Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Writing differently

You all would remember that I blogged about being stuck in my story last time.  I had a big revelation about that today.  I wish to share with the class.

I was stuck writing for quite a few reasons which I will list like a good scientist (that even rhymes!)
  • I don't have much time for writing.  I often have to work through lunch or I have meetings over lunchtime, etc.  My lunch hour is my primary writing time, by the way.  In the evenings I am home with my husband and since I am relatively newly married, I enjoy spending the evening with him without having to actually do something.  So evenings are usually not a good time for me to write either.
  • I had a blocky thing in my mind with my story.  I don't know if it is psychological or not, but every time any story of mine manages to get underway, I lose interest.  Not in the story as such but more in the way I am writing it.  I get tired of writing in third person or I get bored with the setting of my story.
  • Miscellaneous reasons here.
 Well, to the solving of the problem.  I said right from the beginning that I am writing this story for me, not for anyone else.  So why was I writing by everybody else's rules?  Writing is first a creative exercise and then a scientific one.  Not the other way around.  And I've been approaching all my writing in a scientific way.  I blame my brain.  I always had the formula.  My story will be:
  • Set in X time period.
  • Have X number of characters.
  • Will be written in X voice.
  • Will be narrated by X.
  • And so on and so forth.
In my newest story I decided I want to write in first person because I thought is would be, quote, easier.  I decided to keep to a topic that I am well-informed on.  I decided to keep to a time period that I don't have to research.  You know, keeping things simple for this attempt at a debut.

Once would think that having a well-defined guideline on "how it should be done" would help getting the story written.  Not true.  My most productive writing sessions have been when I throw all the rules out the window and write what I feel like writing.  I mean, I am not writing to please anyone but myself.  Why then should I write in the socially acceptable manner?  Even more important, why should I write parts that I don't feel like writing? 

One day when I decide to attempt publishing (not a major goal for me at this stage), I will get down to writing the book in the acceptable way.  I realise that no publisher will publish the mish-mash I've got going at the moment.  I don't care.  I am not writing to be published.  I am writing for the fun of it.  For me.

I realise this might be a controversial topic (or not, who knows?) but what do you think?  How do you manage wanting to write in different styles at different times?


  1. Hope you get more and more time to write!!

    The easiest way to get over the block, is to make a habit of writing and writing regularly at same time of the day!! so hope you get more time!!!!

    with warm regards
    Another Author

  2. This is a tough one for many writers. I write a lot at my blog (and preach a lot to my students) about creating writing time. Usually this means giving up something else or getting less sleep, but if writing is a priority, you'll find a way to fit it in. One of my favorite authors, John Dufresne, says (to paraphrase) that we all find time to do the things we love and value; writing should be one of those things.

    You'll figure it out, I'm sure! Keep at it and keep experimenting with writing times until you find one that works. =)

    -Miss GOP

  3. AMP, thanks for the advice. It will be pretty hard to follow since I don't have much of a routine.
    Miss GOP, writing is certainly a priority to me, but I am not sure that it is my first priority. Dufresne is right, you will find time to do the things we value, but at some point I had to decide what I value most. And quality time with my husband is it.

    I will find what works for me. Already I am writing on the train. It means that I write on the computer and on paper and it will probably get messed up big time. But for now it works.

  4. That's something that you'll find becomes easier later on. I think you'll recall from my early blog posts that my writing was really disrupted and full of difficult times, but as time went on (and with the advice from my blogging friends) I settled into something I enjoyed.

    As for writing something mashed up, I believe that that is better than nothing at all. At least if you do finish the story and think that it has publishing potential, you'll have SOMETHING to edit. Rather than stopping in the middle of a "perfectly written" book and ending up no closer to ever finishing a story.

    And writing a rough draft for yourself is the best way to find your own style and voice. It's not something you can learn by editing out every single word because it isn't like someone else.


  5. When I started writing it was for the love it. It was a year and a half ago. I wanted to be published but I knew I needed to write the story first. Since then I've writtne 6 novels, only two of which are actually readable. The others are ROUGH. I thought I knew about publishing but I realized it's taking some time to work the mess out.

    I know for sure that I've enjoyed the process. I've met amaznig friends and I've gained goals.

    When I'm not revising I write every day. I only force myself to write 250 words a day because there are day it's SO HARD. I'm a fast writer though. When I get the idea and I'm done outlining I can be done with the novel in less than 2 weeks. My last took two weeks and rounded at 118K.

    Revisions is where I get stuck. Or at least used to. Now that I've come up with a system it's not as hard. It really is the biggest learning experience of your life.

    I know through this whole process I am a chick lit writer. That doesn't mean I won't dabble in different genres as I grow but for the time being that's my niche.

    Great blog. Great subject. Great everything! I look forward to following you! I do hope you'll stop by Unedited (my blog)!

  6. Misha... you know me too well. I like doing things my way. But I am always willing to listen to advice.

    Jen, I will go take a look at your blog :) I'm glad I'm not the only one who writes so messed up.

  7. When I was younger I dreamed of being a published writer. For me it was a goal, a thing on a checklist to be checked off. Well here I am not published.

    But I am still a writer. Because being a writer is as much of who I am as my gender, personality, and religion.

    So will I ever get published? I am trying to - but what it really comes down to is I write because I am a writer.

    Good luck!

  8. Greetings, I came by from Misha's blog. The first rule one must learn to just to write. Don't worry about anything else. It is the process of writing that will give you the realization of what kind of stories you are drawn too. You can have one character or a lot more. You can be a dog or cat or alligator. There are no rules to the beginning process. Once you have a handle, then you should learn the rules. It takes time.

    I currently do a plot post every Monday. You can read the previous post under plot. I will be taking the rest of July off however. In September, I have decided to address the many and varied rules in writing that make us better writers. Maybe you will find that interesting.
    N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium

  9. Hi!!
    My name is May and I'm a Spanish writer.
    I put in my blog the prologue of my third book: Choice.
    You can translate the page to englis in the bottong of traslator. It has English.
    SO I wait yout comment saying me what do you think about mmy blog.
    I know that my english isn't very good^^

  10. Hi Theresa! Nice to meet you. I hopped over from Misha's blog. I think you have to experiment before you find what's comfortable. I started out writing in third person past tense. After a few different stories I naturally shifted to first person present tense. It was completely inforced. I just started writing a new story, and out it came. It feels more comfortable to me than anything else. The same is true with genres, you just have to challenge yourself to new things before you find your trues niche.

    Best of luck with it!! :)

  11. Hi everyone! Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate everyone's comments. It's good to know that I'm on the right track. I'm still very new to all this, so your support really helps!

  12. Theresa, To me that first draft has to be for you. Is there any way around the mish-mash? Not for me. I start with a small idea and grow it. Editing is for others. So, keep doing what you are doing. Good luck with your writing.