“I care more about the people in books than the people I see every day.”-Jo Walton, Among Others
This month’s question: Did you ever say “I quit”? If so, what happened to make you come back to writing?
I wrote an essay on this last year, and today I took and created a video from it.
Stephen King in his famous writing book, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, has this to say about his daily word count:
Wow…that’s a lot of writing!
What about you?
For this month’s IWSG Blog Hop, my question is this: As a writer, should I settle with a “niche”?
I discovered writing by “accident” at the age of eleven, and been writing on and off ever since. In 2007, my first (short) story was published. Now that I’m a full-time homemaker, I write almost every day.
Yet, I haven’t decided which form or genre or niche to settle on.
I’ve dabbled in poetry, screenwriting, essays, journaling/memoir, serial fiction, flash and short stories and have written in almost every genre (except for historical fiction).
What’s my problem?
I enjoy writing all of them.
I’ve been told that I should write whatever my heart and soul desire.
So, why am I so conflicted?
Although I have published many forms of writing but they’ve all been “short” (meaning under 10,000 words), I still have hope to publish a novel one day and that’s my dilemma.
If I write and publish a book in a particular genre, does that mean I’m stuck with that genre in the foreseeable future? Or, can I jump around from one genre to another? My main concern is confusing my readers especially if they enjoy reading only that particular genre and not the others.
Or, perhaps I’m making a huge mountain out of a molehill?
A few weeks ago (technically, more than 4 weeks), I put up a Poll to see what kind of characters you preferred to write (female, male, or other). Here are the results:
The down-size of this poll is that it didn’t capture whether the writers were male or female so I can’t make any further correlations. It seems that overwhelmingly we prefer females as our characters.
I wonder– why?
Do you find it easier to write from a female’s point of view? Or, perhaps you feel there need to be more female main characters in books?
Another interesting result I found was how high the stat for “other” was. Again, this poll didn’t capture (or further elaborate) what “other” entails.
Imagination runs rampant.
Today, we’ll continue the “character” series with another poll. This time about Character Archetypes.
A man wanders around the dilapidated building long since abandoned by its dwellers, he wonders–“Is it too late?”
“For a moment…”
“In any given moment…”
“After several minutes passed…”
There are times, certain thoughts pass through my mind about writerly stuff and this morning was no exception. I’ve been writing for this month’s Camp NaNoWriMo, and I love using the above phrases and word selection. However, this morning, I thought–
“What exactly is a moment?”
Is it the same as minute or even second?
Or, is it something deeper?
It’s that time of month again 🙂 The question for April is: what does writer’s block mean for me?
First of all, let’s define this term. Dictionary.com defines writer’s block as “a usually temporary condition in which a writer finds it impossible to proceed with the writing of a novel, play, or other work.”
Writer’s block means different things to writers. Some writers know exactly what’s causing their condition; others have no clue. Either way, it’s a distressing feeling NOT being able to create. In many cases the more frustrated one feels, the worse this condition becomes. And If you have no idea what is causing this creative blockage, it can last for months or even years.
It took me a long while to put names to what cause the writer’s block in me. There are three that come to pester me from time to time:
Well, that’s writer’s block for me in a nutshell.
What about you?
I read an article recently that got me thinking about creativity and its role in mental illness (or vice versa): Creativity and mental illness share genetic markers on Genetic Literacy Project.
“Scientists in Iceland report that genetic factors that raise the risk of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are found more often in people in creative professions.”
Hmm, this statement wasn’t anything I did NOT know; however…
“Kari Stefansson, founder and CEO of deCODE, a genetics company based in Reykjavik, said the findings, described in the journal Nature Neuroscience, point to a common biology for some mental disorders and creativity. ‘To be creative, you have to think differently,’ he told the Guardian. ‘And when we are different, we have a tendency to be labelled strange, crazy and even insane.’”
Wait, there’s more…
“Stefansson believes that scores of genes increase the risk of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. These may alter the ways in which many people think, but in most people do nothing very harmful. But for 1% of the population, genetic factors, life experiences and other influences can culminate in problems, and a diagnosis of mental illness.”
Not only do we, as creatives, think differently I believe we also feel differently. And we just don’t look (or feel) at the surface, we dig deep.
We dare to.
It’s okay if we’re viewed as being different.
We’re used to being alone, standing in a room full of strangers (even family members tend to be viewed as strangers at times).
But do all of these make us mentally ill?
We tend to delve so deeply into our minds that we start to see things (and people) that may or may not be there.
We talk to our characters that no one else can hear.
Our minds…our imagination are our greatest weapons.
And our downfall.
All because “normal” people do not understand us.
But does that make us mentally ill?
March IWSG Day Question: Have you ever pulled out a really old story and reworked it? Did it work out?
Over the years, I’ve written several stories (both short and book-length), and for various reasons, I set them to one side never to go back to them.
Voices of one of those abandoned projects begin to cry out to me…
Please tell my story.
Complete me so I can rest in peace.
Finish what you’ve started so that the world may know what happened.
Someone somewhere need to hear this.
Come back to me.
Eventually, I give in.
I have to.
These voices give me no choice; just an ultimatum.
Write, or completely lose my mind.
Or, my soul.
Both are bad in my opinion.
Choosing which one to pick up and continue.
How should this particular story end?
Especially since I may not have set eyes on it for a number of years. I find that I have to get to know the character(s) all over again (which isn’t necessarily a terrible thing). I enjoy rediscoveries. Sometimes I look at a story and ask myself-what was I thinking of when I wrote this? Was I possibly possessed????
Nah, someone else wrote this one. Couldn’t be me.
Then slowly, the memories return as well as the excitement.
I pick up the pen, and begin once more.
*To answer the question above…I am currently working on an old story with the hope of one day finding a “home” for it.
Here’s my writing quote for the coming week to help me get through it:
Every word I write is a breath of life.