Wednesday, December 5, 2018

IWSG: Pushing Through: The Purpose of Hard Times and The Power of Harnessing These Experiences!


http://www.alexjcavanaugh.com/p/the-insecure-writers-support-group.htmlIt's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's time to get insecure! Special thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for creating/hosting the Insecure Writer's Support Group, a monthly forum for writers to share insecurities without fear of reprisal.

Full disclosure, the title of this post has nothing to do with solid advice or what do to with it. It's more a personal mantra than anything. Something that, over time, I'm now beginning to understand. I could go on about how last month was something of a cluster, for it started with a cold, continued with a wonky blood pressure issue, and concluded with two weeks of the worst back pain ever. But ... the turkey and rolls turned out great!

A year ago, I would've looked at these circumstances and felt justified in flipping the keyboard and absconding from computers for another hiatus. At the time, it may have been the right thing to do. There is something different about this present. Given these hard times, I still finished what I set out to do from my last post. Those 20K words. Edited and polished. The remaining 20K have yet to be written, but their chapters are formatted and ready with a summary on each. I am left to wonder how I achieved this in the face of falling dominoes.

I don't know the answer. However, it's very possible that so much crap has happened through the years before this that, in this go around, it was easier to push through it. And words have taken a deeper meaning, where my experience has a place in the realities of fictional people. Having been there, they can now climb out, too. The whole "not what you want, but what you need" bit. Batman knows.

What I got most out of this is a promise kept. It feels good. A feeling that's been absent for some time. As Monique would say in one of my favorite films, "I think all you need is a small taste of success, and you will find it suits you." You get bonus points if you know the movie!

So I come to understand that, in the end, this needed to happen for me. No one wants it or will say they want it. I still don't want it, but it's out of my control, and I now have plenty of fuel for the pages.

I end the year with gratitude and wish you all the best this holiday season and into 2019. I am especially grateful the blogosphere is still here and strong. Be safe. Endure. Harness. Push through. Thanks!

Have you ever used hard times as fuel for your writing? What hard time has made you better for it? Did you guess the movie yet?

I'm David, and Snoopy has an affinity for French girls ...

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

IWSG: Creature of Habit: The Difference Between Hitting the Wall or Writing Yourself Into a Corner

http://www.alexjcavanaugh.com/p/the-insecure-writers-support-group.html
It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's time to get insecure! Special thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for creating/hosting the Insecure Writer's Support Group, a monthly forum for writers to share insecurities without fear of reprisal.

If you're reading this, chances are we've survived another Halloween. Not just the new movie, either. Now with candy aside, a new month is here and so is NaNoWriMo. Good luck to everyone participating!

I wish I could say I had a super productive writing month. I caught a real world snag that slowed me down. Not that October was a total bust. I started the first chapter of something new and some editing. All the while I got caught in the tug of war of "should I keep writing or go back and polish what I've done"? Even at the start, I've been an edit as you go writer, so drafting some 20K words without looking back is especially rare for me. I usually draft a couple thousand than go through it a few times. It makes writing first drafts a bit slow but it almost always makes revisions easier. In the end, I'd rather review than write myself into a corner. No one likes being in the corner!

This basically means my intended plan to complete a new zombie draft by the end of the year may bleed into the new year by a month or two, and I would rather do that than push a book with holes and shotty development. Then I got to thinking, if by going with this approach, had I not only written myself into a corner, but hit the wall in the process? There is a difference between the two: writing into a corner is like pushing and pushing until you're stuck, whereas hitting the wall is frustration at the process to the point of hating to write. Even yourself. Lately I've questioned why I'm doing this, or if I'm in the right market. Why mentally strain myself when I could be living?

Every time, I come back to "because it's part of who you are", and by extension, "putting words down contributes to your life's meaning".

Deep stuff. And you know, I can live with that. So when I find myself writing into a corner, I have to step back and regroup. This usually gives me the insight I need to finally push through that wall. So November will be a Revision Month to get myself back on track.

Ever written yourself into a corner? Ever slammed into that wall? How did you back out of the corner? How did you break the wall?

I'm David, and these mountains look better with snow ...