Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead. -- Gene Fowler

Monday, May 17, 2010

Not Quite Making It

Recently much of my creative energies have been sucked up by a role-playing game I'm playing. My weekly group has begun The Dresden Files RPG and it's a lot of fun. I had planned to sit down this weekend and do some writing based on our adventures thus far, but I didn't quite make it.

I'm doing a lot of not quite making it lately, and I don't like it. I didn't quite make it Friday, when I missed posting an article in here. I had some paperwork to prepare for a meeting, and then I had to go to the meeting, you see, and by the time I got home it was time for lunch.

I do my best writing in the morning, I feel. It's the designated time for it in my schedule. Having a schedule is good. Having so strict a schedule that it doesn't occur to me to write at any other time of the day is less good. I've also fallen out of the habit of writing. Julia Cameron quite correctly points out, in a lecture I listened to, that when creatives are working - writing, painting, acting, whatever - they're in much better moods than when they're not. That day a couple of months ago when one of my characters seized me by my figurative lapels and stuck me in my chair and demanded to be written was wonderful. I felt great the rest of that day. I had written a lot of words and I felt accomplished. And I had a living, breathing character who, while rather bossy, was very real to me, and made the writing easy. Less like I was writing her than she was doing what she does and I just wrote down what I saw. My best writing is like that.

It occurs to me that I wrote that bossy character into a scene during the afternoon. But that morning I had sat down to write fiction on purpose, darn it, and it seemed to have primed the pump, so to speak. After lunch I sat down at the computer and wrote a few thousand words.

It comes back to discipline. If I want to write, I have to sit myself down and write. I'm not the greatest at that. And when the black dog comes around, it's even more difficult. But I pledge to try harder this week. We'll see what develops.

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