After five months of working on the 2nd draft of my novel, I'm back in writing short stories. Fear not, I will pick the novel back up after a month or two has elapsed.
Last night, I was reminded of how much I love writing by hand. I've written about four pages on a yellow pad, and the words just flowed out as if I broke a spigot inside my brain. It was a meditative writing session, and I couldn't contain myself even as I write this entry. There is a huge difference between writing with ink and writing through a keyboard.
I had thought about buying a typewriter once, but I imagined that would be cumbersome and loud. Plus, I'm too cheap and lazy to maintain it. Instead of fantasizing about the clickity-clack and ding of a typewriter, I opted for pen and paper.
When I was a kid, I wrote everything with pen and paper: my stories, poems and some doodles that went at the back pages of my notebooks in school. Even with a computer at home, I still did my stories with ink until I started writing scripts. Those went on the computer. I remember downloading a program called Dramatica so I can start writing serious.
That's when longhand fell out in vogue for me. As I wrote more, I started to believe that writing by hand would be a waste of time because you have to transcribe what you wrote into a MS Word document. So the cycle continued by typing out words upon words upon words, sometimes feeling drained every session.
Recently, something just snapped in me. I thought about why I wrote, why I wanted to tell stories. This soul-searching led me back to those days in grade school and high school, drawing and writing stuff in the back of my notebook whenever I was bored in class. And so I returned to my creative roots and started writing with pen and paper again.
I had to relearn writing by hand since it looked like chicken scratch. But I'm making progress, and I think I'm getting better at it. Then again, I'm the only one who could decipher it. My 'e's look like 'c's and my 'r's look like 'n's. Still, I can tell them apart.
I wrote the first draft of my novel by hand, and I plan on continuing to do so. Some professional writers do so to this day: Quentin Tarantino, Neil Gaiman, Joe Hill, JK Rowling to name a few. Even though it's a slow process compared to typing it up, it's all about the immersion I experience whenever I put pen to paper.
After nine months, nine months of nothing, I'm back to writing. I feel sick. I've been throwing up a lot. Not vomit, but ideas. Ideas were the siren's call. They were never gone, and they were always there waiting and wailing.
Their songs had cause a headache of guilt. No amount of aspirin can alleviate this pain. Well, there's no pills or salve or potion to cure guilt. I may have to live with this. Hopefully it will go away, like every other headaches.
So I sit here drinking a glass of inspiration and chewing a slice of reality. Will I fall off again? I hope not. This hangover is killing me.
Do you ever get that feeling - around one or two hours before getting off at work - that you need to do something but can't quite grasp what you need to do? You either wait until those final hours come, but it's excruciating since minutes seem like hours. So you try to look for a task, a job, even a little project will do. You look at it, weigh it and ponder if it's worth the next hour or so. Your co-workers look at you and imagine them saying, "jeez, he looks busy... very busy." But in reality, you're not - just weighing and pondering stuff.
So you turn around and look for another thing. But the feeling of idleness and incompetence shoots at your gut. You don't really panic - only sweat a bit. You should be doing something for chris'sake! Those tasks you skipped over at the start of the day begin to haunt you, creeping its critical hands towards you. You jump back, telling yourself, "Oh boy. Did I miss that?"
So you take on that project and work on it. Next thing you know, the clock is edging towards five o'clock - or whatever time you leave from work. As soon as it hits, the job is half done, but there's a bit of accomplishment altogether. You decide tomorrow is a new day, maybe you'll finish it by then...
I just edited my signature with Joseph Campbell's quote on it; "Dream is the personalized myth, myth the depersonalized dream."
After doing so, it made me think if dreams can be a source of inspiration, tapping on the wells of the collective subconscious. I read that H.P. Lovecraft based his "Great Old Ones" from his nightmares. I used to encrypt my dreams through poetry and lyrics. To create a narrative out of the dream is hard since most details are lost after waking - unless it was lucid. But what got my attention was symbolism. What dreams and myths have in common are symbols. Jung had discovered the archetypes which some bore semblance to heroes and heroines. If our dreams contained the DNA of ancient and old myths, unearthing and reconstructing them could produce a new myth, a new story in the voice of this generation. With this, however, I'm not dismissing our innate imagination to chalk up stories. Rather, I'm suggesting that we utilize another resource to aid our craft.
So I'm thinking of a writing exercise for myself and sharing this idea to you, my dear reader. After waking up from a dream, try to remember as much as you can what you had dreamt. As you do, identify three essentials that stood out in the dream. These essentials could either be an object, a person, an event, a location, etc. With those three, write a story - a short story - using those as inspiration.
I hope I dream something tonight and try this exercise out. Sweet dreams WF!
<after reading http://www.writingforums.org/showthread.php?t=34401, I typed this out>
So my head is bubbling and was wondering about the speed in in writing. I read thread that quality trumps quantity, then quantity trupms quality since you'll work on the fisnished slop anyway after the first draft, am i right? As I tip this, I'm looking down on mykeyboard not loing up if i made a typ ofr if i made any gramatical errors and misspellings. Jees. It's kind of fun just doing this. Jusrt upchucking words that comes to mind, not even thinking what comes afgtter and then flowing so fluidly to the next phrase. A litte experiment thi9s is. So bare with me. I don't know what I would like to achieve with thibe just to experience what it feels to type as you think and let the words stream out, consciousness treading to a piece of paper, re./
An imag4e. The blue skies radiated with the sun's fervent rays. A child walks by a tree and looks up to see a green apple, untainted and and untouched. He reaches for it, but well knew that he can't with his height. He barked at the sun, asked it if he can help him. The sun opened its eyes and a big smile resontated fropm it s girth. Two arnms came out from his side and reached over the tree to shake it. Without realizing it , the sun forgot he was made of fire, thus ending the tree a flame. The kidcamereped away. the sun looked in horror and in emabarassment./ He began to cry. His tears jumped out from his eyes and onto the burning fire. The fire was extinguished eventually, the sun looked at the mangl;ed tree and was cmforted that the tree was alright. he shone his brightess rays for the recoviring tree. and it lived for another year.schlep. But may
<A revise will follow >
Separate names with a comma.