’s MFA program. It’s been a rough semester. Why? Because I’ve constantly felt as though I didn’t have enough time to write. Yes, I was busy with other things, but that’s life, isn’t it? I can’t use those things as excuses for not writing. I did it anyway.

Here I am. A week from the final submission. I have two novels to read yet and a chapter to finish. All for Chris Lynch, one of my favorite YA authors of all time.

I’ve learned in these last few days that if you wait for time to open up, you’ll get nothing done. When it comes to writing (or anything else, really), you MAKE time for it. You carve it out of your day, regardless of how busy it is. You wake up a half hour early to write even if you already wake up at 5am. You stay up until 1am, just to get fifteen minutes in. Writing is writing, and if you’re serious about it, you DO it. It doesn’t matter if you get ten pages or two paragraphs in.

YOU JUST WRITE.

I’ve dug myself a huge hole. Starting tonight, I work myself out of it. Not only because I have to, but because I’d like to be an example for other writers. We can all do this, right? Make time for writing? Of course we can. Because we love what we do. So, let’s buckle down and do it.

Happy Writing,

On Gutting Stories We Love

Let’s face it. Very few of us are natural-born writers. That is, very few of us are perfect at what we do. As writers, we become attached to what we write. We fall in love with our characters because we spend countless hours creating them and adding that dimension of reality that’s needed to make readers like (or hate) them, too. We love our settings and the descriptions of them. Many of us love everything about our stories.

Because of that, the revision process can be pretty daunting. And by “pretty,” I mean “so frightening that we don’t want to bother.” That last part, the “not bothering,” is detrimental to any writing career. Revision is an integral part of writing because there is always room for improvement. Always. “Revision” is a big word. It encompasses a lot. A revision can be something small like a few lines or one chapter to half of your book or even a complete overhaul on a novel. Regardless of how big your revision is, it needs to be done. Period.

Because we’re not perfect, in many cases a revision is huge. It’s not uncommon for an entire storyline–that is, an entire novel–to be overhauled. This is where things get really scary. When a story needs to be gutted, we have to cut scenes, lines, and much more that we love. Please believe that it’s a regular occurrence. You’re not the only one removing favorite lines or killing of characters. We’ve all done it. We’ll all do it some more in the future. If you’re ever on the verge of tears over losing a piece of your novel or story that you love, remember this:

The things you cut will almost always make a reappearance. While something may not fit where it is right now, the perfect, scene or chapter will come long and the fit will be perfect. You’ll only have to part with your loves for a little while.

See? Things aren’t so bad now, are they? Revisions are hard. Large revisions are even harder. But you can do them. And you will do them. Why? Because you’re a writer, and revising is what writers do.

Happy Writing,

Writing, Readers & the Inspiration to Carry On

Lately, I’ve been trying to get back into my writing. The itch to write has been present for almost two months now, but things were preventing me from actually sitting down to write. The main thing was packing up my apartment and moving. I’m done with that now and am settled into a spare bedroom at my parents’ house for a while.

So, why can’t I write?

It’s not that I don’t want to. Its not that the itch to do so isn’t there. It’s that nobody I live with respects the fact that I write. Here, writing can “always be done later,” and isn’t a “real job.”

This saddens me. Because it feels like my writing doesn’t matter to anyone but me. Perhaps that’s the way it’s supposed to be? I don’t know. It would just be nice to have some support from family. Right now, it feels like there’s nothing and to be honest, that hurts.

So, what to do about this situation.

I have one friend who is constantly supportive of my writing endeavors. He offers daily encouragement, yells at me when I don’t want to writer (thereby making me write), and always reads new chapters and offers wonderful feedback. I’m so grateful for this that there’s really not a word to describe just how happy I am that I have this person. What I’ve determined is that I need a group of people like him. I need more than just him, even though if that doesn’t happen, I’ll always be grateful with him alone.

