I sat down yesterday to write. I had some free moments to myself and I’ve slacked in the area for many months. Yea, yea, everyone is writing a book these days. I’m glad–I think everyone should write. It might turn the world into a calmer, less angst-ridden place.
Writing has been a love of mine since I was a little girl. I can still remember exactly how I felt when I won a writing contest in 1st grade. As I stepped on stage to accept my prestigious awards (a stuffed pumpkin and certificate–it was Halloween), I knew then, “This is my calling.”
I did think that exact thought because I’d seen someone say that on Scooby Doo or some other show and waited WEEKS for the opportunity to use it. As the principal read my story to the filled cafeteria (we were fancy like that–gathering in the cafeteria for such occasions), I turned to see the upper grader who won 2nd place staring at me with his top lip curled. Curllled. Ack.
“This writing business is tough,” I thought. No, that’s not true. I bet I merely wondered how the heck he got his lip to do that.
I’ve always enjoying putting pen to paper and letting the imagination run wild. A little over a year ago I recommitted to writing daily and actually completing a novel–whether I loved the content was of no matter. My goal was simply to write and not stop until I had one complete manuscript.
You fail only if you stop writing. ~Ray Bradbury
I kind of failed. Initially, I was on a roll. Then one day I read my work, decided it was trash, and started over. Bad move. Since then it hasn’t gone well. So…..
I recommitted recently. Again. Notice a pattern? The difference this time is I don’t save writing for only evenings when everyone is fast asleep, as was formerly my custom. I snatch up any free moments throughout the day and scribble things down or type away. I transcribe my scribbles to the computer later, but as long as I’m putting the next sentence down somewhere, that works.
Yesterday I couldn’t focus. My mind kept wandering so I attempted again this morning and my mind did the same irritating thing. Well, I figured I might as well write down what’s on my mind. Has nothing to do with my story, but maybe some gem will emerge from the rotting landfill of thoughts.
Here are a few of the thoughts I wrote down yesterday and this morning.
- That 4-door Porsche intrigues me. No, it appalls me. No, it intrigues and appalls me.
- How many calories does one cake pop have? How many calories do 5 cake pops have? How many did I eat?
- My friend Amy wrote about the Mega Millions Lottery jackpot and what she’d do with her winnings. I like how she’d be a philanthropist. I think I’ll be one, too.
- $540 million. Take home estimate $389,800,000. I better buy some tickets (stopped these genius thoughts to call husband and tell him, “BUY TICKETS!”).
- If I throw this pen hard enough at the ceiling, I wonder if it’ll stick like it did in high school to those odd foamy ceiling tiles.
- Nope, didn’t work. Hey, those pen marks on the ceiling kind of look like a small spider. I wonder how long it’ll take my husband to notice it.
- My pants are tight (stopped momentous writing session to change pants).
- Did I miss the toddler dance class sign-ups deadline? Why can’t they wear full-size tops? I think I’m against those half-tops. Maybe I should refuse to enroll my 3-year old in a dance school that requires sequined (sequins!) half-tops for recitals.
- I wish I could wear a half-top. I won’t wear one, but I wouldn’t mind the option.
- $540 million. I’d like to remain anonymous when I win. Is that allowed? I don’t think so. I better Google it in case I win (stopped to Google: seems your name goes public, but you can choose to opt out of a press conference).
- I slept 10 hours last night. That must mean I a) needed it or b) am very ill or c) am very lazy.
- If I were Amish, I’d not have time for this. I should bake bread. And churn butter. Which reminds me: my DIY 2012 list is neglected. I should go make some cheese.
- My teakettle whistle sounds less like a pleasant “Your tea is ready, dear lady!” and more like Gestapo sirens. I’d like to have a talk with the inventor of my teakettle whistle system.
- $640,000,000!? It’s now $640 million. Take home: $462,000,000. That’s kind of a lot. I feel like I’m going to win. I better shower.
I think you’d agree: not a gem among them. Nothing to enhance a story.
Mr. Bradbury haunted me again.
“Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things.”
Oh! I’m thinking. Stop thinking.
I think the best advice I’ve read from seasoned writers (ie successful writers, ie writers I admire and enjoy reading) is to write, write, write. Love what you’re doing. Write about what you want to write about, not what you think you should write about. And read. Read each day. Consider yourself a writer, own it, say it (I’m a writer), and write. For Pete’s sake, write daily and stop talking about it!
Enough already. Time to get writing. Wish me luck (and I mean luck for the Mega Millions Lottery).