Venn diagram snippet, AKA just a circle.

I never do this. It’s a tiny, jumbled sliver of material I’m working on though, so it doesn’t make me twitchy.

I went to bed late last night, as is the trend. Words in her voice popped into my head before I turned off the light.

I wrote this for her:

What is this? I mean, really. What? What is this? How did I get here, and how do I get back to where I started? Someone hand me a walkthrough. Seriously. 

Can I have these last eight years back? Let me— let me just start over from there. I don’t know what I’d do differently. Maybe I’d just get more sleep. Scratch that, actually. I spent too much of those years unconscious anyway.

and realized– or fully admitted, perhaps– that my Everyday and my protagonist’s Purgatory had become one and the same.

Usually I try to make a distinction between Me and Me-Shaped Characters. This time? Nooope.

I don’t know how I feel about that.

In other news: I learned that music sounds better when you’re getting things done.  My theory, anyway. I mean, yesterday was almost fun.

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Fiction Update: Things Get Better

This is a fairly informal update, mostly just to keep up my rhythm and to make it apparent that I’m writing– for myself, at least.

I’ve been working on a story that I’ve decided will allow me all the freedom I want or need. It will be as long as it ends up. It will flow however it wants to flow. It has fleshed out characters, some basic points that must be hit, and a well-realized idea of what the story is and where it has to go, but generally, I’ll will allow for as much meandering as I want.

I’ve taken a couple of days off, mostly because I’ve been feeling rather poor for reasons unrelated to writing. I hope I’ll be feeling less lethargic before more than a week has elapsed since my last sit-down with the work. Even if that doesn’t happen, I’ll try not to get bent out of shape about it, simply because I want to leave myself enough freedom to not have to stress out about it.

Comfortable Again: Defining a Writer

Just before November 1st, when I would try my hand at getting the bulk of my novel complete a la Nanowrimo, I wrote this blog entry about my growing discomfort in my place as a writer. I remembered being angry at a quote I’d read that was basically some writer being pompous enough to thumb his nose up at other writers whom he’d decided weren’t as dedicated or genuine as he was, with his definition of those qualities being quite arbitrary. Here is his quote, to refresh our memories:

“A writer is someone who has written today. Not someone who writes for money. Not someone who writes for publication or fame. Not someone who talks about writing, or reads about writing, or thinks about writing or attends writers’ conferences. Not someone who has written in the past or will write in the future. A writer is someone who has written TODAY.” -Paul Raymond Martin

I positively fumed at this quote. I still don’t agree with its sentiment, but I understood quite quickly why it bothered me so: he was talking about me.

He was talking about the “so-called” writer who occasionally is at a loss as to how to go on. Who sits wallowing in self-doubt more often than should be admitted. Who has written in the past, and will write in the future, but can’t always write now. I reeled, offended that he dared make a distinction between all of us, and horrified that I was not a member of the treasured “writer” category. That in the scuffle, I had landed on the wrong side of the gate.

I never believed what that quote implied, regardless of what it made me feel, but obviously someone believed it, and that someone was a more successful writer who was in a “better” position to judge a writer like me because of that belief. Perhaps this is a reflection of a wider opinion. As far as “real” writers were concerned, I speculated, I might not be “one of them” though frankly I don’t know why most would care.

Then, I recently went re-paging through “Writing a Novel” by Nigel Watts, a book I purchased years ago. I found an entire segment addressing the nature of being a writer, and indirectly, the feeling I had experienced. This segment was aptly titled “The Myth of the Writer”.

“If you are the sort of person to be intimidated by the weight of books that have already been written, or are unsure of your talent or your vocation, take heart. There is no such personage as a ‘writer’. If you worry that you don’t possess that special ingredient other writers have, particularly the writers you admire– don’t. There is only one qualification to be a writer: human beingness.

It took me years before I could call myself a writer, years more before I learned the term means nothing. A writer is a person who writes. A novelist is a person who writes novels… why else do some novelists write again and again and again? Not for the money, nor the limelight, nor even because they have a story burning a hole in their mind, but because they are reaching for a distant star, just as Tagore was.” -Nigel Watts

A. Freaking. Men. It goes on from there and only gets better, but there is only so much I can quote. Reading this for the first time, nearly ten years ago I think, is likely part of the reason I was so disgusted by the Martin quote. It goes against a basic belief I have about what it means to be a writer, and who gets to “use” the term– anyone. I don’t have the right to dismiss another person’s self-identification or passion, I feel, and neither does this Martin fellow.

Basically, my feelings on the subject are this: People have the right to decide for themselves what labels they will apply to themselves. There’s no checklist or requirement for being a writer, other than the desire and the hard work, I suppose. So to all of us who do the writerly thing, write on.

Fiction Update: What’s been going on?

Wow, lots of time away. This update’s purpose is exceedingly simple. This is a quick check-up on all my projects’ progress. And believe it or not, there has indeed been some.

First and foremost comes my screenplay, which has finally been tentatively named “Action”. It’s been getting a lot of attention, and I’ve finally gotten myself into a schedule (and sleep patterns) that give me the opportunity to work on it at least once a day. I mentioned a while back that I’d finally given my characters names, but now I’m pleased to say that I finally feel that their personalities, motivations, and entire lives have begun to wield some weight, if that makes any sense. They feel real, and I enjoy crafting their story.

My novel, SJL, has been largely neglected as of late, for obvious reasons. My collection of short stories, on the other hand, is at least being thought about and vaguely organized.

That’s about it for now!

NaNo 2010 Day 29: Another Kind of Wind Down

Starting Word Count: 4055

Last Word Count: 22,529

Words Typed Today: does it really matter at this point?

Current Word Count:

Pages Typed Today:

Writers’ Block Moments: Not terrible today.

Late Nights: 0

Snippet: None today.

Notes: So it’s apparent that I won’t meet the 50,000 word goal by tomorrow, but I don’t really have a problem with that. I’m glad that I actually made progress this month, and I’m hoping that I can manage to continue in this direction until I’m finally where I want to be. I’m even willing to continue on in the Nanowrimo fashion, and maybe I’ll get there next month.

I actually started writing a completely different work of fiction today, just because I felt like it. I like it so far, but I often like my first couple of pages. It’s supposed to be a travel journal, and though I vastly prefer writing in the third person over writing in the first, I’ll give it a go.

NaNo 2010 Day 23: More chugging along

Starting Word Count: 4055

Last Word Count: 22,064

Words Typed Today: 465

Current Word Count: 22,529

Pages Typed Today: a little under 1

Writers’ Block Moments: Today felt like yesterday.

Late Nights: 0

Snippet: I actually feel like sharing today, but I’m kind of afraid it’d be a total spoiler.

Notes: Another good day like yesterday. Would have gotten more done, but the later half of today got too cluttered. I wrote the bit I got done today early in the afternoon.

NaNo 2010 Day 22: Cheerful, for Once

Starting Word Count: 4055

Last Word Count: 20,831

Words Typed Today: 1233

Current Word Count: 22,064

Pages Typed Today: A little over 2

Writers’ Block Moments: Today felt great.

Late Nights: 0

Snippet: I actually feel like sharing today, but I’m kind of afraid it’d be a total spoiler.

Notes: Oh, finally, I felt good about writing today for the first time in who knows how long! It’s not the 3400+ words I need, but who cares, it felt great. I wish I’d started sooner.