If so, I love to hear about it! 🙂
*Note: Am participating in the #Write28Days (February) hosted by Anita Ojeda. Click here if you would like tp participate.
Scared witless, he slammed the company’s truck to a full stop and watched as the radioactive sludge engulfed the town. Strangely, the first thought to come to mind was- “Dang, I suppose I should have lowered those control rods.”
This post will serve two purposes: Answer the monthly question for IWSG (Insecure Writer’s Support Group), and satisfy today’s word prompt for the #Write28Days Challenge.
Let’s start with today’s word prompt for the daily blogging Challenge.
lumbers like the swan
as this sheet of paper
offers no grace in its blankness
Oh, written words, how I long for your
beauty and fullness
-please whisk me away
to a land most divine and true!
This month’s question: Besides writing, what other creative outlets do you have?
When I’m not writing, I enjoy creating videos of my (as well as other writers mainly poets) written works-mostly poems and microfiction. I got this idea after working with Motionpoems for three seasons (interviewing award-winning poets and filmmakers).
I loved the idea of taking poetry and turning them into films. I got to thinking-why not do the same with mine?
By utilizing Kizoa.com, I’ve created several videos (“films”) of my own. Here’s one, for example, of a one-liner story I wrote:
Since I am a visual person who loves music, I enjoy combining images with music and then watch as my writings come to life!
You know the saying, no one is perfect, right? Yet, so many are trying to be perfect, and failing miserably at it. Including writers.
I don’t think I’ve known very many writers who didn’t give a darn about the quality of their written work. In fact, many of us get so hung up in believing that our writing needs to be perfect before we can send it out into the world. The problem is, this way of thinking is probably the number one reason why nothing gets completed (and in many instances, even started).
Heck, perfectionism is one of the root causes of the so-called “writer’s block.”
What a writer to do?
Here are some reasons why we should accept those flaws as writers.
!. It lowers the stress level. I think Stephen King was on to something when he said:
No matter if you’re an unpublished writer or a prolific, best-selling author, the writing craft is a life-long apprenticeship where there are no masters. Instead of agonizing over your struggles in grasping certain grammatical rules, realize that we all have issues with them. Every. Single. One. Of. Us. You will never get the story “perfectly” written in the first draft. The sooner we accept that, the easier the words will flow.
2. Your flaws are what sets you apart from the others.
Some of the most interesting people in the world have been writers and the first one to come to mind is Ernest Hemingway. Aside from his flamboyant and active lifestyle, he was noted for his writing style. He lived in a time where literary (aka elaborate) writing dominated; but his style ran counter to this. He preferred to write lean descriptions while relying more on dialogue and action to tell the story. Many, at first, viewed this to be a flawed writing style; instead, he gained notoriety and eventually won many awards (including the Nobel). His writing style wasn’t the only reason for his success; it was also the kind of stories, their characters and content, that set him apart from the other writers of the time. Much of this was due to his wartime experiences as well as his battles with mental illness and alcoholism. All of these were responsible for fundamentally shaping his style of writing.
He was an imperfect man who wrote unforgettable stories. So, embrace your flaws and make them your strengths rather than view them as weaknesses. It is our flaws that will set our writing apart from the others, and it is also our flaws which readers can connect and identify with.
3. Your flaws are part of what makes you, well, you!
I love Ann Lamott. She just has a way with words, and putting things into perspective.
Our flaws can make our creative life messy, but they contain some of the juiciest morsels for our stories. And stories are the reflection of who we are as writers. So, stop trying to be perfect and accept your flaws as mere extensions of who you are as a person, and as a writer.
One last quote from Ann Lamott to ponder on:
I once had a friend named Blue who swore there was a beast in the woods. She claimed it was a wolf as big as a house. It had red eyes too. Of course, none of us believed her until one day, she simply vanished. Weeks later, a park ranger stumbled upon a boot, the same kind she usually wore. But that wasn’t all that was found. Apparently, he nearly fell into a large hole . He quickly realized it wasn’t just a hole, but an enormous paw print the size of a small car.
I guess Blue didn’t fib after all.
*Note: This was taken from a prompt suggested on the DIY MFA website. To retrieve a prompt to ignite a story or poem in your mind click here.
Here are what I had to work with:
Character: Night-shift nurse
Situation: Must face his or her worst fear
It was a quiet night as she walked the halls. Most of the patients slept as she carefully checked their monitors and IVs. In one room she paused to study the milky rays as they filtered through the thin curtains covering the wide archaic window. From the 16th floor of the aging building overlooking the city-that-never-sleeps, she could barely hear the sounds of the street life below.
