Saturday, July 23, 2011

Sorry for my absence, I had to wash my hair.

Wow. OK. I haven’t blogged in a while, and that’s nobody’s fault but my own. Recently I was camping and I had the time to do some journaling. What came out of that is a decision to add a bit more ‘structure’ and ‘routine’ in my life, so that I can follow through on some goals that I’ve set for myself. I feel like I’m doing the opposite of what most people do. I feel like when people decide to change things in their life, they try to add more spontaneity. I’ve got enough of that. I tend to put myself last, and other people’s wants and needs come ahead of mine, and if I’ve got enough time, after I’ve done everything for everyone else, I do what I need to do. Sound familiar to anyone?

One of the goals I have for myself is writing. My writing instinct is a weird one. I feel the need to write, but I’ve got no ideas for fiction in my head. I read other people’s work (just finished Daniel Heath Justice’s trilogy “The Way of Thorn & Thunder” Awesome work!!! Review will follow soon) and I’m amazed at the level of imagination these people have, the stories they weave, and how they capture my mind and my heart and my soul. Maybe non-fiction is my path? Except I hate research.

I’ve started stories before, but I get to a certain point, and I can’t figure out how to develop the story, where to go... I’m sure that I’ve got to be patient, and give myself time. I’ve got to let things develop in my head, and let things brew. Trouble is, I get impatient, and frustrated with myself. I’m sure that it doesn’t just happen automatically for other people, that it’s a struggle sometimes (or maybe most of the time). I tend to be self conscious, too, and my need for approval gets in the way of my creativity. I have to stop comparing myself to others. I’ve learned, in some areas of my life, that that is not a healthy thing to do, but in this area, it’s still very much alive. It's not like I haven't gotten positive feedback from esteemed people, for my writing. I won a contest , and had my WIP (work in progress) critiqued by this guy James Kennedy, who is one of the funniest writers I've "known". So, yeah, he gave me good feedback, and complimented my style. Yet that WIP remains on the shelf.

My tendency to compare myself keeps me from exploring what talents I might have for art, as well. My father, Jan Kee (also my nieces, my sisters and brothers are way too talented for me to even consider trying to put a brush to canvas or charcoal to paper. One day I hope to get past that. I don’t know the path that will take me there, tho.

I write, every day, that’s my profession. One of the themes of my musings has been ‘can I call myself a professional writer’. I feel like that’s a cop out, or I’m using semantics for my own self worth. So I don’t. To support that, I realized that a whole lot of what I do isn’t “real” writing, its synthesis of other people’s ideas and opinions into a cohesive format.

So, I thought, OK. What do “real” writers do, then? From what I’ve observed, they put aside a specific time and place to do their craft. My daughter’s been working at Grounded Coffee in Midland. I gotta drive her there anyway, so I decided that this is the perfect place to sit on a Saturday morning and work on my blog. I’ll write one entry a week (or so), with the intent that it will lead to bigger and better things. I figure that will get me into the routine and the practice of my fingers dancing across the keyboard. (OK, right now it doesn’t feel like they’re dancing. It feels like I’m pulling each word, each letter out of this machine with a pair of vise grips.)

Other things in my routine, I haven’t been so successful at just yet. I promised myself that I’d go to they gym after work on Mondays and Thursdays. That, of course, I decided to start on the hottest week of the year. Needless to say, I failed at that (instead of failed, can we say ‘postponed due to weather?) Instead of the gym, I did do a bit of swimming at a friend’s rented cottage, so I suppose that counts for something. I also went to the beach one morning before work, which is an awesome way to start a day. I plan on doing that more often.

P.S. upon review of my archives, I've realized that many of my blog entries have started with "sorry for my absence". Sigh. I've either got to be more consistent, or stop apologizing.

P.P.S upon further review, I realized that I've written this kind of thing before, too. Have i mentioned that follow through is a problem for me?


Ray Veen said...

I'll bet you've got the cleanest dang hair of anybody in your state. Talk about being dedicated to a task.

So I had some ideas I was reading about where you are at with your writing. It sounds like you already know your way around the written word, so that's cool. And the fact that you don't get a lot of ideas isn't a big problem because seriously, if you're writing novels, you only need about one good idea a year. I think what you need is to be more of an outline nerd like me.

A lot of writers turn their noses up at the concept, saying it doesn't leave room for the muse: spontanaiety or whatever. But here's the thing -- plotting usually requires mega creativity. And the flexible nature of it (being able to look at all of the elements of your story before it's written) gives you the opportunity to build in twists and turns and surprises that 'muse' writers just don't have. For them, those types of things have to be done at the end, or along the way, and usually require a lot of scrapping and re-working.

So yeah. Think it over. If you want to know more about my plotting process (which is admittedly over-the-top), shoot me an email or FB message or something.

DAVID HAAS said...

I have a question about your blog. Please email me!

Ray Veen said...

11927In case you ever get un-busy with your hair and all, here's something you can blog about: "The Next Big Thing" blog hop.

Yes, it's a meme, and yes, you're tagged. Details on my blog.