Thursday, December 29, 2005

"Heavenly Peace"

Time spent today: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Today, I wrote, which was quite exciting and made me feel like I had accomplished something besides laundry and dishes.

What I've learned over the past three of four semesters is that I'm not one to jot down ideas, whether it be for fiction or school essays. I'm more of a muller, which is probably a good and bad thing. Bad because I know that there are ideas I've had in the past that I allow to float around in my brain but then I forget about them, and they die. Not so good. But it's also a good thing because when I finally DO sit down to write something, it's 50% complete. No seriously, it is. And the more I think about it, I've always been this way. I think this is why I have such a difficult time doing edits and revisions, especially with any creative writing, because I edit in my head as I go along, and to me, once it's on paper, it's set in stone.

Three previous semesters of creative writing have almost (ALMOST!) cured me of that notion though. They haven't cured me of the 'not writing ideas down' thing. And part of me thinks I should take that seriously too; all of my creative writing instructors have said that they carry around a notebook all the time and write ideas down for stories, and they suggest the same things for students as well. Well, that smacks too much of journaling for me, which I hate. (Blogging is different though, heh heh heh. I look forward to journaling this way, especially if a few people leave me feedback {insert not so subtle hint here})

Anyway, here's the point: I wrote today. It's a story called "Heavenly Peace" that's been stewing in my brain since last week. I knocked out ten pages this morning, and it's probably about half way finished. I mentioned part of my submission goals for the AST yesterday (I might talk about that in another post in more detail, but not tonight), but part of my writing goal is to write three new stories of 5000 words or less. Honestly, that's not much, and I'm about halfway there, which is pretty exciting for me. I think I've learned that I tend to write new things in spurts - write for a while, let it sit, write more, let it sit, and so on and so forth. It's not a bad way to write, unless one has a strict deadline, which I do. By starting early, I'm making sure that this project gets finished. Not only is that exciting, it's also motivating, and I want to do more. In fact, I got all my time in today that I really needed to, and I'm disappointed that I didn't do more. If you're having a hard time understanding why this is, think of something you really enjoy doing, and how it feels when you get on a roll. It's almost like you could do it forever, and it's disappointing when you have to stop doing that because of real life.

The hardest part, for me anyway, about all this stewing and crock-pot writing mentality is actually starting the story, even if I know EXACTLY what the first line is going to be. I've known for a week what the first line of "Heavenly Peace" was, and it took me all this time to actually write it. The first page of any piece is the most difficult for me - once I reach that one page mark, I'm fine, but before that I really have to watch out for distractions. This morning, the distraction was thirty-two inches of one year old who didn't care I was writing, he wanted his cereal. Everyone has a favorite distraction - at least mine is completely adorable.

That's all for tonight. Have a great Friday!

1 comment:

MK said...

Steph, I am a muller, too. I think it all out before I'm near writing, and then as I go I fix sentences as they come out. Then my edits are near zilch. My writing focused classes (not writing classes like yours, but ones in my field with a focus on writing and on getting us to be better writers) have challenged me to try other ways of going about writing. The mulling way is still the more comfortable and reliable for me. I hope to strengthen the other so that some day either way will be a strong method for me.

Please note this method and comment DO NOT apply to my posting and commenting! :)