Keeping Momentum

When I sit down to write for the first time in a while, everything is slow. I can’t quite figure out what to write, ideas won’t fit together, and I have a hard time expressing what I want to and finding the right words. Its like trying to get out of an armchair after sitting in an awkward position, and you discover (possibly a moment to late) that your legs have fallen asleep. Its uncomfortable at first, and you feel like you’re walking on pins for a moment, but as soon as the blood flow is normal again everything works perfectly.

And that’s the same way with writing, you have to let your creativity flow and keep your momentum. I don’t think you necessarily have to write a ton everyday to keep your momentum, a few words on a story or some plotting might be enough. But you can’t let the flow stop.

For me, these blogposts might be enough writing for one day. At least my fingers got to write on a keyboard, and my thoughts could flow out in the form of words. This is still utilizing the same muscles that I use when I am writing creatively. It’s about keeping momentum, not about blazing ahead at high speed.

Sharing is Caring

So I like writing, and I’m not that afraid of sharing the things that I write. Not anymore at least. I used to be petrified of showing people what I write, well… other than my mom. These days I’m not that scared of showing people what I write.

I think my experiences in music has helped me a lot there. When I sing, I get immediate feedback from a teacher or conductor. In these cases, the feedback I get (good or bad) is genuine and impersonal. It is all about what I’m doing and how I can get better. The criticism comes from a mindset of growth, after all: there would be no point in telling me what I do wrong if there is nothing to be done about it.

This sort of process means that you have to separate your ego and what you are putting out, wether it’s music or writing. That isn’t an easy task, but I think it is the only way if one is to improve. You can’t take all the criticism you get into your heart and mull it over like some profound flaw. You just have to take it in, use it in your work and send the product right back out into the world.

Yes, I’m far less scared about showing my writing these days. Of course I get nervous and wonder what people will think, but my very being doesn’t depend on the response I get. I also generally share my writing with people I believe will take it seriously and give genuine and constructive feedback. And giving this sort of feedback is honestly a very nice thing to do for somebody.

Cloudy With a Chance of Brainstorm

I haven’t been the best at posting here lately. It’s not that I haven’t been able to creative lately, it’s the opposite. I’ve been exploring story-ideas, plots and characters. Where I live, mushrooms are popping up overnight right now because of the rain, and ideas have been popping into my head.

On one hand I welcome this: I think exploring new ideas and putting characters, settings and plots together is the most fun in the writing process. It’s so free, and there are no established rules yet. I can also just go after whatever I think is the most fun without focusing so much on the “serious” stuff. I just have to put something together that really makes me want to write and find out more.

On the other hand, it can get a little overwhelming and difficult to focus my mind. There is so much going on that I can’t quite focus on one thing. But really, the good outweigh the bad by a mile.

It’s Not Nothing

So what do you do when you’ve been running around for 16 hours straight? Sleep. I really want to sleep. But I also wanted to write something here today. I didn’t know if I would have the time, and I haven’t really. But now, just before I collapse for the evening: I’m writing this.

It isn’t much, but it’s something. Sometimes you don’t have the privilege of choosing not to do something. Obligations and duty calls, and you just have to roll with the punches. That means you actually won’t have time to do all the things you want to get done, and it’s tempting to just leave it at that. But I figured I’d write this post. And it isn’t a bad topic, really: I sat down at the computer and I’m writing something, and that means I’ve written more than I would have otherwise. So even though I couldn’t write what I wanted to write, at the very least: I’ve flexed my fingers.

The Importance of Incentive

It’s difficult to get anything done. Especially if you don’t really have to. I spent so many years thinking of different stories, writing a chapter or perhaps a first act and then putting it down when the going gets tough.

Even now: I planned to work on my second draft this September and October, but this is September 6th, and I haven’t even started. I wrote the first draft during camp nanowrimo this summer, and it was all for that lovely little graph on my page. Each time It’s such a small thing, but it worked, I’m both delighted and ashamed to say. Is that really all that was needed? A visual aid?

I guess the key is that it is external, and it is what it is no matter what. If I have written 1000 words, I have written 1000 words. No more, no less. I think that gives me an anchor to reality. When writing you really have to get into your own head, and it is easy to get lost in there. Ideas that I’d rather write come from nowhere, I spend hours thinking of names for places or characters, and I fuss over details.

But having to keep a move on helps me get out of that rut. I can’t spend two hours on figuring out what this walk-on characters name is, I just have to call him Bob and keep going. But then September comes, and I realize that Bob isn’t a good name for this character. I don’t have much experience with revision, so I don’t really know how to find that carrot or stick to keep me moving.