Writing and blogging

Though I’ve written always, I only began writing with the idea of sharing 2 years ago. 
Funny I didn’t ever consider correspondence as ‘writing for others’.
Now such correspondence, or letter writing is a dying art (see my first blog: My Writing Debut) as even emails are not the same anymore. There are only a couple of people among my acquaintance who actually keep in touch this way, sending newsletters. 
Now I realize, all those letters were actually practice in writing, period! Putting down my thoughts on paper has never been difficult. I suppose my uncle is right, I do have “digital incontinence”. It’s called being a writer.
Why then the scary feeling of putting my work out there? Other than my uncle’s ‘review’ no other friend has given negative feedback on a letter I’ve written them. Until now that is. Perhaps with this blog I will find out the truth.
Reading a book or short story, now that is altogether different. Suddenly, everyone is a critic. It’s true isn’t it. People who have never written anything, have something to say regarding those that do. Of course being a reader, we do know what we like but it’s all very subjective. We are never going to please everyone. Fact of life! 
We writers do like to rise to the occasion though. Nothing stops us, not even our own self doubts. We simply write, practice writing, blog, journal and whatever else we can to keep pen to paper or fingers on the keyboard. Then with the help of our tribe, beta readers we edit and polish, with the hope of eventually publishing. 
I have been writing more, learning more. Who knew there was so much to learn about something I’ve been doing all my life? Through it all I’m becoming more confident with calling myself a writer and with my work in general. 
Though I haven’t published my work yet unless you count this blog, which I guess I will, (except for the short story contest I entered on the write practice where everyone’s work was published) I have confidence now that I shall. It is only a matter of time, and editing. Groan! 

Write what you know

What do you or I really know? Our own experiences may be limited. However, add research to a fertile imagination and it will go a long way.

  

Take Sci-fi for instance. Isaac Asimov had never lived in a world filled with robots. His knowledge at the time, imagination, and gift for story telling made up for that. He used the human experience of which he was very familiar and created stories we relate to. 
Whether futuristic sci-fi or historical, fantasy or our own era, a good story with believable characters, a little (or a lot) of angst and/or mystery and we have a recipe for success. 
Not perhaps as simplistic as that of course or there would not be a need for beta readers and editors. What may sound great in our own mind and look good to our own eye, may not work at all for someone else. 
  
The saying: “you can’t please all of the people all of the time” by Abraham Lincoln, says it all. 
Not everyone will read War and Peace, Gone with the Wind, Pride and Prejudice etc. Not everyone who reads them will like them either. 
I guess that is why the wise man Solomon wrote, “to the making of books there is no end.” Manuals and encyclopedias are always being updated. Storytelling of the human experience is constantly being told in a new way. 
E-publishing is causing a veritable explosion to the ‘making of books’ and though most will not make the best seller list, the playing field has been somewhat levelled. More power is being given the reader to choose what to read. 
So, perhaps we don’t know everything about that which we write, however if we love our subject matter it comes through to the reader. Passion trumps detail, creating engaging, thought provoking, endearing stories that readers will want to fall into. 

May story telling never end. 

Stage fright!

It was the middle of last summer and I realized one day I had a tightness in my chest that didn’t want to go away.

Since I’ve had anxiety before I recognized it for what it was. Why I had it was another matter. What had started it? I wanted to figure out.

Finally my brain came up with the answer….. and the anxiety diminished with knowledge.

‘Stage fright’ or ‘performance anxiety’ I call it.

I’d signed up for my first writing competition and I was busy getting critique and offering my 5c to others as per the request of the organizers.

On some levels I was happy to hear what others thought of my work. This was an opportunity to grow as a writer.

However, the thought of actually uploading the finished story (really, is anything we write ever finished in our own mind?) and pressing “send” was daunting!

Was I really going to do this? Put myself out there? For good or bad, people would read all that nonsense I thought up.

I did press send however and it actually felt good.

  1. That I had made the decision to pursue my writing to the point of entering a contest.
  2. I had written and edited a short story (1500 words. Harder than I thought it would be.)
  3. I had accepted and learned from the critique of other writers, either published or aspiring to do so, like myself.
  4. I did not back out but took a deep breath and clicked on send, putting my story into the mix with a few other hopefuls.

