Saturday, March 7, 2015

Back to the writing

Trying again to overcome resistance and fear. Trying to stick to a daily writing habit.  Feeling inspired by the exercises in a gem of a book by Dorothea Brande - Becoming a Writer.  

First exercise - write first thing every morning, before you do anything else. Without Fail. Write anything. And if you get stuck just write 'I Can't Think of Anything to Write' again and again, until boredom forces your brain to stop farting around and get to work.

I started writing in an old diary - feeling good about the way I could churn out 5-6 pages every morning. I scribbled out memories and how I felt about stuff. Then moved to writing out scenes and ideas for stories still floating in my head. And discovered (once again) that the act of writing really really helps the brain to solve problems. Possibilities come up - possibilities that wouldn't have risen up if I'd just been staring in space thinking about a problem. So I've been churning out tiny story scenes instead of stream of consciousness stuff.

Then I decided to type out the morning pages in a secret blog. So I can add tags and find stuff later. Also - hand written scrawl doesn't look like 'real' writing to me. 

Some mornings I type out a few sentences on the iphone on the way to work. Because the morning writing session got me inspired and I want to keep experimenting. Even though I might have woken up with No Desire At All to write.

This morning I copied out a section from a short story by Jean Bedford - Through Road. It was a long paragraph showing the thoughts of woman who at that moment is feeling rage and resentment towards her husband. There's a long flow of angry thoughts - and then she laughs at herself and the story has an upbeat ending. Decided to re-work this for a scene in one of my stories.  I love the sense of thoughts flooding out, the way significant moments across many years are linked. But in my story the girl will suddenly see reality and the relationship will end.  There's pain, but also relief about finally being able to let go. 

AND - Thanks to Jean Bedford I realised the back story I wanted to put at the start of the story can be there in the girl's thoughts at the end instead. The back story won't be an info dump because it will show why the girl is so sad and angry.