Sunday, January 3, 2010

Blogging in the New Year!

Okay, I have been thinking about the subject of New Years resolutions since writing my last post. I have been feeling unmotivated the past few days and have spent all day in my head searching for the reason and trying to figure out how to get motivated. I hope taking on a fiction project for the new year will give me some of the motivation I am seeking.

The reading I have been doing lately is also in hopes of lighting a fire under my ass in the fiction department. I have been reading the type of fiction I want to start writing in hopes of it rubbing off on me in some way. I also have not turned to my usual sources of writing motivation, so maybe that is effecting me also.

I usually turn to one of two books when I need to start writing; The Writing Life by: Anne Lamott and also A Moveable Feast by: Hemingway. I think now though I may have added the third book to this list of sacred text; The Triumph of the Thriller by: Patrick Anderson.

We will see how well it works in about a week. I have found that while I am actually doing the writing I can not read too much fiction or it influences the work I am doing. So I think I am going to finish reading the Silva novel while I outline the novel. I may continue reading because I am working in a genre I am not familiar with.

My usual writing routine however is to hand write my first draft, then type and then do revisions on a computer. I can not usually write at home, so I usually go out and work. My best writing is done at coffee shops and bars. The office will not work either because there are too many distractions. So I think I will start going to the coffee shop across the street from it to work. I also need some music on my MP3 player so I can tune out everything. be more zen about it all. I have to be careful on my music choice though. I can not work if the music has words, so I am limited to classical, techno, and jazz. So I need to start working on getting some music together for that.

I need to be very simple to get work done. I do not need much, but the things I do need have to be just right; the right kind of pens, a new notebook, the outline index cards, my MP3 player with good music on it, and a book. Anything else I have with me will only distract me.

One of the other distractions I have to avoid when I am writing is also the most difficult for me; the Internet! It is also the reason I can not write fiction on a laptop really. This is why I am trying to get money for a NEO Alphasmart word processor.

Okay I am going to quit ranting about this for now and go start on the outlining for the novel. I promise to keep you, my dear readers, updated on my progress.


Don Lee on January 4, 2010 at 6:15 AM said...

It is a delicate question, getting things just write. I wish I were one of those guys who could just knock it out no matter the surroundings, like Orrie Hitt or Bach, even with kids crawling all over me. I am training myself right now to write straight into the typer so I don't have to rewrite the notebooks, but after working the other way for the past year solid, it's awkward. Less so w/ the right music and with this goofy jingle keyboard that makes my computer sound like my old typewriter (shows my age).

As for reading vs. writing, don't know exactly what to do about it since I'm a book junkie, except try to read as much like what I want to write as possible, and make sure I keep writing.

Good post.

bradleycarroll on January 11, 2010 at 12:34 PM said...

"I have been reading the type of fiction I want to start writing in hopes of it rubbing off on me in some way."

I go this route, there is a lot to be siad for this in terms of education and in terms of having a model. Like you would want a model for a painting in order to get certain things just right.

Plus there's the whole thing of "what goes in, must go out." Like every asshole with a pen and half an imagination thinks s/he can write poetry--but you can usually tell who actually -reads- poetry. Even when their poetry isn't so good, you can still tell a difference in quality as wells as in kind/type.

For me, having models is important for structure. I also pick up tone, rythm, voice pretty well I guess...but structure is important and I don't always feel like I have a good sense of it own my own, except for maybe fairy-tale/folktale structure.

And that whole concentration thing...yeah it is a bitch. It's doable, though. Like Brother P. said, "The secret to life is concentration."

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