Cherry trees have blossomed.
One thing posting everyday has taught me — I have time to write. Sometimes it feels like I have zero time. My day job has drained me, or I have plans that take me away from my desk all day. Most days, however, I have a few minutes to write.
Went to the doctor this week and she encouraged me to get back into regular exercise. I thought, When is that going to happen? After work, no that is writing time. It’s going to be first thing in the morning for now. Maybe later I’ll change them. I used to be a “write first thing in the morning and workout in the evening” person. We’ll see. I can always change if I think the routine isn’t working.
In the past, people have always said, “When I have time, I’ll write.”
I always respond with, “You’ll never have time to write. You have to make time.”
But you knew that didn’t you (if you are a fellow writer)? Now I’m learning that I have to make time for everything else. Heck, even my grand plan to watch all of the GOT episodes before the season premiere on Sunday went awry. Last Sunday, as I started, I didn’t realize that Killing Eve was having a marathon. So GOT went on the back burner, Sandra Oh needed me now. And that day I still had to fit in a blog post, writing, reading more my friend’s novel, and grocery shopping. And some folks have way, way more responsibilities than me (like kids or aging parents). We do the best we can by making time for the important stuff.
And this month long challenge reminded me that I do consider my writing important. That I can carve out time to write (even a few paragraphs a day) among the craziness of life. This is important to me and I can make time for it. Everyday.
I’ve been thinking a lot about storytelling. I think it is because my novel hit a wall and I realized I have to rethink the story. I haven’t figured it out yet, but I’ve been trying different versions to see what works. So far I haven’t found anything I like.
I have other short stories that I’ve started and not finished. I could work on them too. Like I said before, one of my goals is to write 6 new short stories this year (along with a novel). So far I’ve finished one. We’re into the fourth month of the year, so I need to get going. I don’t want to wake up and it’s November and I haven’t done anything.
Watching TV sometimes help. As some critics have said, we are in a golden age of TV. (Anyone else ready for the final season of Game of Thrones?) There are so many shows on TV and different ways of telling a story. Last night was the season premiere of Killing Eve and I love the storytelling on that show. It unfolds with these unbelievable circumstances, but their actions are completely in tune with each character. I just love it. My guilty pleasure.Also I find more plot driven shows, help me see a beginning, middle and end. Seeing how the writers lead the viewers on an arch is becoming helpful.
I’ve also been rereading myths. Why do some people become heroes and others become villains? What makes them good? Why does the audience care about them?
These are all the questions I’ve been exploring to help me write. My main character in my novel has conflict, but I’m not sure why she is doing what she is doing. I don’t understand her motivation. I guess I don’t know her well enough. You’d think after years, I would know more. Just goes to show that characters are always changing and surprising you.
One thing is for sure. The more I think about this in my writing, the better my writing is going to get. I’m not much of a spontaneous writer. I always leave some room for surprise, but I don’t like to just write and see where it goes. Nope. Not that kind of writer. I like to know my stories well. I’ll memorize the passages and live in the character’s heads for a while. Then I can write the story, their story, the way it should be.
Fall is upon us. The trees are just starting to turn here in the Mid-Atlantic. I’ve never really felt like fall is an ending, just a change. After all, new TV season starts now. (Btw how good is the Good Wife right now? I think it’s the best show on TV. Although Person of Interest is a close second followed by Sleepy Hollow.) In some ways nature is like a circle. It ends and begins and ends again and again. I think I’ll take this month and wrap up any outstanding projects I’m still working on.
As a writer, I’m constantly creating something new. I think up a new story, essay, or blog post. A big problem I have is finishing what I start. Heinlein’s second rule always seems to get me. So as we deepen into fall, I’m going to remember that I must finish what I start. I need to end before I can begin something else. I’m still off from work, so this is a good opportunity to write The End on a few things.
Also, I did say I wanted to finish a longer piece. So far, I’ve just stall out on the story. This is going to require a big push to get it done, but I only have a few more months to go before the end of the year. I can see the goal ahead. I’m heading toward it.
And yes, I stole the title of this post from the Smashing Pumpkins song.