Friday, November 14

Hi-ho, Hi-ho, It's off to WORK we go

Posted by Shelly Holder

Perhaps some long-ago author decided to pull the big one over the rest of society and evented the myth that writers just sit down and splurt out words on the page. No pause, no hestiation, just a mystical sort of connection with some sort of Divine Muse that drives and burns and wastes the body while the soul rejoices in the utter trancendence of the entire creative process.
And here's my response to that: BUUULLLLLLLSHEET!
No joke, writing is an effort, an endeavor, an epic journey that does include a whirlpool, sirens, and an angry witch. Maybe even a couple of Cyclops. It took me a full 4 hours of cleaning just to work up to tackling this blog, and I was totally gonna skip it until I saw the computor was on and the internet connected, sitting, waiting, for me on my bed in the ultimate guilt trip. Unlucky coincidence- I certainly didn't plan it that way.
Of course, my reluctance certainly has something to do with the fact that I left my writing- again- to the last thing I do in a day, also namely being the easiest to ignore and the one most needing a fully-functioning brain. This only highlights the growing relevation I've had over the past few days that planning part of writing can be just as important as writing itself, and constitutes about 60% of the "job" part of writing. It's great to write when you're inspired, or to hole up in the house for a day of isolated literary splendor. But this doesn't get anything finished, and it doesn't get anything written fast.
I wrote a few days ago about wanting a calender to use strictly for writing issues. I've been slowly discovering all the uses of this calender, and believe that it really was one of the smartest ideas I've had about organizing and planning my writing career. There was the story idea form I created, a basic fill-in-the-blank kind that was easy to print, easy to grab, easy to write on, and easy to file away for future reference. There was my purchase of StoryView, an computer software program that centered around outlines, which kinda made the story idea form obsolete. Then came the 8 1/2 x 11 notebooks for character development, the organized notebooks of writer's magazines, and the Moleskine pocket notebooks for stream of consciousness background development. But the calender I think might prove to be the worthiest of them all. First it holds a type of accountability over me, to be able to check off at the end of the day "daily blog"; and encouragement, to see all the previous days that are also checked off. It also instills a sense of professionalism- "I am serious and responsible and doing my best to become a published, well-established writer." But most of all, it proves that the day to day, tedious, laborious, WORK of dragging myself to write a blog, or to write for 15 minutes a day, or to research publications, or to discover new writing contests, is the real backbone - taking a mere writer, who scribbles for the pleasure of himself, to an author, who enriches the world with his mystic connection to some sort of divine Muse.