Tag Archives: inspiration for writers

Pedal to the metal!

I’m totally stalling like a 57 Chevy. And umm… waiting for a tow from my fellow restless writers.pedal

I start. Then I stop. Then weeks go by and I’m bummed by my lack of progress on my new writing project. What gives? I mean, does anyone really feel quite ready to write?

I seem to be getting bogged down by deciding where to begin. I’ve written a handful of chapters of a memoir, a genre new to me, but they don’t seem to fit together. And hastily, I’m learning there is no one perfect place to start. So instead, I write this blog post in hopes it will propel me forward in delivering pages to my writing group by next weekend. That’s only seven days from now. Ah, crap.

After reading much advice from other writers online about how to break through barriers when beginning new projects, I’m left wondering, will any of that fluff work for me? I already practice much of it now in my writing routine, like setting goals, making a plan, and committing to other humans (i.e., the Restless Writers)—I am the Leckie after all. I do that stuff, and yet, I feel overwhelmed. I doubt myself and I allow life to get in the way of my progress. Excuses, really.

I need to just start, dammit. And to stop overthinking my story and just get to free-writing.

It’s time to put the pedal to the metal and enjoy the ride!

 

“It’s better to write for yourself and have no audience, then write for an audience and have no self”.  

~ Cyril Connolly

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Blogging, Getting published, Group meetings, Inspiration, Life and stuff, Motivation, Trials and Tribulations, Writing ideas

It all starts with a spark

Spark in handWhen it comes to storytelling, I like to think of a quote from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland: ‘”Begin at the beginning,” the King said, very gravely, “and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”’

This approach to storytelling, however, doesn’t describe my writing process.  Most of the time, it’s a little spark of a concept, a bit of dialogue, or an irresistible image that gets my fingers flying over the keyboard.  If I can’t get the image or the idea out of my head, I know there’s more I need to do with it.

Once I have a handle on that tiny scrap of an idea, I can start working with it, tumbling it around in my head or on paper, drawing out the threads of the story. The characters, the setting, the plot—everything emerges from that one bright spot of inspiration.

I suppose my writing has always started with a spark—something that ignites the story and gives it the energy to move forward. Rarely does that spark kick the story off—and it’s hardly ever perfect. Sometimes it doesn’t even make it past the second edit. Its job is to act as the catalyst that gets me moving forward on the story.

American children’s book writer Beverly Cleary said it best: “I don’t necessarily start with the beginning of the book. I just start with the part of the story that’s most vivid in my imagination and work backward and forward from there.”

What about you? Does a spark ignite your writing? Or is your approach more planned and methodical?

Maria

2 Comments

Filed under Inspiration

The things I do when I should be writing

For most of us, making time to write will always be something of a struggle. With family, friends, and financial obligations all vying for our attention, it takes determination to put pen to paper.

This past week, I found myself with the time to write. But I did not write. Instead, I gave myself permission to make time for life. And this is what I did.

Shoveled dirt like a Duchess:

Constructed raised vegetable gardens with my husband:

Planted pine trees and pear trees:

Hung laundry on the clothesline:

Enjoyed fireworks from the front yard:

Watched movies, both equally strange but good:

         

But the best part? I SLEPT IN!

BJas

6 Comments

Filed under Blogging, Inspiration, Life and stuff

Office Space

I’m procrastinating right now. I’m cleaning my office space and looking at pictures of “great places to write.” My intended post for today was about something far more writerly (i.e. six word bios). But instead, I share with you some of the fashionable and quirky snapshots I’m peeking at for inspiration.

According to Stephen King, in his book On Writing, the ideal place to write “has no telephone, certainly no TV or video games for you to fool around with. If there’s a window, draw the curtains or pull down the shades unless it looks out at a blank wall.”

Let’s see which of these fit the bill. One of these workstations is my own, can you guess which one? (it’s not the cushy prison cell, in case you’re wondering).




Virginia Woolf famously insisted that in order to write professionally a woman must have “a room of her own.” I’m fortunate to have such a space. And so, on that note. Back to work I go…

What’s your perfect writing spot? Public library? Café? Hotel room? Front porch? Or perhaps a cork-lined room?

I think the best place to write is probably exactly where you are.

BJ

11 Comments

Filed under Inspiration, Life and stuff

The top 10 reasons writers write

Why do writers write? Why do sculptors chisel stone? Why do fish swim? 

I doubt that if you ask any dedicated writer, they’ll tell you they write “for the money!” Most of us realize that writing will most likely not make us rich (unless of course, your name is J.K. Rowling). But it WILL feed the “fire in the belly”—the passion that drives us. 

In speaking to other writers and eavesdropping on a number of author posts, I’ve compiled a list of the top 10 reasons writers write, check it out:

Why do writers write?

1. To live. Writing is a source of life—a basic need to express oneself. It is what keeps us up at night.

2. To feel connected. To feel grounded. To feel centred.

3. To inform, educate, and give an audience something to enjoy.

4. To understand and be understood. To learn, and to heal—for the pen is mightier than the sword.

5. To rid the brain of “voices” (we writers do have a certain someone whispering in our ears, a muse perhaps).

6. To leave a legacy and make a mark in the world.

7. To be able to tell everyone they’re a writer (because writer’s are cool)

8. To give birth to a cast of characters and travel to far away places.

9. For the fun of it.

10. To live forever. To achieve immortality through the written words left behind… a bit vampish, yes.

According to Doris Lessing, writing is a delicious compulsion–one that perhaps only fellow writers can truly understand. And so, the sun rises. The grass grows. The stars come out at night. Bats fly. And I write. 

Fellow restless writers, why do YOU write?

Beckie

8 Comments

Filed under Inspiration, Life and stuff