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Sunday, October 10, 2010

RowMar: Part 3 - Focus

Welcome! Ladies, gentlemen, dragons, and the occasional yodeling dwarf to Reflections with Mrs. Ring (or "Rowmar" for short) Part Three!

Welcome, a fore mentioned people, to the longest blog streak I've ever had. 6 posts in a day. This is Petrie insanity at its best!

On my Frantic Perfectionist - Editing on the Fly post, my teacher left the following comment:

So who's guiding this horse Don Quixote?

Writers write - everyday. They work it into their schedule and they do it like a job.

Do you ever have trouble focusing?

Reflect on that for me.

And reflect is exactly what I plan on doing.

I've never read The Ingenious Hidalgo Don Quixote of La Mancha so I'm not too keen on that reference. Anyone wanna help me figure that one out? :-)

I'm going to tackle these questions one at a time.

Writer's write everyday

This is something you'll hear from just about every successful writer. If you want to write, the first thing you've got to do is....(hello) write. And not only that, but write frequently. Most even say every day.

And this is great advice.

However I have yet to be able to follow this.

Some aspiring writers would likely feel like a failure if they couldn't follow this most basic piece of advice. But I honestly don't think it's needed to write everyday. At least writing on one project.

I have an issue with writing on the same project for extended periods of time. I think most writers do. Eventually, the mind tires of plunging through the same rabbit holes. And writing takes a lot of mental effort. So I cannot feasibly write a good story and do it everyday. It's just not a possibility yet. I need my stories to sit.

Sure, I can write every day for a week or so. But once I peek 10,000 words....I'm dead. The story needs to sit. It just does.

However, this does not mean I toss out creativity and "writing".

If I'm not writing on my project, I'm writing another project. If I'm not doing that, I'm reading a book, watching a movie, etc. All of which aid in my writing ability. I rewrite movies in my head, analyze plot structures as I read, etc. And I steal ideas :-)

Or I outline my projects in my mind.

And I'm not alone in this. Wayne Thomas Batson has the same problem. And Scott Appleton as well I believe. And look at them, signed with AMG and still going strong :-)

So for me, I can't write everyday. It's hard to work it into my schedule, and it's hard to find the mental keen-ness. Which leads to my next topic....

Do you ever have trouble focusing?

A resounding yes.

To write well, I need to be in this certain mood, with this certain excitement, etc. And if something's missing, I either knock out 200 words and quit or I knock out 1,000 and it's garbage.

However, I fix this pretty quickly by outlining. The better the outline I have, the easier I can focus and connect with the story. Why? Because it's half written already.

So I'm half and half on the focusing....I mean really.....LOOK SOMETHING SHINY.

To the end,


Jake said...

Don Quixote and me are two peas in a pod. ;) LOL. But I love Don Quixote, what little I read of it--just part of a chapter, but twas awesome.

Nathan R. Petrie said...

So then can you explain what she meant? LOL

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with everything you said. (Never read Don; can't help you there!!) I find that chocolate helps me focus, but that might be just me... lol


Mrs. Ring said...

You need to read Don Quixote: the Man of LaMancha.

He goes on a quest too.

Writing daily, no matter what - an outline, a silly little poem, this blog, anything - is good practice for a writer. I figure you'd like the head start and you'd like to out reach your role models.

And very few successful writers actually believe in Muses (being the right mood to write).

So keep writing - a lot and anything!

"Stand tall now and proclaim what you have seen, speak in whispered roars..."