"Fess Up Friday: Blurbing

I have never felt so unsettled and unfocused and tried to write fiction! It is like drinking a gallon of coffee, hopping on a stationery bicycle, and trying to pedal and compose. Jee-ayng-llling. Still, I managed to type about 10 minutes worth of something that may purport to be the first chapter. It's something, and the good related news is that I have made even more progress on getting a grip on the personal environs and my work schedule and job. I'm definitely not waiting for life to be perfect to be able to write, but I do need some more calm and centeredness to really produce.

In the meantime, other 'Fessers provide much inspiration and knowlege. (I'm working on a way to set up a better system so we can track each others' progress...just give me a little time...)

This is from Ms. Litlove, who brings the perspective of being an academic writer and a fiction writer:

Fiction is the place where readers explore all kinds of powerful dimensions of experience but they need to be held by the writer while they do so. There are lots of ways to hold the reader – the desire to know what happens next, the sheer beauty of an author’s prose, the clever use of metaphor to talk about difficult things in indirect ways, the promise of meaning and closure. But when it goes wrong, I think, it’s because something has bled out of the author’s mind that is raw in a threatening way, or depressing or a bit desperate. And after all, that’s why creative writing is so damn hard; it requires mastery and discipline way beyond the normal levels.

And the dear Smithereens is making progress! Despite what she calls "cheating." I call it getting on a schedule (and I will cheat by stealing her work habits):

I write mostly on Thursdays and Fridays, when I know I’ll be reporting soon. It feels as if I’m back to that university stage where I gave all my essays at the last possible moment. Oh, I’d thought I’d gotten beyond that stage and matured somehow. Guess not.

I don't know...writing to a deadline is as good as anything else, if it gets you going...

Toujours Jacques has been considering starting a private, writing-dedicated blog:

I’m seriously considering starting another blog, maybe private for now–I’m not sure. I want a space to write daily–mostly about Iris Murdoch, but also about writing itself. I know many of you have a second blog where you focus on your writing or your writing process.

I'll be interested in seeing if that works for you, TJ.

Okay, let's brace up. We have another chance to unfurl some glorious ribbons of mellifluous prosody this week....


'Fessing Up, Part 2

This is an addendum to my pathetic 'Fess Up from last week. Excellent and inspirational advice from mischief mari:

And speaking of house-cleaning: this afternoon I started clearing up some of the clutter in my tiny little corner of our home office. I came across some writing journals that I kept at the suggestion of a producer who snored through a very cruddy draft of my screenplay. One was a personal diary, really, of my thoughts on writing: my fears, my hopes, my frustrations. The other journal was more like a log of ideas - unique ideas or thoughts that I could put into the next draft. While I kept these two journals, I didn’t touch my screenplay. Initially, I felt even more lost because I was in such a hurry to finish my screenplay, make it into a movie and become ridiculously famous for it. But, you see, those thoughts have nothing to do with writing a good story; they’re all about the dreams of making it in Hollywood. The journals, however, saved me. I took time away from my story, confronted my writing anxieties, and found a few really wonderful ideas that I put into the next draft.

Eventually I got back to the screenplay and produced one of my best works ever. I held several readings with some really great actors and took some other steps toward making it into a film. My lawyer got the script to a few production companies including one headed by an A-list actor. Unfortunately, as often happens in the film industry, the project hit some snags that brought the whole production to a halt, and though I’m not sure whether I want to start this particular project up again, the journal exercise was one of the best things I could have possibly done for myself. I hope this suggestion might be helpful to other writers, no matter what form of writing they are pursuing.

I especially liked this, since I've spent a lot of my time the past few weeks cleaning, purging, and decluttering. I know the work will pay off, but it's frustrating to have little actual output (vis a vis writing) to show for it. This post made me feel a whole lot better. Thanks, MM!