Keith started to think about going for a bike ride. He looked at his beautiful, black, Giant mountain bike parked a few feet behind his large flat screen tv.
Keith decided to make himself go for a bike ride. He now had too many days when he had to ‘push himself’ to do anything. Was he getting old or was it just that he’s out of shape and not eating nutritious meals? Probably Keith’s chronic fatigue was due to a variety of factors.
There was beautiful weather outside and Keith enjoyed his morning bike rides. He more or less rated his physical stamina by his ability to still go for bike rides year after year.
When Keith returned from his ride, he climbed onto his old, broken down orange and yellow couch. Whether it was just psychological or not, Keith found that taking short power naps during the day allowed him to get more accomplished.
It was June 30 today and Keith was officially finished his substitute teaching assignments for the year. He was now officially on summer holidays.
One of Keith’s favorite avocations was writing fiction novels. He had self published three of his original works so far, but none of them had made him any money. Nevertheless, Keith enjoyed the writing process and he found it to be very therapeutic. He found it amazing how the act of writing dredged up memories from the past and old traumas that you thought you had forgotten.
Keith was presently working on a novel that he had temporarily given the title, Chaos. Keith had just started his first rough draft of chapter five after re-reading and self editing chapter four.
Episode Sixteen of Infinite Realities:
“What are your books about?” asked the industrial psychologist.
“Nothing- and everything,” Rick said.
“That doesn’t make sense. What do you mean by nothing and everything?”
“That’s a good question,” Rick began. “I’m not sure that I completely understand the writing process. Especially mine. I guess it could be described as some form of stream of consciousness writing like James Joyce used in The Portrait of a the Artist as a Young Man.
I find it very difficult to envision or to plan out my books before I write them. I suppose I use the fly by the seat of my pants approach. I am definitely not a plotter nor a planner. On most days I have a burning desire to write something. I have a great need to spill out the ideas that are in my head on any given day. I like to get up early in the morning around four or five AM. I have my Frosted Flakes and coffee for breakfast and then I sit down at my word processor and begin to write. I usually find it to be a very enjoyable experience. I find it to be more efficacious for my mental health than talking to my therapist. No offense to my psychiatrist. I believe that she sincerely wants to help me put my fragmented psyche back together and to get me back to work.
In my opinion writing is much like talking to yourself. The writer pulls down to earth some of the fascinating ideas that are buzzing around in the universe and transfers them to paper as best as he can. The hard work comes when you get near the end of the first draft. That’s when I try to find some organic unity in what I have written. I look for a unifying theme and start the painful process of deciding what to keep and what to throw out. Sometimes I have to give up the whole novel if I find that there isn’t anything that I can do to save it.”
“That sounds like hard work,” said Michael who at one time had aspirations of writing his own novel.
The Writing Process (Part Seven)
This weekend I have been receiving a lot of requests to review my peers’ writing on Figment. I’m starting to feel like the go to guy for story and book reviews. Most of the aspiring authors on Figment are young people. I am gratified to know how many youth are getting involved in the art and craft of writing. It is a pleasure to read and review their work and I am learning a great deal in the process.
How To Break Through Writer’s Block (Part One)
Several times over the last few years I have run into a bad case of what is known as writer’s block. For me writer’s block raises its ugly head when I know I should be working at my word processor but I can’t seem to follow through.
I spend a good part of my day on my PC doing other things so physically getting close to my word processor is not a problem. The question is when will I open up Microsoft Word 2013.
Why do I find it so hard to get started with my writing?
1) I am feeling distracted by noise or other people are near my writing space. I need to let them know that I am going to be starting my work in a few minutes and ask them politely to go to another room or to refrain from disturbing me for the next hour. They are only to disturb me if there’s an emergency situation. I have found that the best solution to this problem is to get up early in the morning and work on my writing when other people in the house are sleeping. Also, I find that I do my best writing in the early hours of the morning.
2) I can’t seem to motivate my fingers to tap the keyboard. I tell myself that I will just check my facebook page for a few minutes. Next I start writing short comments on my friends’ pages or briefly update my status. There, now I’ve warmed up on the keyboard.
3) Sometimes I get overwhelmed by negative thoughts. Something in my head will tell me things such as, “What makes you think you’re a good writer?”
“You’re not smart enough to be a successful novelist.”
“It’s too much work being a writer.”
I have found that these negative thoughts have to be countered with a positive statement. For example:
“I know I’m a good writer because I have almost three hundred regular followers on WordPress.com and I get a lot of “likes” on my posts.”
“My IQ is in the bright normal range. This is sufficient intelligence to be a successful author.
“Learning any new trade or profession requires a great deal of work, but all I need to do is a little bit of writing every day.
(to be continued)
The Writing Process (Part Four)
Most if not all people are born with the desire to create. I believe that all young children cannot help but have the desire to create something that began in their imagination. Just watch a child open a box of Lego and you”ll see what I mean.
Creativity is usually thought of as being solely related to the fine arts. When somebody says that someone they know is creative they will talk about their friend’s drawings, paintings, song writing, poetry, plays, novels, videos etc.
The fact is that this is too limited a definition of creativity. A person who knows how to repair household appliances or how to fix cars will always amaze me. We often don’t realize that people working in the trades frequently have to come up with creative solutions to problems related to their work. People who are entrepreneurs are often gifted with creativity in coming up with new and novel business ideas. Although writing is an excellent way to express oneself, we writers are not the only humans living on this earth who are gifted with creativity.
The Writing Process (Part Three)
When I became an aspiring writer I didn’t have much difficulty writing as I already had an idea for a novel. I just sort of put the pedal to the metal and let my own pent up desire to write do its thing. I had just a few ideas on what direction my first novel would take. I planned it out to a small extent but soon found myself writing by the seat of my pants. This approach has worked out very well for some writers, notably, Stephen King. The problem with this technique is that somewhere in your novel you will probably hit a road block where you don’t know where the story is going to go from here.
This situation often causes the dreaded condition known as writer’s block. I have found several books available that focus solely on how to break out of writer’s block. The greatest danger with writer’s block is that it can cause some good aspiring authors to quit writing. In my next article I will tell you a few strategies that I use to break through writer’s block.