Writing 101

Red Smith said…

Writing is easy. All you do is sit staring at the blank sheet of paper until the drops of  blood form on your forehead.

I can vaguely relate right now. I signed up to participate in NaNoWriMo this year, having heard about it and missed the start date last year. I was so excited to get writing, have a target and be part of an exciting project.

So far I have written…nothing!

After all these years of reading Julia Cameron’s warnings on how hard it can be when it finally comes down to putting pen to paper, I thought I would be better prepared. I can’t even think of a freakin’ story line right now. The blank page/screen taunts me. 8 days into November and it’s not looking good.

So I am deciding to take a different tack. I still have absolutely no idea what I am going to write about but, in contrast to the last week, I am going to write anyway. I am going to write down anything and, when it is all said and done, I will have at least done that.If Julia has taught me anything it is that ‘just writing’ still counts as writing!

And my motto for this week…

Life is Fragile – Handle with Prayer.

E. C. McKenzie

Life is fragile. I am fragile. Mostly my creative-self is fragile…or terminally work shy, either way.

» Do you have any tips on spinning a plot from nothing? Or something?

» How do you motivate yourself to ‘create’ on deadline?

(p.s. both quotes taken from the amazing book of meditations on the virtues ‘Sacred Moments’ by Linda Kavelin Popov…was a gift from my mother when I went to college and I never leave Ireland without it!)

EXTRA EXTRA!! 9/11/10 – ‘An Art Full Life’ blog has just posted an article full of insightful quotes on the art of writing taken from Hemingway’s ‘A Movable Feast’. Talk about inspiring… – Hemingway on Writing http://www.anartfulllife.net/?p=152


3 responses to “Writing 101

  1. Sending you and your writing good wishes Parisa–you are very brave :)

  2. I know nothing about novel writing, but if it were me, I think I’d write a list of all the things I’d ever thought of writing about, or even the things I think about the most. Then, I’d write something (a page, even) on each of those. See if any common threads emerge, or what bits are the strongest. Then see if you can work from there. The idea of writing a novel is hugely scary, at least for me, but a lot of tiny pieces isn’t. Use the patchwork, freeform method!

    Glad the book is coming in handy:) (btw, are you coming round for dinner?)

  3. Aaaaaah! Just wrote you a well-thought out reply, and then the computer deleted it on me………….:(

    I suggest a kind of patchwork, freeform method of coming up with something to write about. Make a list of all the subjects you’ve ever wanted to write about, and the things you think about most. Write a certain amount on each of them. Do it at speed. Read and pick out the strongest pieces and look for any common themes. Then, do it again. A month is a good length of time to spend focusing on writing. By then, you will definitely have a good outline, whatever about a novel. Do novellas count?

    Also, I know absolutely nothing about novel writing.

    ( btw, are you planning to come up here for dinner? Most welcome:)

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