My Esoteric Writing Process

I read a lot about the writing process in an effort to improve. But ultimately, what works for me, works for me. Most of the tips I hear seem like common sense to me, so I hesitate to share my process. I believe we all need to find our own method, but I was asked to share, so here it goes.

  1. I’ve always been an effective communicator. I don’t think this can be taught, only improved upon. My personality type loves to talk, loves to tell a story. I don’t need a big audience, just one listener will suffice. So it is with writing. I’m telling a story and I try not to overthink it. I seldom think of style. My voice is my voice, so far. Maybe someday I will write a story with the voice of someone completely different than me. I’m afraid I wouldn’t sustain it, so that is a goal. For now, I just tell the story.
  2. I take two steps forward, one step back. Many writers advocate “The Big Dump”, where you go on complete output mode, put everything into the sandbox, then get in and move that sand around afterwards. This doesn’t work for me. I tried it (thanks NaNoWriMo) but it made me anxious. My style is much more like combing long hair. I take long strokes, experience some knots or tangles, which I gently work out, then I go back and make more long strokes. I rarely trim, but if I do take out the scissors if it is completely necessary. I think of editing as using the flat iron, making it pretty. I like long loose cures, so I section it and put a little gel in. I guess each curl is a chapter. I finesse the hair. Wah-la. That’s my style.
  3. If I’m really stuck, I might switch to a new POV. It may not stay that way, but sometimes it does. I stumped my writer’s group recently by introducing a new voice, but I assured them, “She’s just visiting. I need her to tell the story. I’m going to switch it back.”
  4. Did I just mention writers groups? An absolute necessity for me. Actually, it can be counterproductive to be in the wrong group. Finding beta readers that understand my vision and will be honest with me has been the smartest thing I have done.
  5. I read a lot. I don’t know how non-readers want to write. I don’t understand that at all. I was an avid reader for years before I started writing. I read less, but it is still very important. I can’t imagine musicians not listening to other music. Chefs not trying other people’s food. Who the hell writes but doesn’t read? I don’t want to know them. Sorry.
  6. Write through the block. Boy do I have a collection of inspiring memes on this one, but the one I will quote is: “The water won’t flow, unless the faucet is turned on.” Sometimes I write garbage. Blogs. Poems. Lists about writing. Try to get something out everyday.
  7. Get outside, see something new, get inspired. I like to be around people. Even annoying people – sometimes especially annoying people, inspire me.
  8. Be around people. Spend time alone. Not sure if that is my writing style, or my personality, but both are absolute necessities for this ambivert to write. cc766a9de88d6c8b8db10560e3bb9c39

 

 

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Meandering On You

 

I want to crawl up your body

Like a vine

Wrapping around columns of perfect proportion

Attaching to muscular curves

As I slowly make my way up

To nestle in your beard

 

I’d walk around like I own the place

Grabbing fistfuls of hair

Both bristly and soft

As I make my way to your bottom lip

My diving platform

Into the soft bristle-beard-forest

Landing on my back, bouncing, and rolling about

Contently basking in your beard

 

Eventually, I’d crawl into your ear

To deliver an inaudible message

At decibels too low to be heard

But clearly understood

“I am here, everything is okay, you are perfect”

And I’d feel you relax

 

I’d make myself so tiny, that I could crawl into your eye

And sit on the edge of your lower lid

And dangle my legs off the ledge

So I can witness everything that you see

Including the gaze of a beautiful woman

 

She stares at you

and her pupils shoot tangible rods straight into your eyes

I could walk across that bridge

It is stronger than steel

 

It embarrasses me to witness such intimacy

But you are unaware of my existence

When you two connect

No one else exists

Besides,

The woman is me

Monday Musing – Being a Writer

“How long have you been writing?”  or “When did you know you wanted to be a writer?”

I hate those two questions, only because I don’t have a distinct answer.  I’m usually very linear with goals, but writing has been a hobby full of starts and stops.  I took a creative writing class when I was pregnant, but any mother knows your focus changes once a baby arrives.  That was ten years ago, and I gave birth to a very creative little story teller. Maybe he was listening in the womb?

Yesterday I was looking for a drawing I did back in high school, when I came across a bunch of my school papers saved in a box.  “Look,”  I told my son who was sitting on the bed, “a story I wrote when I was your age.”  He asked me to read it to him.

Just like my style today, the amount of autobiography that seeped in is unnerving.  The protagonist is a little witch with 21 siblings. She rides around on a vacuum cleaner because her parents resorted to giving out mops and vacuums after they ran out of brooms.

Felina the witch wants to be an artist, but her family told her she could not become an artist, so she flew away from home, heading North East to Paris and Rome.  While flying over the Atlantic Ocean she started to have very practical worries; What if her family came looking for her?  What if she fell asleep on her vacuum?  What if she had to pee? What if the Parisians did not like her paintings?  One of her worries did surface and she felt the urge to relieve herself, but she realized the vacuum had two settings.  If she switched it to high, she could get there in half the time.

Both the author and the witch are artistic and adventurous.  Both are problem solving worry-warts who love maps.  Both wanted to escape the limiting mindsets of their families.  And both, in fact, did just that.

I’d love to tell you how the story ends, but for some reason my mom only saved three of the four pages and I don’t remember.  I realized I was glad not to have the fourth page. It gives me an opportunity to think about how I want Felina’s life to go.  After all, it is my story to write and I have a blank page in front of me.

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