I’ve never felt so at home in life as I do now, surrounded by other authors. It’s a good, comfortable, nurturing feeling to be in the company of others with like goals and souls. I thought that would give me what I need to feel validated, and for the most part it does. But there was something missing.
Something different drives each one of us, of course. Feeling like we’re not alone, or the only ones in a particular struggle, makes things easier to deal with. Being a writer can be a lonely, thankless, and penniless endeavor, as we all know. But we do it because we have to – because that “thing” inside of us gives us no other choice. Continue reading “What Does It Take to Get Writing?”
I’m guessing that most of us are always on the outlook for ways to increase our productivity, to open wider to inspiration, and get/keep the ideas flowing. But writing, like any art, is a process that defies capture, that eludes attempts to analyze, to reduce, to constrain. What works for one person won’t work for the next. All we can do is keep trying new things, or simply keep doing what has worked for us in the past. On a whim, I wrote my latest book in longhand.
Yes, I heard the gasps, the sudden intake of shocked breaths. Longhand?? Like on lined paper? With a pen? Yes, exactly. Continue reading “Handwriting Your Book”
Synchronicity [sing-kruh-nis-i-tee] is a concept developed by psychiatrist Carl Jung, who felt that it was possible for seemingly unrelated events to come together in “meaningful coincidences.” In his book by the same title, he told of a patient who seemed to reach an impasse and was making no further progress in treatment. During a session, she told him she’d had a dream about someone giving her a golden scarab, an expensive piece of jewelry. While she was talking, Jung heard a tapping on his window behind him, opened it and a large green-gold scarab beetle flew in. Jung caught it and handed it to the woman, saying, “Here is your scarab,” and from that point on, she made great progress in her treatment.
The novel I’ve been working on concerns a young woman who inadvertently ends up being the primary caretaker of her elderly aunt who has Alzheimer’s. After the death of the aunt, the woman uncovers family secrets that change her perception of most of what she thought she knew. I’m to the point in the book where I’m about ready to kill off the aunt. No, I won’t murder her; she dies of natural causes, but I was struggling with whether or not the timing was right. I felt like I wanted to provide a bit more substance before the aunt’s death, but I wasn’t sure what that substance would be. My writing stalled. Continue reading “Synchronicity: Finding Meaning in Writing”
Most of us here, I think, have commiserated from time to time about plugging along slowly on a book, getting down a few hundred words a day instead of a few thousand like we’d prefer. We’d like nothing better than to turn that tap on wide open, getting the full-blown flow of words that come so fast we can barely keep up. If only we could control that tap… but how?
I know of no one who possesses that secret. Sure, we’ve heard suggestions: lock yourself in a room, hang a sign on the door, notify family and friends to leave you alone until you surface again, keep noises and distractions to a minimum, employ favorite foods, drinks, music. Which is all fine and may set the scene, but does it actually open up that tap? Not usually. Continue reading “Enticing the Muse: Forcing the Inspiration to Write”