Reading and Writing

I know I’m behind on my reading, but that’s not necessarily what this post is going to be completely about.  I’m finally catching up a bit on my reading.  I’m rolling through Snow Crash at a pretty good clip, and I’m going to cheat a little bit and count me re-finishing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows before Deathly Hallows Part 2 runs on Thursday night. I’m going to see that at midnight and I’m going to finish the book (again) before I go, damn it!  That will leave me only one book behind and to try and catch up with pace, I’m probably gonna read The Hunger Games.  I’ve been meaning to read that ever since I put that on my Kindle way back when.  I’m actually excited to hop into it the more I think about it.  I went into The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo knowing that a lot of people loved the series, but I had kept myself away from anything spoilery.  That’s exactly the way I’m going into The Hunger Games and with as well as I liked The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, I’m thinking that I may get lucky and have a great read again.

Now on to the true subject that I’m really wanting to write about.  If you haven’t noticed, I’ve started to become more active within the confines of the blog this week.  Originally I didn’t have  an answer for why, but now I’m thinking it is because of the fact that I want to write again.  I haven’t had that desire hit me strongly since I failed to get College Radio off the ground fast enough to send into the Austin Film Festival.  Combine that with an unsuccessful job hunt, and apathy just takes over a bit.  I blame the amount of work getting done on no one other than myself.  I put things off and in the end I hurt myself by doing that.  I let ideas sit and let them fall away.  I let myself just sit and become the stereotypical goon that everyone associates with a denizen of the Internet and the internet age.  As some can also attest, I kind of put myself into an idiotic “Woe is me” attitude for a while as well.  To those that I did that to, I’m sorry, and I mean for it to not happen again.  I think I’m over that finally, and I think I’m actually ready to write more.

There was a catalyst to this sudden surge of activity.  I thought about writing again as of mid last week, and tried it out.  I did by going back into College Radio, but not finding much luck.  Something was just missing at that point.  I couldn’t tell you what it was for the life of me at that point, though looking back on it, I know now.  I wrote some characters, and had an over all idea where I wanted the characters to go for the big story arc, and I knew where I wanted to end the first episode.  I just didn’t have the structure of the where and how for these characters to make it to that point.  I considered dropping the project all-together, but then decided against that, thinking about how I wrote it and what I was doing wrong. I talked to Carrie about it and she helped me realize that my problem wasn’t necessarily in story, or in characters, but just in the fact that I hadn’t found the writing system that worked best for me.  She may not have necessarily known that that she helped with that but she did, and I thank her for that.

So for just under the last week, I’ve been thinking through my writing process, how I get the words down to the page, how I plan, how I put together characters, and what really inspires me to write.  I’m finally getting to the point where I feel like I’m finally finding that groove, and finding the writing process that fits my personal style well.  I’m using the blog as I should be, to talk about events and just little this and that’s that I happen to be coming about, but also using it as a way to shake off the rust, put on a new layer of paint, and rework the way I write.  Make it new, make it fresh, and improve what I already have, while maybe pulling in a some new tricks along the way.  Basically, the blog is going to be crucial to my new writing process, and should be constantly updating with new things and little ideas I have over time.

When it comes to word count; I was originally, giving myself a word count that I needed to hit.  Whether it was 1000 words, 2000 words, or just a simple 200, I was giving myself a goal for a day or a week at a time.  I was about to do it with this system as well, but then I realized that me watching that word count number go up or down is more detrimental to how much writing I get done than it is helpful in moving me along and getting more work done.  That was a problem that I ran into with the blog.  I would write and write and write, but then I’d notice the word count, get absolutely smug over the fact that I was reaching 500 words or so, and I’d completely fall out of any groove that I had going.  To try and counteract this, I’m using a new fullscreen feature in WordPress where I can’t see any buttons, I can’t see a word count, and I can’t see any other doodads to steal my attention away from writing.  I’m using it for the first time for this post, and I think it’s helping more than I ever thought it could.  So word counts are a no go in the new writing process.

What I’m going to do instead is just brainstorm for a bit, then try and flesh something out that I came up with.  I know that this is something that a lot of writers do, and that I’ve done in the past; but I’ve never actually used this to my advantage often.  I got to a point where I would just go to the first idea that I came up with at a given time and write on that.  That didn’t necessarily lead me to write strong material, nor did it lead me to a lot of fun, which I’ve absolutely had in the past while writing.  Every day, I’m going to brainstorm a few ideas, then try to work with something that I think just clicks with me.  If I don’t get that click, I’ll try and work with one of the other subjects and see if there’s something there that could come out of it.  I know with this I’m going to have my strong days and my low days, but those strong days are what’s going to make this absolutely worth it.

Lastly, I’m going to finish College Radio.  This may seem a strange thing for me to say, but I’m going to finish that project if it kills me.  There’s a small bit of me within that script that I know is trying to come out.  I just haven’t hit that yet.  Before I can go back and change it, though, I just need to finish it.  So I’m making sure that I work on it for at least an hour a day until it’s complete.  There was a fun script there, and I did enjoy writing it back at the start.  I want to find that again, and I think it can be done if I let myself sit down and get to it.  Finishing College Radio actually came from listening to the Nerdist Podcast episode that released today featuring Neil Gaiman speaking about Doctor Who, writing, and the writing process.  He states that someone should finish what they’re working on.  You aren’t going to be able to look back at it and realize what’s wrong with it until it’s through.  Those are words that can only come from experience, so I’m going to try and use that experience to my advantage.

It’s time I think.  I love doing audio work, I enjoy web work, and I am planning on getting a job; hopefully sooner rather than later.  But while I can, I’m going to take time every day, make a mug of hot tea, and try to write until my fingertips bleed.  I think it’s the right thing for me, and it’ll be interesting to see if this may lead me down a road I didn’t fully see coming.

Leave a Reply