Blog, Writing

The Fog of Writing

Day 29

It has been a successful morning writing. I am still in my pajamas, drinking coffee and writing away the morning. As I glance at my phone I am shocked it is almost noon. I don’t know why I am surprised because that’s what writing does for me. It takes me into another realm.

The Fog

coffeeI get lost in my writing. I am fully engaged with my characters. I feel their emotion and their personality is tangible. I find myself becoming one of the key characters often and it is an interesting transition. It’s part me and part someone I’ve never met. It is a fog that hovers over the line between fiction and reality.

The Rabbit Holes

I try to avoid the rabbit holes and the traps of writing stream of consciousness style. I am not a planner. I do not have outlines and index cards and I do not write out character development. My characters are who they are as my mind moulds their personality and their ideals.

I exchanged some comments with a fellow writer this morning and it is so interesting how we each tackle things differently. I will not even consider editing — especially during NaNoWriMo — until the writing is finished. That takes enough out of me. But I do understand when you fall into a rabbit hole, you need an out. And editing may be the only way out.

Outside the Fog

It takes an hour or so for the writing fog to dissipate. I am still in it, though. But I can focus on the hows and whys I started down a particular path. What was I trying to accomplish? How far down a path can I go without losing my reader. I must be careful not to overthink it though. It is a very precarious line to walk.

Trusted Readers

In Stephen King’s book On Writing, he talks about the importance of having a “trusted reader” — someone who will read your work and give you an honest critique. This person cannot be afraid of hurting your feelings and is willing give you honest feedback about what makes sense and what throws the storyline off.

My sister, BJ, was my trusted reader. She knew me and she wrote eloquently herself. She was a call it like I see it kind of person. My sister passed away and I miss her in so many ways much more important than this. But there is a certain vulnerability a writer cannot have with just anyone. It takes a person you trust to expose yourself in such a raw way.

rainyWriting Weather

I am much more successful writing on days like today. It’s overcast and there is a light trickle of rain falling. I find this weather relaxing but it does not entice me outside. Curling up with my laptop on my lap seems the ideal way to spend the day. I wonder if I am the only one that likes certain days better than others when I write.

Now, it’s time for a quick shower and a bite of lunch. Then back to the writing. By that time I hope I have answered the question: “Should she?”

“In many cases when a reader puts a story aside because it ‘got boring,’ the boredom arose because the writer grew enchanted with his powers of description and lost sight of his priority, which is to keep the ball rolling.” 
Stephen King

 

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Blog, Writing

NaNoWriMo

Day 28

Today is November 1st and for many writers this signals the first day in a month-long quest to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. I decided to try again this year and I have spent much of my day today writing.

Life Inside NaNoWriMo

IMG_7535November 1st is the first day of writing for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). I have successfully completed 50,000 words a couple of times, but it was a long time ago. November is a busy enough month with Thanksgiving, fall festivities and the precursor to December holidays. This is what makes the challenge even more meaningful. If you can write 50,000 words in a very busy month, then maybe you CAN write a novel.

But there are always distractions. There are always family commitments, and as has often been the case in my life, family illness or distress. These things have caused me to give up in years past. But this year I feel different, so who knows?

Maybe I will succeed.

I am starting the month feeling under the weather, so that gives me a good excuse to have spent my day writing. But, hopefully I will start to feel better and that excuse will disappear.

This morning I saw my good friend and mentor lost her dog this morning. She had been working so hard to keep her precious dog healthy and thriving over the last week and I know this was a devastating blow. I have lost several pets that meant the world to me and I know how she must be feeling. My thoughts have drifted to her many times today. It is hard knowing how horribly sad she must be.

Blogging and Writing

IMG_7536I do not want my blogging to suffer, so I am planning out a schedule for when I will write so there are enough hours in the day to do the things I need to do — one of which is staying with this blog.

After I wrote this morning, I took a break and walked down to the mailbox. We live on a pretty steep hill, so the walk back can be challenging. I snapped a few pictures along the way. The fallen leaves are dry now and give off a very distinct crunch under your feet.

Fall and Nano

Fall and NaNoWriMo go hand-in-hand. As the summer starts to die out and fall takes over, it feels like I should be curled up somewhere writing. Coffee or hot cocoa in hand, I love taking this journey. The characters I create become my constant companions and I get lost in their lives.

I will be here faithfully fulfilling the promise I made to blog every day. You may hear a lot about writing over these next 30 days, but I am still happy to have you along for the ride.

Wish me luck!

