A Writer’s Day, October 22, 2016

words-volume-2-a

This is the first installment of a new thing I’m trying out–rambly, chatty reports on my writing life. I’m hoping sharing what I’m doing will get me doing writing things more regularly.

So this is a little bit of two pieces of my writing life. Notebooks and writing practice.

Last year I decorated the cover of the composition book I was doing hand written exercises in, and I liked it so much I decided I need to do that for all of them. I decided to call them “Words”  and number the volumes. It seems appropriate. I just started volume two a couple of weeks ago on my birthday.

I started Volume 2 at a writing group I participate in sporadically, PDX Writers (I started the last one at their Fall retreat last October–it’s becoming a tradition).   I really love PDX Writers. Even if I only get to a Saturday workshop once a month, it’s a real touchstone in my writing life.  It’s a place where I feel welcome, where people remember my name even when I’ve been away for a while. And most importantly it’s a place to share my words and hear everyone else’s words with no judgement, no pressure, nothing but words of encouragement.  It’s fantastic.

The Saturday workshops are drop-ins–relaxed and rich with prompts and great readings. Today’s was extra special, though.  PDX Writers bases their workshops and retreats on the Amherst Writers and Artists method, and today’s workshop was part of a fundraising event called Write Around the World.  Amherst writing groups all around the world used the same prompts to do their writing today so we got to be part of a worldwide event.

One of the best things about going to a Saturday drop-in is that I always come away feeling excited about my writing.  Tonight I’m writing about here to keep the enthusiasm going.  Tomorrow, I am going to work on some NaNoWriMo planning, and that needs plenty of enthusiasm.  And M&Ms. But mostly enthusiasm.

Aha!

Checking in for ROW80 again.  I’ll be doing weekly check-ins on Wednesdays rather than Wednesdays and Sundays.  It gets to be too much for me doing them twice a week.  But I do have things to report since Sunday.

Aha!

I couldn’t seem to get my footing in the new story, so I sat down and wrote about that. And I realized that I don’t have an antagonist!  I have forces of nature that work against my MC, but that’s not the same as having something actively working against her.  I know there are stories where the antagonist is a force of nature, but I never feel really satisfied with those, so I don’t want to write one.

I’m currently doing a lot of discovery writing to learn more about my MC, more about the world I want, and to try to ferret out an antagonist for her.  This is working out a lot better for me.  I was trying to jump into the story without doing any planning, just to see what happens, and I know now that isn’t for me.

I was remembering back in my early writing days that I used to sit down to write with a general idea and a character and just go for pages.  I don’t know if the difference now is that I don’t have the time I used to for just writing randomly or if my brain works differently now.  Maybe it’s because I used to know a lot more about my character before I started writing, and this time I didn’t have more than that she’s a professor who got tangled up in the opening of the veil between here and Faery.  Whatever the reason, I know I need a lot more info before I’m ready for really writing the story.

I’m going to dedicate the first part of this round to writing about my character, writing scenes that come to me, and working on outlining.  I’m hoping I’ll be ready for actual story writing about mid-August.  Meanwhile, I’m sticking with my goal of three writing sessions a week (I did one this week already).

That’s where I am in my writing just now–sending myself back to the beginning to do the work and get unstuck.  Where are you in your writing?

An invitation: 

I started a Facebook group to talk about writing practice (writing for writing’s sake, not always about story) and building our writing lives the way we want them to be.  It’s a place to share resources and struggles and triumphs.  It’s also a place where I’m going to ask for volunteers to test out classes and programs I create for MuseCraft.  If you are interested in exploring your writing life and where writing fits in outside of creating stories (and within it, too), please join us:

Wild Minds Writers