the writing itch

Friday, October 7, 2011

Remember when I proclaimed I was going to try to finish a novel this year?  And then continued to blog about writing?  Well, just in case you were concerned, I'm still working on writing.  I am also being realistic though because it 'tis October and I'm not quite sure my novel will get finished this year...but I'm working on 'er again. Around August, I received a pamphlet in the mail from Pennsylvania Highlands Community College about their fall semester community classes.  (thank you to the previous owner of our home who signed up for the mass mailings!)  There were a bunch of classes that I was interested in ranging from Photography to Japanese at-home cooking, but I also  noticed a creative writing series that I just couldn't pass up.  So, I made arrangements with our parents to alternate Tuesdays to watch Grey and I signed up for the class.  I'm in school again!! yay!

Our instructor, Kristy Baxter, is a local author who writes Young Adult novels and is currently awaiting some submissions (ah, good luck!) She is hysterical and a deep sea of knowledge and experience in writing novels.  I have really enjoyed spending my Tuesday nights in the class surrounded by other people who are also writing; people who are also frustrated and excited about the stories in their head.  Our class is made up of different types of writers; some who went to college for journalism, some who have articles published, some who went to school for Spanish and was a teacher and never had a damn thing published in her life (that's me), and some who  are just trying to finish a story they started years ago for no one else to see but themselves.  It's thrilling to be around like-minded people -seriously, I strongly suggest if you're feeling uninspired and sort of a blah at the moment.  On my way home each Tuesday, my mind is humming with ideas and I can hardly wait to sit down at the computer and get my thoughts down.  It has made a difference in my writing and how often I'm writing...which is quite a feat.  

I have learned a lot in the past few weeks, but the top three biggest "aha!'s" came from:
1. WRITE, WRITE, WRITE.  keep writing until you get to "The End."  it doesn't have to be perfect the first time around; that is what the editing process is for.
This is important to me because I'm a blogger.  And there are no second or third drafts in blogging.  There's this one draft that goes out to all of you to read.  Granted, I do read it over two or three times before I choose to publish it, but I'm not doing any major changing (here's where I'm apologizing for the spelling/grammar errors that you all might want to slap me for).  So when I'm writing my novel, I have this intense feeling of pressure that whatever I'm writing in my story needs to be perfect before I can move on...thus the months-long break I took when I could not get past my main character's work place.  
2. Give yourself permission to suck.  Piggy-backing on important thought #1:  push through the parts that you know are just crappy.  Keep Writing!!  Look at it, resolve that it just sucks/its bad writing/its missing important stuff that you need to research, make a note of it and keep pushing through.
Again, the research on my main character's workplace has been holding me back from writing.  Since I know little about my main character's career field I am hung up on the research part of trying to figure out how much I need to know about it to make sure it doesn't sound unintelligent and fake in the book.  why don't you just change his job then?  asks the crowd...I don't know, I just can't.  In my mind, that's what he does and to force him into another job would feel phony to me.   So now I know its perfectly fine to say, I'll research this later cause I know that right now it stinks...leave a note and keep writing.

catch a theme there, I just need someone to be whispering to me all the time, "keep writing, keep writing, stop overthinking, keep writing, stop criticizing, keep writing..." hahha.  anyone up for the job?

Another thing I learned about was flash fiction writing...which is oddly enchanting to me.  If I start a monthly flash fiction writing group...would any of you join in?  Here are the rules:
1. our flash fiction must be less than 1000 words
2. whatever genre of fiction you like
3. link up on the last friday of the month, aka Flash Fiction Friday
I'm doing it.
you do it too.
let's read and write and be happy together.

1 comment:

  1. soooo awesome, tab! you ARE already a great writer, whether you think so or you feel nervous. i can't wait to hear more about your book, and i'm so proud that you started taking a class that interests you! i love YOU