“Writing is not just a process of creation. It is also a process of self-discovery” 
Cristina Istrati

 

Blog, Writing

Unexpected Benefits

Day 17

I started this blog 17 days ago. I was not sure what to expect and honestly I was not sure I would be able to follow it through. I wondered what I would write about every day for 365 days.

For years I read that it takes 21 days to form a habit. More recent research indicates that number may be closer to 66 days. So, I am far from this being normal for me, but I will say that with every day that passes, it becomes more natural.

What to Write

The thing I worried most about was what I would write. What I am finding is amazing. Every day I see something or read something or do something that turns into inspiration for a blog post.

Perhaps this is simply electronic journaling to some, but there is something more here. Something a little magical.

Now I worry less about what to write and am much more conscious of how I spend my day, making sure I allocate time to write. As a writer, this is a wonderful thing.

I am sure many of us could be more cognizant of the time and energy we put into non-productive things in our lives.

Unexpected Benefits

typewriter.JPGI find that my days have less and less time for social media interactions. I have certain times of the day that I check up on Facebook or Instagram, but outside of that I have curbed that habit quite a bit. I am finding it is a healthy change for me.

I was not the only person who started this 365 day journey. There is a group of amazing women walking this path together.

I encourage you to check out the links in my sidebar to read what is being shared here. This community of like-minded women has inspired me in so many ways.

When I started blogging regularly, I found I also started reading more. I try to faithfully read what my fellow bloggers are writing. And I also seek out other bloggers who are writing on topics of interest to me.

Empathy and Reflection

I have a thing for the written word. When someone pours their heart and soul on the page it is impactful and meaningful to me. Writing triggers something inside me that opens the pathways to memory and feelings so perhaps it is the same for other writers.

sister.JPGThis morning I read a post that gutted me. One of my fellow bloggers wrote about her struggles and it touched me deeply. That is what authentic writing can do — she classified it as ‘raw’ and I must agree. She was so brave and I was honored to witness what she wrote. (Thank you Tanya.)

This entry she wrote not only made me feel great empathy and respect for her, but it also triggered memories of my sister, Rosie. When she was so ill with the cancer that would eventually take her life, we had many heartbreaking conversations about her feelings and her fears. I wrote about one of our conversations back in 2010 that broke my heart. I have never forgotten it. This morning I went back and read it again.

Giving Thanks

To my dear friend Maitri, I am so thankful for your encouragement to join you in this 365 day blog challenge. I was familiar with blogging, but I never anticipated the other channels in my soul that this work would blow wide open.

To the ladies that join me in this journey – thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your words move me and I am forever changed by this experience. Thank you for sharing your simple days and your hardest days. I love being in a circle of women that lift each other up. It is refreshing and enriching in so many ways.

You have added something moving and powerful to my life and I thank you.

“Sometimes that’s all you need my love – another woman’s faith in you.” 
Joy McCullough

Blog, Home, Writing

The Journey Begins

DeadlineToday I start a journey, blogging for 365 days straight. I have been looking forward to this with a bit of excitement and a great deal of trepidation. I retired two and a half years ago and I have experienced small spurts of what my mother called ‘sticktoitiveness’. For the most part, I have enjoyed just falling into each day and letting life happen as it will. Today changes all of that. Today, I have one goal every day – to write this blog.

How This Journey Began

I belong to an online writers group of amazing women from all over the U.S. and Australia. A challenge to blog straight for 365 days straight was issued. The idea of having a goal and a commitment I must meet every day felt like something I wanted to take on.

I have blogged off and on for years, but being dedicated to blogging every day will be new for me. So, wish me luck!

What to Write About???

So what will I write about? I feel like I am starting a journey home. What does that mean, exactly? I mean, I’m already home. I have a house and a family, right? I suppose that is true. I came ‘home’ to the mountains that I love so much when we retired. It isn’t the place I grew up, but everything around me feels like home. It’s the place of my ancestors. It’s where the story of me began.

So Then What am I Journeying Toward?

I can best express it by saying I am journeying toward the ultimate feeling of being complete – of searching no more – of being home in every aspect of my life. Home is more than people and a house. Home is the essence of who we are. It’s our history, our experiences and our future. It is what makes us feel complete. It is belonging – and just maybe –  we are luckiest if we never quite get there. 

And so it begins. If you would like to join along, just click the link in the sidebar. I welcome the company.

cropped-img_30015.jpg“If the path be beautiful, let us not ask where it leads.” 
Anatole France