One of my writing groups decided that with the viral outbreak it would be a great idea to meet in a conference call setting. I agreed as lately, I've felt the need to attend critique groups at any and all cost. See, the more I drag myself into these groups, the more writing I get done. While they can be tedious for me due to the sheer number of poets and lack of fiction writers that attend, at least they keep me writing.
Today it was a lot harder to see that silver lining in them. I rolled away from my desk thinking, wth?!?
Why the mind-numbing trouble? Well, today drove home a really fine point for me that a lot of us writers tend to forget. Critique groups can often be very subjective, and the advice you get there is just that, advice. You may or may not be the smartest person in your group or room, but so is everyone else there. The advice given is NOT, and this is something we all need to continually remind ourselves, the golden rule or necessarily right for the piece.
If you're curious what the fuss is about, I've thrown up the piece in question in the forum fantasy section that I've linked. https://www.writingforums.org/threads/trolld-476-words-flash-fantasy-fiction.165220/
So yeah, remember folks. Ultimately you're the writer, and it's your work. If multiple people think something is confusing, sure it's worth a different approach and look, but keep in mind... you can't hold everyone's hand and some people will never get what you write especially if it's not in their normal genre.
I find more and more that I have a problem focusing my attention. I think it has to do with habits. I feel like if I could establish a habit with regard to my writing, and just tasks in general... I might be more productive.
Over the years this had proven difficult for me outside of my work environments. I also know that as a creature of habit, when I go outside of my routine it completely derails my whole day. Realizing this amuses me greatly. In the past, my work environment wasn't always conducive to routine, and more often than not things went sideways. But it amuses me because I thought those days of chaos were when I shined brightest.
Even more amusing, and most importantly, I decided when I sat down today that I would write this as a way to focus myself and force myself back into a writing frame of mind. I've been struggling with getting any writing done yet again. I desperately need to break that cycle as I have projects that need to be completed.
More important than that need is the realization that I NEED to be writing. I'm not content or even pleasant when I'm not writing. I'm short-tempered and I dislike the person I am when I don't have a creative outlet for all the miscellaneous crap that I deal with on the day-to-day.
I wish I could say that my lack of focus was not limited to writing or creative pursuits. That would make me feel better about it, but that's not the case for me.
So, how do I break the trend and push through this problem? As I sit here writing in the library across the street from my office, I have my headphones in, and I've been listening to the same song (on repeat) while I type. Sometimes this is enough. Sometimes just surrounding myself in a busy environment and forcing myself to put the headphones in and focus works wonders.
I'm not a writer who thrives by writing at home and never have been. Why I keep forcing myself to try to be is ridiculous and I need to just go with what does the trick. And now I think I'm finally ready to tackle my short story.
I wrote this as a focus exercise and thought the peek into my head and troubles might help someone else. Happy writing! -Corbyn
January brings with it a rush of promises made to ourselves and on behalf of those in our lives. For many of us, this is the year we're going to 'get our selves together", make that difficult change to live healthier, or do that thing we've been putting off.
For me, the start of 2020 has been a time of deep reflection and introspection. Y'all, I'm not gonna front. 2019 didn't just kick my ass. It beat me like a red-headed stepchild that got caught with her hand in a cookie jar.
I've talked in previous blog posts about growing up without support in creative endeavors and what it's like trying to build your tool kit and your confidence. 2019 did a bang-up job stripping me of what confidence in my writing I had, and much much worse.
I can remember being about eight and watching my mom type away a business letter on this electric typewriter she had. This would have been in 1989 when home computers and pcs weren't a common thing to see in most southern homes. That typewriter was like this cool toy I never got to play with. I remember thinking then, how awesome would it be to write things people wanted, felt they needed to read?
Fast forward a few years, and my grandmother won a pc through a work program, it was deliciously horrible in the graphics department, and I loved endlessly monkeying with the thing for school projects. One of my favorite excuses was the need to do homework on it. My grandmother always obliged me, and one of the first short stories I ever wrote was on that antique.
In June of 2019, I rushed back to Texas after receiving word from my mom that my grandmother was admitted to ICU. It had been a year since I was back in the state, and then only for a few days. I made it and got to spend a few hours with her before turning in for the night. She had a good day while I was there. The next wasn't. I'll never forget the look on her face as she grabbed me, and begged me to call the rest of the family back and to let her go.
I said goodbye to a lot of things in June, and the rest of the year felt like trying to come up and back from that. I've realized how far off course I've let myself get. There is a huge difference in working and productively working to make sure you're still striving for your goals. In 2019 I smashed every work goal I set for myself. I did not do so well with regard to my writing.
So my goals for 2020 are not for a New Year, new me. I want to live healthier sure, but my goals are going to be geared toward finishing my projects, releasing content, and building my tool kit and confidence back up.
I wish everyone a Happy, healthy, and productive year. Do something kind for someone today, and I'll see you all soon.
I haven't been good to my readers here. In fact, I've been neglectfully remise, and for that, I'm truly sorry. But I did not forget about you all. I've been cultivating my voice, building my toolbox, and working. Tirelessly working to bring better, more informative, and hopefully even more useful information to this blog.
To that end, I have a small announcement.
To anyone in the state of Michigan, specifically the Waterford area. This Saturday, May 18th from 2 to 4 pm several writer's groups in the area will be opening up the floor for ALL writers. These groups have banded together with the local Waterford Library to put on an Open mic event @ the library. Anyone who writes is welcome to attend and may read. Signup will be available before the event.
Also, work obligations have pushed me further out of my comfortable little bubble. (I even had to host a booth at a local event... I talked to.... people!) Because of this, once a week I'll be doing a Facebook live feed on my page. These will be geared toward some of the things I've touched on here, and all the fun stuff I've been learning while away. Mostly it's just to get experience knowing that I'll be required to post videos related to the laser therapy service I've been running at work for the last six months.
This forum is a great resource for support and is always here for all of us when we need it. I hope to continue that tradition and post more regularly with recaps from the discussions I've mentioned above here as things progress.
As always... happy writing.
I've been quietly stalking the forum as of late, I say quietly because for a while I feel like I'd lost my voice. Or maybe more accurately, I felt I had nothing new to add, nothing to say, no profound experiences that I thought might aid others in their writing journeys. For a while, I even wondered if I really was still on my own.
But, like most things here I am. Moreover, I'll be attempting Nanowrimo again this year. If your new to this blog, forum, or even the term Nanowrimo, it stands for National Novel Writing Month. Yes, a full month of literary abandon in which fellow insane novelists attempt to write 50,000 words in thirty days. It's manageable, but the feat isn't for the faint of heart and may leave your friends and loved ones wondering even further about you.
Which brings me to the meat of this post. I wanted to reach out and see how many of you plotted and planned, or are pantsing your way through Nano this year. I also wanted to wave a bit, and spread some accountability cheer.
If you are participating and would like a dash of said cheer feel free to leave a message below and I'll add you on the Nano site.
Best Wishes in your Nano endeavors, and to everyone NOT participating, I hope the coming Holiday finds you happily stuffed.
Separate names with a comma.