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Inspiration for Writers & Building A Community ©

Stress Obliterates Our Writing Process – Counter It…

June 16, 2014
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articles We all tread this writing journey with a certain amount of trepidation. Even the most successful authors have concerns. Will my novel be good enough? Is the story strong? Will I get good reviews? Have I written my best? Is there another novel inside me?

It is human nature to agonize over these worries but with support from family, friends and a writing group you can lessen them.

how-to-relieve-stress

What makes you most anxious in your writing life?

Unfortunately stress has a detrimental effect on the creative process so we must try to elevate it. There are a few simple methods to help us. Firstly, walk away from the project and find somewhere quiet to take some deep breaths. When our body is stressed it tends to hyper-ventilate with short low breaths. Breath slowly and deeply. If possible take  a day away from the project – obviously this isn’t always possible – but try to take at least an hour. Time away enjoying something else refreshes the brain. If the thought of leaving the project adds to your stress, take notes of how you want to proceed. They will help get you back into the mindset and you have a reference to guide you. Focus on each step instead of overwhelming yourself with the ‘whole’ project. Give yourself a reasonable time frame.  If it helps map out each step from start to finish – you have set goals per day, week or month – but ensure you have factored in extra time for each one. That way if a step takes longer than anticipated you still have a buffer of time to complete it.

Tips for Stress

I found this link which may help – http://www.wikihow.com/Relieve-Stress

 

How do you cope with stress?

What’s Your Writing Habit…

June 23, 2013
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Proclivity – definition: natural or habitual inclination or tendency

Paper- WritingWhat is your natural or habitual tendency when writing?

As I have mentioned before, my tendency in writing is free flow – it is how my creativity manifests itself. Given minutes or hours, I will write. Whether it is a prompt or an idea that gives me that spark,  I give my mind free reign to create it. The normal process for me runs something like this:

The idea comes to mind as I read, hear or see something. Usually it starts with a character of some kind, whether a person, animal or inanimate object with a consciousness (I wrote about a rug fearing the vacuum once – that was fun!) Then a circumstance begins to form and that is when the ‘flow’ begins. The story grows into its own creation in my head and I type – is this like channeling do you think?

Within my writers group, we have planners, free flowers and a wealth of combinations of both processes and more. Some edit as they write, others make separate notes and some write the whole thing before revising. There is no right or wrong way – whatever works for you is the best way.

Has your process changed as your skill increased or do you stick to a formula that works for you?

This link has some great pictures of famous authors notes.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2326630/Notes-diagrams-famous-authors-including-J-K-Rowling-Sylvia-Plath-planned-novels.html

I loved this little note from writing and had to share.

writing habit

Surrender to Your Muse…or Not?

June 11, 2013
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Cede – definition: to give in, yield or formally surrender to another

As writers should we surrender to our muse?

Muse floats

I have found, in my experience, that surrendering to my muse has enabled me to accomplish large quantities of narrative. Whole chapters have formed with details previously unknown to me. In some circles this is known as channeling but more on a spiritual plane. May be my muse has more control over me than I care to admit. Although, saying that, once a story starts to flow, I yield to the process completely. I enjoy the journey as much as my characters. I am immersed in their lives, wondering which paths we will tread. Writing uninterrupted  by aspects of editing is a freeing experience.

Have you surrendered to find unexpected plot lines or do you need to control every aspect?

170px-Muse_reading_Louvre_CA2220

Some famous authors and their perceived muses’:

F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda

Charles Dodgson (Lewis Caroll)—Alice Liddell

Shakespeare-The Dark Lady/The handsome youth/Henry Wriothesley

J.D. Salinger/Joyce Maynard

A couple of links concerning the muse:

http://www.juliamccutchen.com/blog/?p=837

http://chloegetsaclue.com/writing-tip-the-care-and-feeding-of-your-muse/

Too Much Ruminating…

June 2, 2013
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Ruminate – definition: 1) to chew the cud, as a cow does 2) to think over and over again : ponder

editor

Is it counter productive to ruminate over a story idea? Are we in danger of over thinking the story, it’s plot and characters? Out lines are one thing but can we lose the essence of the creative process by pre-planning too much detail?

As you all know I write by the seat of my pants and let my muse have free rein. The idea grows naturally with my characters telling me their story. Once the tale is completed then I go back to edit and revise. This way, I feel I have not lost anything and can be pulled along with my protagonist.

We all have a process unique to our creativity. Recently, I attended an interview with Alistair MacLeod, a Canadian author of short stories. His technique of editing line by line would cancel out my creative process immediately but it is the way he has worked for decades. I can’t fathom how he can retain his idea, if each line has to be perfect before he continues.

These comments show different perspectives:

Ann Beattie

Because I don’t work with an outline, writing a story is like crossing a stream, now I’m on this rock, now I’m on this rock, now I’m on this rock.”

Susan Howe

“I often think of the space of a page as a stage, with words, letters, syllable characters moving across.”

Here are some more: http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2012/11/20/daily-routines-writers/

Just had to add: http://azevedosreviews.wordpress.com/2013/05/30/stephen-kings-20-quotes-on-writing/

What is your process like? 

Planning blog posts…

April 30, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Igneous – definition: formed from fire; especially said of rock formed from fiery magma

untitledNow it might seem that this is a tenuous link to Tracey’s post on blog planning but bear with me. Our ideas for stories and blog subjects are igneous. In that, a spark of an idea spurts forth and becomes its own entity, growing in width and breadth. To engage our readers we need to ignite their curiosity and interest in our words.

My current blog mission, utilizing a desk diary word of the day for the duration of 2013, requires a great deal of thinking and commitment. However, having made such a obligation I have found it has certainly caught my imagination and stretched my writing muscles. Not a bad thing for a writer – wouldn’t you say?

Although I try hard to write a couple of posts ahead of time, sometimes the idea does not fire up immediately and then I have to dig deep. Tracey’s post on her planning strategy gave me some ideas even though I do not use Scrivener.

http://traceyambrose.wordpress.com/2013/04/26/blog-planning-with-scrivener/

While I was researching I also found this post, which also aids the process.

http://www.quicksprout.com/2012/10/29/a-simple-plan-for-writing-a-powerful-blog-post-in-less-than-2-hours/

How do you plan your blog posts? Any tips you would care to share?

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