Ask and you shall receive...more help.
That's right. In my last post, I talked about how hard it was for me to write in the summer. That hasn't changed. But hey, a girl can hope. Beg. Pray. Cry. To no avail.
I didn't have work this week (thanks to my really awesome day job, where we were given a holiday shut down--YASS!), so of course, I committed the time off to writing. There's been a decent amount of progress but not the I'm-kicking-mad-ass (what? you've never said that?) amount that I had prayed for. I realized that it was my own desperation that was hurting me.
I took stock of what I was doing in each aspect of my writing process and realized one key point: I had stopped listening to what my muse wanted to do. And instead, I was sort of bullying her...
I was rushing her...it...me.
So for anyone looking to find ways to coerce--I mean--encourage your muse to get sh*t done, hopefully one of these (or all) might inspire you.
1. Create a Story Board
I'm sure I've talked about this before, but I was probably laughing it off as some interesting idea that you should do if you had the time. Well, considering the lack of writing I had been doing...I apparently, had the time. So I created one using a large cork board, post cards, push-pins, and photos. (Picture to come)
I personally don't like to outline stories to the point where I know every minute twist and sub-plot. What I do know is the main plot, the main characters, and over-arching goal (you know...the basics). When you're a writer with a lot of time, this is a very fun process. But...when you're split in three, four, five different directions because life is life...this is more time-consuming and can prove to be a lot more work. Especially if you have a complex Sci-fi/Fantasy world where there are rules to abide by, coupled with a deadline.
Know as much of your story as possible before writing. OR Take hard stock between beginning, middle, and end so you're certain of where you're heading and like/approve the course. The story board does this. It forced me to see where I had gaps between scenes, or lacking in scenes altogether.
2. Your Distinct Creative Process
I read a tip from one of those Writer Digest Magazines, which said that a writer needed to learn to write in any situation: loud, quiet, spacious, closet-like, open, closed, tired, alert and awake, what have you. The goal was to train your muse to write anywhere and at anytime. Writing is all about showing up. It's a job. And like any job you have to show up, sit down, and get to work. It's linear and logical. But creative endeavors are far from linear let alone predictable.
In my mind, I wasn't training my muse well because my life was filled with too many surprises. It wasn't until this break where I conceded that it was more than that. My muse simply worked best when I wasn't writing on a computer. I was my most productive when I was writing in a notebook.
Seems like more work right? I thought so too. But there was no denying the fact that I was clearly writing more in my notebook, than when I tried to write on my computer. I think it's because there are no distractions. I'm completely absorbed in the scene and writing it all down as it unfolds. So that's my current process. Until my muse gets sick of it, or I injure my wrist from all the furious scribbling.
Listen and do what works best for you, not how you think it should be for the sake of efficiency, or logic for that matter.
3. Simple Goals
I won't spend too much time on this one, but one thing that's helped me is to go to bed with the goal of knowing what I want to write the next day. What are the aspects of the next (or current) scene? Who's in it? What are the stakes? I imagine as much of it as I can and then go to bed with it replaying in my mind.
Make yourself accountable. I saw advertisements for Camp NaNoWriMo the day before it started (which was yesterday). I knew it was a sign. I hope to get a minimum of 50K words written in 31 days via my accountability to the virtual summer camp. Sounds simple right? :)
With that, good luck my fellow creatives. And thanks for reading!
P.s. I'm going camping this weekend. Woohoo! Not the virtual kind, the real kind...well sort of...it's more like glamping because there are showers, and a house. Don't judge me! I hate bugs and dirt. >_<