Friday, September 29, 2006

Making plans . . . it's a start

For the first time in a few weeks, I've actually felt motivated to write. Of course, feeling motivated, and succumbing to the impulse are very different things. As usual, I have been able to thwart my naissant urges.

Why do I fight writing? It's as though I'm fighting against success as much as failure.

Well, at least I've tentatively decided which story I want to write. Sort of -- maybe. It may end up that I merge two stories which will help to create layers and subplots. I don't think I'm ready for multiple perspectives and storylines, but I think I can manage concurrent converging events that will centre around two lead characters.

There will be more time for writing over the next few weeks. I thought of doing my plotting etc. during October, and then maybe doing the NaNoWrMo in November. I had planned to do it last year, but I didn't write a word. I set up for it and then just didn't start.

It's been like that for years -- putting off and putting off.
Then, I read books that are bland and boring, or innane and childish and I wonder how these people can be published writers. I used to stand in judgement of their writing skills, but now I realize that when I don't finish anything -- I can't even compare myself to them. They have dared to dream, and to complete what they started.

The best laid plans will stay blueprints without action. I know that, and yet I blog instead of writing. Sigh . . . .

Sunday, September 17, 2006

It's ponderous

How bad is my commitment to writing when even my pondering gets put off?

Earlier this year I bought four binders and I printed off every bit of writing on each of my partial novels. I used pretty coloured Post-It Notes to flag pages, indicating scene, character or plot point. Each chapter or part there of was set out chronologically, with duplicate and re-worked scenes highlighted in bright fuscia, green or yellow depending on its quality.

Most of that writing was done two or three years ago or longer. Some of it is very good. Compelling, structured well, interesting, funny . . . all in all, very readable. As I looked it over, I wondered how I ever got to the point where, rather than actually put fingers to keyboard or pen to page, I'd rather think about writing and fool myself that this organizational stuff has something to do with writing.

But, at least back then I was doing something. Reading my own words served to motivate me and I started thinking about writing again, but the thinking never really moved forward to concrete production.

When I'm drifting off to sleep at night bits of stories waft in and out of my consciousness and I try to grasp them. I promise myself that I'll remember them when I wake up and put them down on paper. But, if I remember them (which I sometimes have), I seldom bother to find a pen or rush to the computer.

I wonder if it's writer's block or lack of confidence. It isn't that I haven't any ideas. Often I'm thinking of scenes or dialogue. If I'm thinking of them, I can't be blocked. But then when I have made my way to the computer to set them down on the word processor, it's like I freeze.

Well, at least I can still write about writing -- or am I writing about not writing?

Oh well. At least I'm still thinking.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

A Beginning

They say: "Just write . . ." or "write what you know". And apparently that's all you have to do to become a writer.

Well, I've been just writing for several years, and I have recently realized that I know nothing. That leaves me in a bit of a bind.

So far in the eight years I've been slogging away at this sodden keyboard, I've written three or four unfinished novels, several incomplete short stories, and a few partial poems. The writing doesn't seem to be the problem, the knowing things does.

My own background is a snore, and as I develop plots that take me away from the hum-drum of my life, I find myself constantly worried that my fiction will be unbelievable. I don't know enough about anything to make it seem real. Even the things I do every day, in my stumbling words, seem preposterous.

At least that's my excuse not to write. This time.

Sometimes I'm too busy, but I can't always sustain that one. Other times, I'm writing and then all of a sudden I find myself playing minesweeper or solitaire. It just happens. Then there'll be days when I know that I know nothing and I decide that research is the answer. Of course, research is actually the question -- the answer never seems to come.

I shall step away from the keyboard now and ponder my unwritten novel.

Tomorrow I won't procrastinate. I promise.