Writing Advice to live by. At least for me.
I have a lot going on writing-wise at all times. What I usually have is good focus as well. But... I don't always have that focus aligned properly. I have [pulls off shoes, counts fingers and toes and...pulls back, how many really in progress] three shorter pieces and the revisions for a novel in progress Revisions were going fine until I hit the bump in the road, more like a body that somebody tossed in my path. I gleefully deleted some words, mashed three chapters in the middle a bit, might just mash em into one and get it all moving, but, revisions are not the issue when I wrote that bit of advice up there. It's the short pieces in progress. They battle me, but why?
Most often it's because I'm thinking too much, plain and simple. I have too many choices for paths when all I really need to do is listen to the characters and transcribe what they are doing. Kind of like reporting from the sidelines. Just listen, watch in my head, let the words flow. But right now, for those three pieces ("Heirloom," soooooo close to finished; "The Second Translation," a truly lethal and lovely piece; and "The Land Lord," which, for the last two, I know where they are going, know what they should be...but that might be the major issue. I know too much, too much is "almost" plotted out...and that--hey, am I still in parenthesis? Well, let me finish this thought and step out of here: knowing too much, thinking too much, derails my better intentions. And the stories.) (There are also a couple of pieces percolating underneath, but I may have thought them out of being written, though with the stepping back, the core idea will probably be saved, but the stories taking shape will be somewhat different than originally conceived, I expect.) (No, this kind of brain overload thinking never really stops.) (And plotting out stories too deeply, that's most often a detirmental path for me to take...and will probably be the subject of another blog.)
Which, of course, in my need to align myself, I did what I NEED to do in situations such as this. Start another story (Another Friggin' Story?!!!) BUT start it in the right mindset. Turn my brain off and GO! So, a wicked piece in progress, NOT overthinking it, but reading some non-fiction that relates, Not dictating anything, no matter my brain skipping to the story and thinking, yeah, do this or that, but some of that will remain as well. The best path will come through. I feel the flow in sweet motion, and love it. NEEDED it, I tell ya. The new piece? Searching for a famous poet, the last sign of him being his empty car being found in Death Valley. What I am finding out about him is wild, but I won't know specs until I lock into that one again and let the words take me to what promises to be a wild, darkdarkdark finale. Or not! Don't overthink it, John Claude!
Don't Think at all. Just Write.
Oh, and another thing, this is one of those clues to myself I am in the groove with writing. I do this [ ] when I cannot think of the appropriate word. And Move On. So the piece may be littered with [ ] throughout it, but that's a GREAT sign as far as I care.
So, again Class, what do you do when you get in a writing slump, or at least stumble a bit? Turn your brain off and write.
Don't Think! Write!
Speaking of brains, here's a wild piece of brain art by Gary Mak. A skull made from brain photos/scans/[ ]? Whatever...works for me.
PS. Just realized this post is my 101 blog. Kismet, eh, what with that title? ;-)