Whether I won or even had an ‘honorable mention’, which I didn’t, was beside the point. Of course it would have been a real boost to have any of that happen.

I feel like a success to have made it this far and it has given me material to use for this blog. – I know I sound like an academy award nominee. So be it. 🙂

‘To type or not to type’

…..that is the question.
Not all of us are tech savvy, or can afford the mobile tech either, which can be a factor for sticking with pen and paper. Some simply find carry a notebook, and jotting down ideas as they form, is the way to go. 

  
  

Generally I find both have their merit and am equally as comfortable with either (in fact I’ve been writing blog ideas on paper first).

I happen to love technology and my tablet is now my best friend. Well, secretary, alarm clock, post it notes, e-reader, etc. etc.

  
  One project though, began on several used envelopes, what was available when the creative idea struck. The entire book written, scribbled more like it as my hand writing has never been elegant, in notebooks. 

I was trying to write in the style of the regency period in England (19th century) and somehow my brain could not seem to manage that with me typing. So, pen and paper it was! 

The era in which we live however, requires us to make digital copies somewhere along the way so eventually those ideas we wrote on paper have to find their way into the cyber world. Thank goodness for talk text, or a dictation app. 

What is your method of choice? Any die-hard pen and paper folks out there per chance? 

A Reason to Write

Feeling vulnerable and uneducated about my writing and writing in general, I found and subscribed to a few writing blogs. The write practice and Mudpie Writing being the two I have stuck with. Through the observations of the bloggers and other commenters as well as critiques I have learned much about the craft, we writers and our struggles and quirks.
1. I don’t have to write perfection for readers to enjoy my work. As long as it moves them in some way most will overlook a few missing commas or grammar glitches. (Too many will put a reader off though and I have deleted several books I started reading because of it.)
2. Writing and editing are completely different creatures. One is creative and the other analytical. Trying to do both at once, my creativity is stifled. Write first and get the story out of the brain and onto ‘paper’. Once it is finished, the analytical creature may emerge and do it’s worst. 
By the time I am editing, I already know and love the characters and their story. The editing beast cannot be allowed to kill them or their longings or desires, unless of course it really should happen. 
I’ve come to realize: Editing can only enhance, making the story more readable.
As I put myself and my creative writing out for others I realize, some won’t comment. Others will criticize for the sake of it, perhaps out of jealousy. 
I only know, writing is something I have always done. Whether others like it or not is not my first concern. 

My writing debut.

My uncle once told me I have “digital incontinence”. This after a lengthy, chatty, and informative e-letter.

Rather than discourage me in my writing endeavors, which at the time was only letter writing, emails, and the occasional poem or short prose, I was moved to write a rebuttal:

The Dying Art of Letter writing

It is a sad day indeed for the literary community when the art of letter writing dies. By all appearances it is making a comeback via the internet and emails. However the contents is quite different, often connecting words are missing and so generally only small memos are sent, not letters of substance.

When we consider a great writer such as Jane Austen and that the majority of her work was contrived from letters she sent and received, it seems that such works could never be compiled today. They would be disjoint and very short to say the least.

Of course there are a few of us, a dying breed if you will, that consider letter writing an art and find much contentment therein. Like anything strange and foreign, we often receive ridicule and scorn for our loving task. Such comments as “you always answer so quickly!” is meant as a slap on the wrist for giving them a guilty conscience for not doing the same. Another one I recently received for a letter-style email, “you always did have digital incontinence”. Similar to the older “verbal diarrhea!” This from a relative no less!! This too will salve a guilty conscience for people who have little to say, no life to tell about or no imagination to invent one.

However, such downgrades as these are sent to try us serious writers and test our metal for future communiques. Will we give in and become like the rest, memo scribblers and one-liner writers? Will we continue on our quest to enrich our lives and the lives of others with our musings?

Jane, we will not give up!!

………………

It was not until a few years later and I was sharing with a writer friend (who is published) a few things I had written and her response to my writing was so positive that I realized that I should pursue my passion. I saw, there just might be a place for my work out there.

Perhaps other writers have felt the same, had the same reactions to their writing?