She used to find comfort in these quiet moments but that was before the Suitcase Killer which she barely survived some ten years ago. Her body shuttered as the image of a hand reaching out of the suitcase she’d packed earlier in the day for her red-eye flight home. Other than that, she remembered nothing of the three-day ordeal with the sadistic monster (which her psychologist have labeled “Dissociative Amnesia ” ) but it left her infertile and with a mountain of medical bills.
Over the two-year span, there would be twelve victims before he was caught, tried in court and sentenced to death by lethal injection. The state invited her to witness his demise, but she didn’t attend. She couldn’t bring herself to look at his face again in fear of triggering the traumatic memories. Memories she just as soon forget, forever.
The execution took place two years earlier. With him gone from the earth, she’d thought she’d moved on with her life until she turned to check on the comatose patient.
Setting on top of a chair nearby was a suitcase.
Her breathing hitched and held.
It looked strangely familiar. No, it couldn’t be.
She had it destroyed in an incinerator immediately after she was discharged from the hospital.
Her head began to spin as the darkness encased her.
Breathe. Don’t forget to breathe as she forced the air to move in and out of her burning lungs.
Her eyes fixated at its brown leather body until they zeroed on a flaw. The same flaw her suitcase possessed. A circular shaped white patch on the upper right corner. They said hers was damaged during the manufacturing process, and because of this, she got a steal of a deal on it.
What were the chances of finding another with the same damage?
Next to nothing?
She wanted to tear her eyes from the bag, but couldn’t. Her feet was rooted to the spot. Her skin felt frozen and yet she was sweating under the white uniform.
Pain radiated through her chest as she tried to slow her hysterical panting, but failing miserably.
The deafening roar in her head blurred everything around her until the suitcase was all she saw.
Oh god, oh god.
Horrific images pricked somewhere from the deep recess of her mind as they threatened to explode into her conscious.
The voice sounded so far away at first she’d thought she was imagining it. Then it repeated her name.
Blinking several times to clear the fog that seemed to have enveloped everything, a woman’s form came in view.
“Are you okay?” She was asking, in her hands a tray of carefully measured meds.
Nancy slowly shook her head and returned her attention to the object on the chair, and had to close her eyes for a moment before looking again.
The chair was empty. Void of luggage of any kind.
“Nancy, you’re scaring me,” the younger woman’s voice rose to a higher pitch.
Nancy forced herself to meet the woman’s wide-eyed expression with an unquivering smile, “No worries, Beatrice, he’s not here anymore,” and walked away.
*If you’re interested in joining the DIY MFA Book Club to take part in the weekly writing prompts, click here.
My journey to becoming a writer began when I was about eleven years old. I was a girl, a loner, struggling with being an outsider due to my hearing disability and difficulties with communication (I spoke funny and didn’t always hear what people said even though I wore hearing aids). As a result, I spent a lot of time in imaginary worlds and with my imaginary friends. At times, however, this proved dangerous.
An example: A year or so earlier, I was in my basement where I had set up a line of chairs. I was pretending to be Wonder Woman, and wanted to see how far I could jump (or how many chairs I could clear). My imaginary friends kept edging me on, “More! More! Make it longer!” Of course, I didn’t want to look like a poor sport, I added a kiddie rocking chair at the end, and proceeded to jump.
Well, I didn’t make it. In fact, that rocking chair was my undoing as I landed on top of it, straddling it.
I think you get the idea.
I ended up in the ER that evening, and for the next two or three weeks, using the bathroom and stairs were challenging (not to mention, painful!) at best.
Let’s move forward to when I was about eleven years old. My best friend, Melanie (a feisty red-head who didn’t mind my weird lisp and pronunciations) challenged me and a few other classmates to see who could write the “scariest” story. So, I sat down and wrote about a girl who accepted a dare to enter a haunted house where she’d discovered a decapitated head in the fridge. I no longer remember if that girl managed to get out of the house so I’ll just leave it to my imagination. Anyway, what I can clearly remember was how they all reacted when they read my story. One was totally grossed out by the details, others either squealed or shuttered. I’d loved every reaction.
I then realized that with writing, I could “act” out my imagination without harming myself (or anyone else!). But most of all, after writing that story I felt like I had found something I could be good at. Writing was something I could excel in and not be looked down on as “odd” or as the girl “who spoke funny.”
Writing also gave me that guilty pleasure of making people squirm.
This micro-story was written for this picture prompt (click on the image to read the original post):
She was kept in a cold, dark prison for eons; now the light beckons her to take flight once more, to freedom, to the fiery death of all who stand in her way.