Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Week Four in Review:
Does it matter that we are well into week five already?

I'm done.
Finally finished.
Well, almost.  
I still need to edit. But I will do that another day.
I'm the last one out of the gate for week five.

What I have learned from week four:

"Starting the task is half the battle." 

"Starting the task IS the battle."

I won't divulge how long it took to get started on this week's story.
When I finally willed myself to sit down and do it,
the words just would not come.

I have never been good at writing on demand.
I must have rewritten the first paragraph dozens of times. 
The story was in my head, but where to begin?

Finally, after a forever of trying, I had my beginning.

♦   ♦   ♦

Resist the urge to edit.  

(Am I listening?)

At the beginning of each writing session I always go back and read what I have already written.

Very Bad Idea. 

I spend all my allotted time editing a story still in its infancy and then feel frustrated that I'm not progressing.

"I managed to shut the editor up and give myself permission to be bad.  And I made it; I pushed past the barrier and the words flooded out."

Your words inspired me to do the same.
And it worked, as though the flood gates were open.  
I need to remember this as it is so contrary to what is me.

♦   ♦   ♦

I was intrigued with the words of the 
Some of her words touched my heart and rang true to what I know:

"To me, creativity is the means by which I can share all things that move me in life. As an artist, I am especially affected by what I see. I think in images, dream in images and am deeply moved by what passes before my eyes."

Her words could be my own.  My desire is to paint the picture I see with my words.  I can see the story in my mind. My challenge is to select the right perspective and find the right words to paint the story as beautiful as I see it.

"Sometimes I am delighted and slightly surprised when I complete a really successful painting. It’s like I get totally lost in the process, fully intent and concentrating deeply on my subject, then when I come up for air and step away from the piece, it’s a thrill to see what has come to life!"

No need to say more...  it is a thrill!

"The secret about miniature art is the intense sense of intimacy that is experienced when you hold a piece in your hand. When a piece of art is so small that it can rest in the palm of your hand, you are being gently invited to bring it a little closer to your eyes. You bow your head a bit and bring your hand nearer to your face. This is a very intimate pose. At this moment, you have let the piece of art enter into a vulnerable personal area. You would never hold anything dangerous this close to your face. This is the way you would hold a butterfly or a small kitten; very gently and close."

 I feel much the same about my writing, my words open the door to my personal thoughts allowing others to others to view my world.  This can be "dangerous" to my ego as it is true that the reader may not share my feelings, my passion for the story I tell.  However it can also be fulfilling and gratifying  as the reader responds positively to what I write. It's a chance we take when we share.

In summary, I may be pokey slow, 
but I feel that I am learning from this course.

This week, what's left of it, I'm going to try Merrilee's suggestions for Procrastination.  I would be the last to admit this is my problem, but if I were to be truthful, there is a vein of that within me. Gotta get going.  I'm already starting the race in last place.

Make session goals
When you sit down to write, it helps to make a specific goal for that session, rather than a time or word count goal.  Choose a specific aspect of the scene that you want to progress.  It might be a tricky conversation between the characters that you have been avoiding.  It might be a climactic moment in the storyline, or it might be as simple as getting your characters moving again.

Make changes to your technique
Sometimes just shaking up your routine is enough to work through the procrastination.  Try writing in a different room.  Or get out the pen and paper.  Write in the park.  Start in the middle of the story, instead of the beginning.  Stir yourself up a bit.

Just write
Unfortunately, you still have to make the decision to sit down and write.  All the tools in the world won’t help you if you won’t make that mental step.  However, if you identify why you are procrastinating, you can at least address a concrete issue.  And that is the first step to reducing the amount of time you spend procrastinating.


Unknown said...

Coming last? I don't think so. You and Kerryn are my two analytical students - you mull and dissect and review and learn. It's wonderful to watch, and I'm so pleased to be involved in your journey, even remotely.

Well done for forging on past that initial, painful scene and finding the river of words once more.

Carolyn ♥ said...

Thank you for your kind words Merrilee. As always, you inspire me.