I think I’ve convinced myself that without more than one reader, I can’t get very far in my work. I don’t know if this is true or not. I think the problem is that I feel belittled when people aren’t interested in what I do or what I’ve created. As I stated above, the fact that very few people care is disheartening. It hurts. It hurts because I believe–I’ve always believed–that support is essential to any type of long-term endeavor, especially writing. I feel that without support, my writing means absolutely nothing. But, at the same time, it means so much to me that I’m not willing to let it go. So, there’s that.

I’ve considered putting a call for readers out there somewhere. But, until I’ve determined the best way to go about doing so, I’m going to write. Because I need to. I have to get this story out there. Somehow, some way. So, I’ll continue writing until it’s done, and afterward, I’ll see where it takes me.

Happy Writing,

Writing Prompt: Finally

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons & John Althouse Cohen.

Writers block, defined as “a usually temporary condition in which a writer finds it impossible to proceed with the writing of a novel, play, or other work,” is a plague that we’ve all dealt with at one point or another in our writing careers. Ideas are hard to come by sometimes. Ideas are like fireflies; they flit in and out of mental vision, but they are hard to catch.

Keeping this in mind, a writing prompt will be offered here every Sunday (in different formats, of course). The length of what you write is your decision entirely. It is my hope that these prompts will spark creativity and kickstart the writing process.

This week’s prompt: After years of writing commercial jingles and cheesy, B-movie scores, a composer writes a masterful piece that propels him (or her) into the limelight (Writing Forward).

[How did this prompt help you? Please feel free to let me know in the comments below, or send an email!]

Happy Writing,

Writing Prompt: Behind the Picture

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons & John Althouse Cohen.

Writers block, defined as “a usually temporary condition in which a writer finds it impossible to proceed with the writing of a novel, play, or other work,” is a plague that we’ve all dealt with at one point or another in our writing careers. Ideas are hard to come by sometimes. Ideas are like fireflies; they flit in and out of mental vision, but they are hard to catch.

Keeping this in mind, a writing prompt will be offered here every Sunday (in different formats, of course). The length of what you write is your decision entirely. It is my hope that these prompts will spark creativity and kickstart the writing process.

This week’s prompt: A picture on your mantle unexpectedly falls and crashes to the floor. As you go to pick it up, you notice a note hidden behind the picture. The message is from the future—and written by you. It instructs you to do something important. What does it say? (Writer’s Digest)

[How did this prompt help you? Please feel free to let me know in the comments below, or send an email!]

Happy Writing,

This Week in Links: 2/5/2012 – 2/11/2012

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons.

I subscribe to quite a few interesting RSS feeds in the book/writing niches. Perhaps you do as well, but in any case, I’d like to share my starred links from this week:

Monday, February 6, 2012:

Tuesday, February 7, 2012:
Wednesday, February 8, 2012:
Thursday, February 9, 2012:
Happy Writing,

Writing Prompt: Dystopian Medicine

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons & John Althouse Cohen.

Writers block, defined as “a usually temporary condition in which a writer finds it impossible to proceed with the writing of a novel, play, or other work,” is a plague that we’ve all dealt with at one point or another in our writing careers. Ideas are hard to come by sometimes. Ideas are like fireflies; they flit in and out of mental vision, but they are hard to catch.

Keeping this in mind, a writing prompt will be offered here every Sunday (in different formats, of course). The length of what you write is your decision entirely. It is my hope that these prompts will spark creativity and kickstart the writing process.

This week’s prompt: In a future dystopian society, people have decided that God is the ultimate healer and that doctors are from the devil. A man and woman practice medicine in secret, and start an underground revolution to usurp the powers that be.

[How did this prompt help you? Please feel free to let me know in the comments below, or send an email!]

Happy Writing,

This Week in Links: 1/30/2012 – 2/4/2012

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons.

I subscribe to quite a few interesting RSS feeds in the book/writing niches. Perhaps you do as well, but in any case, I’d like to share my starred links from this week:

Monday, January 30, 2012:

Tuesday, January 31, 2012:
Wednesday, February 1, 2012:
Thursday, February 2, 2012:
Friday, February 3, 2012:

Happy Writing,