Writing is a journey, not a destination.

Search This Blog

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Hobbyist Writer

I read an article earlier this week about why writers procrastinate. Ralene Burke over at NAF posted about unexpected writer's block. Check out the comments, especially the one about Pixar. I'll give you a minute.

*Sherlock theme song plays*

Back? Good.

My living doesn't depend on my writing. If I don't sell a book, I still eat tonight. I have a day job. The last three years have proven to me I'm not a natural born writer (I took a test about that, too, but I don't care enough to go find it on FB). I think up stories. Sometimes I write them down. Sometimes people publish them. Sometimes other people read them. It's all good.

That article about things coming too easy is spot on. Most of my life has been spent easily doing what I'm good at and avoiding what I'm bad at. Only in the last year have I really begun tackling things that don't come naturally and finding some measure of success. It's an odd feeling. I want to be resentful about the need but I'm rather pleased with the results.

The Pixar strategy is one for people whose lives depend on their work. Pixar must create movies (good ones, hopefully, but high-grossing is acceptable), so Pixar must force ideas when no ideas present themselves.

The elitist in me balks at the thought of writing a story that didn't materialize from thin air fully-formed and insistent to be written, but that's what working writers do, and they do it quite well. I love most Pixar movies. I don't feel like they were rushed or written to formula. That system works, and my elitist snobbery should sit down and shut up. It hasn't produced anything lately.

These last few years have been a lesson in doing what doesn't come naturally. Sometimes I learn I really do hate it, and I'll stop, but that's not nearly as often as I expect. Most of the time, it's just a question of learning the steps and practicing them until mastery is achieved. I can do that.

So on days when writing doesn't come easily, I should push at it. Struggle with it. Try something that might not work and abandon it without guilt or annoyance if I'm wrong. That's what normal people do, and it seems to work.

Happy Tuesday, dear readers. Try something new today, and then try it again, just to be sure.

Monday, February 3, 2014

I've Found Pinterest

You know the Turtle. Always late to the party.

That's deliberate. Let other, more adaptable people work out the bugs. I have almost no patience with tech or my own shortcomings where understanding tech is concerned.

TT: Shall I tell you what I hate the most? "Intuitive" programming. You know what "intuitive" means in this context? It means the programmers think I'm an idiot who doesn't know what I want to do, so they make assumptions on my behalf. Let me tell you something, Users. I know exactly what I want to do when it comes to writing, so keep your stupid "intuitive" opinions to yourself. When it comes to the Turtle, you're wrong more than you're right. And stop using pictures to express editing concepts. I write English, not pictures. Use your words.

Can't remember the exact reason I decided to join all the pinners, even though I only decided on Friday. Something to do with wanting pics to go with the short story I was writing. I thought Pinterest would be simpler than a Google search.

Totally wrong.

Once again, my brain doesn't work like the rest of the world, and the searches I've tried so far get nowhere at the speed of Internet. Not to say I haven't found some fun things, but not many of them are relevant to the project at hand.

Pinterest is window shopping for images. I hate window shopping. Initially, I feared addiction, but that has passed very quickly. I just don't like hopping from random thing to random thing. Hard target searches with measurable results are my bailiwick.

I'll stay on, I suspect. It does fill the five to seven minutes when I'm waiting for something Farmville-related to mature.

Happy Monday, dear readers. Enjoy the coming snow.