I just wrote!
Nothing dramatic- but an idea I’ve had brewing for a few weeks. And for a few weeks, I’ve been thinking about it every day then finding a boatload of excuses not to start writing.
But this morning, as I was about 20 pages deep into the history of a blog that I follow, I realized that I was just killing time instead of working on my own stuff. It’s almost 10 am and the day’s schedule is starting to intrude. Everything indicated I was on track to have yet another day that I’d look back on and think, “Well, I didn’t write today. Maybe tomorrow.”
Hey- exciting development here!
In reviewing my blog stats yesterday, I noticed that a link to one of my posts, OK Dad- Live Your Convictions, was added to a blog that I was not familiar with. Curious, I went to the blog and starting reading some of the posts. I was interested right away- it’s a collection of writers and photographers challenging themselves to make the creative process a daily routine. After some email correspondence with the blog’s creator, Melissa Hassard, I am now a contributor to 20 LINES A DAY – an exercise in discipline!
This is really exciting for me. I’ve had one piece- the above linked “OK Dad…” about my 3 year old son’s predilection for “girl stuff”- that went viral and resulted in the single most read piece I’ve ever written. The vulnerability of writing pieces that are genuine and then sharing them is absolutely something that resonates with me. I’m not one for false modesty- I’m not some stoic author writing in a shack and shunning outside attention (that actually sounds like the Unabomber). I want my stuff to be read. I want to widen my audience. Being able to contribute to another blog helps me continue this process of cultivating my creativity.
So I’m thrilled to start sharing my work with new readers. I’ve still got lots to write about and plenty of work that needs to be done. I have to figure out how to best incorporate this new channel into my routine. I think some, but not all, of the pieces I’ve written will work well there.
So if you’ve been with me so far, please join me with my new friends over at 20 LINES A DAY- and thanks for coming along on the trip!
Quick check in: wrote some more on Story Blue today. It sits at just under 3000 words- which is nothing spectacular but definitely a good start.
It’s going to be a challenging week coming up to stick to my 30 Days of Write challenge- I’ll be out of town for work most of the week. I’m making my list of everything I need to keep writing while traveling. Wish me luck and stay tuned!
So- May has not been a very productive month. I’ve only posted a handful of times- although I am really proud of a couple of them. (Did you read this one? I’m really happy with it.) It has just been a challenging month- mainly due to my day job. Finding the energy to write has been tough and as my relatively few postings show, most of the time I simply blew it off.
But- clearly I’ve tapped into my creative parts in this process and they are not interested in being shut away again for 20 years. I’ve been on edge and unsettled for most of the month. I’d be willing to bet that my wife would have voted me off the island this month if that was possible. The most content I’ve been all month has been when I was actively writing something or just after I’ve posted a new piece. Having started this process of self-transformation, I think that I now need this creative outlet on a regular basis- hence the post’s title.
Hi- still writing here and wanted to check in.
I’ve been trading emails with Matta for the last few days. I’d been sharing my thoughts about my writing and where my head is at. Matta’s been sharing similar glimpses of his comics and potential direction for them. During one of his emails, Matta sent a link to the website Letters of Note and, in particular, a letter from C.S. Lewis on the topic of writing itself. (Take a moment to check it out. Pretty interesting.)
I’ve been a fan of this website for awhile and had coincidentally also read that letter before the email exchange with Matta. It got me thinking about advice I’d read a few years ago from Robert Heinlein, one of my all-time favorite authors. Heinlein also wrote at length about the craft (and business) of writing. He articulated 5 rules for writing that seem pretty clear to me. They are:
1. You must write.
2. You must finish what you write.
3. You must refrain from rewriting, except to editorial order.
4. You must put the work on the market.
5. You must keep the work on the market until it is sold.
(This website credits Heinlein’s 1947 essay “On the Writing of Speculative Fiction.”)
These rules are posted just over the top of my monitor and they truly provide direction for me. Sharing them got me thinking about Story Blue again. I started it in the middle of February and have more than 2400 words of story with another 600 or so words worth of notes for the story. Although a previous post discussed my thoughts on needing to develop the story’s main character more, apparently the story had enough time simmering in my unconscious mind to be ready for some more attention this morning. I woke up early and before 9 AM had added a few hundred more words (and a better visualization in my mind of the protagonist).
So in the spirit of Heinlein’s 4th rule, I posted the opening of Story Blue this morning. (Heinlein says to put the work on the market. I don’t know if I’m at a point to try to sell anything but I think posting on the blog is consistent with his direction.) Currently titled “The Third String”, it’s just a few hundred words but I think representative of the story. Please read, share, and comment. Thanks!