Friday, October 27, 2017

Writing Rules

Every day I see posts online expounding on the "rules" of writing. The rules you need to follow if you're going to be a writer, if you want to be a good writer, if you want to publish. Every expert has something slightly different to tell you - some of their rules may cross over between them, but their lists are different. At the base of it, their lists are just what works for them. Their rules are the things that worked for them, the guidelines they used while writing.

But here's the thing...

Each writer is different. Each one of us has our own methods, our own system - to put it simple, we have our own way. What works for one writer won't necessarily work for another. I guess there's something to the saying "You do you."

I think there is one thing that stands for every writer though, one overarching rule for us all:

Write every day. That simple.

Write. Every. Day.

What are some rules you have? Or ones you follow?

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Writing Problems

Writing problems. We all have them – blocks, ideas that just aren’t working, words that won’t come or don’t sound right, lack of time, energy, etc… This gig, by which I mean writing, it isn’t for the faint of heart, or the half-hearted. It’s funny, but more and more lately I’ve wondered that writing is a lot like life. It’s a balancing act of finding time vs. making time. A battle between having the right words and forcing any words out. It’s a struggle between knowing the right thing (or way or road or whatever) and having to guess.

And it is a constant series of wondering if what you’ve done is good enough, if it was done fast enough, long enough, enough, enough, enough

Having 4 kids, one only 4 months old, means it takes either a lot of scheduling to get time where I can simply sit at my computer and write, or it takes sacrificing of sleep. Some times it takes the scheduling of sacrificed sleep to get myself in front of this computer. And alright, full truth, sometimes it’s just a matter of luck too. (Right now, for instance, I’m able to sit at my computer writing this because the baby fell back to sleep after it’s morning feed, the girls are at my parents, and the boy had a couple friends sleep over and they tried to stay up all night and are still in exhausted slumber. See – luck!)

When I do get to the computer I’ve got about a dozen projects on the go between work, my sister’s wedding, and other personal ideas that I’ve been working on. Writing, some times is simply not at the top of the list. And other times I’m just burnt out enough from everything else going on in life, that when writing is at the top I just can’t, or don’t feel like I can.

It’s been that way for me for a while now. That feeling of can’t.

I hate it.

Yet, at the same time, I know that I’m simply not the type of writer that can sit down and force a story. I mean, I could, but I’ve done it before and, well, it was horrible. The writing was horrible. The story that came from it was horrible. I’m talking: even my 13-year old daughter thought it was bad, horrible. Everything was stilted, one-dimensional, tired sounding, and honestly just plain painful to read. So yeah, forcing out a story – not really my thing.

Lately though I’ve been feeling the need to write again. The whispers in the back of my mind while I go about my day. The familiar tones and voices of my characters as they’ve once again began asking me to tell their stories. The sensations are wonderful, my dreams are again colourful and coming to life, and I’m looking forward to some quality time with my keyboard. Or pen and paper. Or my phone’s voice memo app. (Like I said time is a crunch with 4 kids.)

So writing problems… What have yours been lately?