How do you write?

Are you a writer? A Blogger? Do you write stories, or books? Have you been published? Last Saturday as some of you may remember, I went to a book launch.  I loved it. It was like moving to a parallel universe inhabited by people who write. In my everyday life I am known as many things, a mother, a wife, a coach, a friend, perhaps even to some, a pain in the ass, but not a writer. Some people I know read my blog, which I still find mortifying, but most have no idea how many hours of every day I spend writing.photo credit: How to enjoy a successful NaNoWriMo via photopin (license)

When I say writing, I don’t mean actually ‘writing’ as that really doesn’t take up half as much time as it should. What I do mean is that during the day my mind often takes off to the land my stories live in. As I drive along I wonder if my latest character will tell her secret, or if another character will die? I laugh aloud at the crazy situations I imagine the wife, in another one of my stories, keeps getting herself into and I spend a ridiculous amount of imagination on other Monty Python moments for her.

Eventually a time comes in every day when I sit to write and despite all my previous imaginings about my stories, I usually just sit there wondering, where will I start? Facebook calls me, emails call me and somewhere in between I photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/51035597898@N01/2927620645">It's not its</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/">(license)</a>begin. However I cannot just take up where I left off. I have to get back in character again, and that means re reading what I’ve previously written. Sometimes I read and re connect but nine times out of ten I edit. Mistakes jump out at me, screaming to be fixed. That would be okay if it were just spellings or grammar errors, but often it’s something someone said or did and I’m thinking,  ‘there is no way they’d say or do that’ . So I begin to rewrite. ‘It’ll only be a few lines’, I think before I realise I’ve spent ages on my edit and none at all on progressing the story. By the time a cup of tea calls me I’m annoyed that I’ve made such little progress even if I’m happier with the changes I’ve made.

There are times when I wonder will I ever finish the stories I’ve begun? Will I ever believe them to be good enough? Will I be proud of them? Am I just someone who can’t see a story through to the end?

The other night, at the launch of Carmel Harringtons third book, Every time a bell rings, I listened and wondered at the difference between Carmel and I, or anyone who has published a book? Why have I not sat down to seriously write that book I have in my head?

Having thought about it many times I still have no answer.  Sometimes I wonder if I just love to create the story but haven’t the determination to finish? Or is it lack of confidence? Or fear? Laziness?

I’ve no idea. What I do know is that this morning I was determined to take out one of my stories and move it on, maybe even finish it. What did I do?

I wrote this!

photo credit: How to enjoy a successful NaNoWriMo via photopin (license)
photo credit: It’s not its via photopin (license)

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18 thoughts on “How do you write?

    1. Thank you. I am beginning to think I could be but I wonder do others take so long to finish almost everything? I seem to read many posts about how they knuckle down and get on with it.

    1. Blush. Thank you. Sometimes I feel a bit flakey, as if I’m only half committed or at best, easily distracted.
      Your comment is most encouraging and appreciated.

  1. I know getting the time and avoiding distractions can be tough, but I hope you do finish some of those stories to the end eventually. You are a very natural writer, Tric, so I think they’d be a great read. 🙂

  2. People have their own unique timeframe. Maybe the book launch will work in your mind and over time you’ll figure out how to finish stories and work on the publication path, which is another adventure in and of itself. I just got back from my first ever poetry residency/workshop, which I blogged about every day I was there. I had gone hoping that I would be able to develop a chapbook from it, but I realized that I will need to work on a longer collection to include everything that I feel needs to be part of it. I expect that it will be months and months of work to get it ready to send out to prospective publishers. Some people will think I have rocks in my head, given that I only a few journal publications to my credit, but what do I have to lose from trying?

  3. I think something bigger is at play here!

    To write a piece for a blog you write from the heart… It just flows. To write as part of creating characters, a storyline etc for a book, then that requires more discipline.

    There are days when I’m supposed to be doing office work (invoicing, logging expenses etc) and something else always gets in the way of that. Why? Because I’m secretly tired of my present career (even though I’m great at it) and I’m ready for a change. So when paperwork presents itself I end up blogging. Then there’s a mad dash of week-long sleepless nights come tax time to get all the paperwork done. Why? Because it’s a chore I rather not do. At least not anymore.

    Is it possible that blogging has become your new love?

    My earlier form of writing was short stories. But now I have too much going on and the blocks of free time I used to have for creativity are now gobbled up my being a single parent, business owner, and of course, blogger. My ability to concentrate so deeply to see a story to the end is no longer something that pulls me. Instead short pieces are more to my liking and I’m guessing this is the case for you too.

    I could be wrong, but sounds like writing a book, of the sort you described, is no longer the love it used to be. However, if you still feel the burn to write that book, then maybe you just need to go on a writing retreat to see if the love can be rekindled.

    Either way, good luck!

  4. Although only new to this “game”. I see myself in nearly every word. It’s good to see that someone as good as you has the same problems, it gives me hope. 😌✍🏻

  5. You just have to sit down and do it. Write the story. The editing and perfecting will come later. Don’t intimidate yourself. Trust your blog readers. You’ll write a wonderfully entertaining story! Just sit down and do it. Give yourself a “writing my story goal” each day or week. Maybe make yourself spend x number of hours per week on your story, or per day. You set what you can do.

    1. Corina you are spot on. I have to work to some sort of time frame. I’m not exactly sure yet what it is but I think I’ll have to settle myself down and do just that.
      Maybe assign a particular day and a set number of hours and just do it.
      I’ll keep you posted.

  6. As someone who used to write a lot but now mostly writes academic material rather than fiction (ironically as soon as I gave up writing fiction I won a prize for a short story and am in talks with a publisher about a book I wrote but I digress…) I find that you are correct about the knuckle down part where you just write about it but I would add purely from my own experience that I think there is a sub-conscious aspect to it as well where you just have to kick the idea around in your head when you are doing all the mundane everyday stuff and then one day you sit down and expect to stare blankly at the screen and bang it just pours out, its like you were saying that you imagine the Monty Python moments when driving or doing the shopping, I think sub-consciously you are working it all out in your head and sooner or later it is going to end up in your notebook, laptop or whatever. Good luck with it!

    1. Thanks J.D. I’m delighted to hear about your book negotiations, best of luck with it and congrats on winning the short story contest.
      I really hope you are right. I do think I am constantly ‘writing’ just not always on paper and I definitely am developing the characters as time goes by, so fingers crossed I’ll get it moving. I think the best thing is that I have not fallen out of love with my story so I’m taking that as a good sign.
      Thanks again for your encouragement it means a lot.

  7. I can’t tell you how many stories I’ve started and become stuck with. I get bogged down then leave them. It’s only in the last year or so (since tackling my first Nanowrimo) that I’ve really come to realise that writing and editing are two completely different skill sets. And I suck at editing my own stuff. I can happily chop away at my kids’ essays and draw their pieces together for them, but fail miserably doing it with my own.
    After hammering away at last year’s Nano (that helps get the words on the page, regardless of what sense they make,) I came across a few really good editing ideas on the Nano site. The criteria and methods we use when we are attempting to edit can be so disheartening. I felt quite liberated when I realised that there was a different way to tackle the writing/editing process than what I normally do for others’.
    That’s not to say that I’m finding it easy, just easier. I can concentrate on getting the story down knowing that I can revisit using different tools for the edit. That’s the theory!
    One thing’s for sure, Tric, you’re a writer because writers write.

    1. I read your comment this morning and it was like a eureka moment. You are right I don’t have to edit it perfectly, just well. It’s a very freeing thought. Thank you. It’s also very encouraging to know I’m not the only one who is tardy finishing stories. Now deep breath and I must just get on with it.

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