Tag: writing life

I find this highly motivational. It’s a good description of where I’m at now and where I’ve been for quite some time – and why.

Happily, I recently (over the last several months) came to the realization that putting in the hours, getting down the words, finishing pages, was the only way forward. This confirms that idea.

Whew.

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One last note before the day fails.  The writing path has taken me far from my original course.  Not long ago, I felt like a lighthouse keeper in the fog, caught out in a storm.

That’s changed.  I can’t remember the turns, the places where I might have paused to reflect, the dead-ends and the jaunts and the switchbacks.  But it seems like this spot is a pretty nice one.

I think I’ll stay awhile.

I sometimes have conversations with my ideal self.

“We live very different lives, you and I,” I say, trying hard to keep the false drama from coloring my words.

He ignores me.  Hunched over the keyboard, he stares into the illuminated screen like a mage studying the fog, then continues typing.  He is lost in his story and I resent him for it.  He has no time for me, for lost souls with mouths full of excuses and hearts full of uncertainty.
 
“I suppose it doesn’t matter,” I say to no one in particular.

Perhaps I should offer a correction.  These interludes are not so much conversations as hollow soliloquies cast like spells into the discarnate air.

If he were to relent, to offer some breadcrumb of understanding, I might not feel so lost.  But his commitment is unwavering, his dedication pure.  When he faces an obstacle, he plunges on, undeterred.  He has no time for me and those like me.

I talk.  He works.  I think.  He works.  I breathe.  And still, he works.

It’s one thing to know in every nook and cranny of my being that there are good reasons I am not accomplishing certain of life’s critical pursuits.  Being OK with it is another thing altogether.

*****
I GOT THIS REALLY CRAZY THEORY: We all live multiple lives. 

Every single one of us is totally walking around with multiple personas, which can be drawn out and utilized on a daily basis, put on like a business suit or a T-shirt and weather-worn blue jeans, when the need to face a different set of circumstances arises.  Each of these lives come with a different set of priorities, a different approach to challenges, a different way in which we see the world, and that makes all the difference.

For myself, in seconds I can easily glide from the professional life of a Naval Officer to the familiar, low-stress life of a doting father and faithful husband.  It’s as easy as changing my clothes.  This process is one of the ways we learn to cope at an early age, and it’s as natural and effortless as breathing.

For most people, their various lives are defined by external influences: jobs, families, friends, dreams.  But for fiction writers, it’s not so simple.

In my opinion, a fiction writer’s life is defined first and foremost by internal influences: imaginary worlds, compelling main characters, life-altering stories that move the writer to such a degree that he has no choice but to transmogrify the nothingness of an idea into concrete, palpable reality by getting words on the page.  In some sense, the fiction writer lives his own internal struggle, but he also spends hours, days, months–years even!–breathing, raging, crying, triumphing, failing, as he experiences the lives of the characters in his fiction.

If you’re like me, it’s a strange kind of worry that–more than anything–drives you to write: fear of the life unlived.

As a beginning fiction writer (just getting my feet wet really), the manifestation of that fear takes odd forms for me.  Not having lived the life of an Ishmael or a Robert Jordan or a Nick Carraway, I sometimes sell myself short or feel inadequate.  Sometimes I try to overcompensate and work on five projects at once.  Sometimes I catch myself in meetings (living one of my other lives) troubling over a certain turn of phrase or sticky fictional situation, only to emerge an hour later having forgotten everything I uncovered during those moments.

In short, I’m still finding my way in this fiction writer’s life, but there’s one thing I’ve learned: we can’t make it on our own.  That’s why signing up for this Pay It Forward Blogfest was a no brainer.  Picking three blogs to represent the legions of folks who’ve been a significant part of my writer’s journey was a big challenge, however.  So many people have lent their support, while they’ve asked for very little in return.  Such generosity of spirit really is quite humbling.

But if it had to be three, then these are them–and I hope you hop right on over and pay them a visit.  In no particular order:
  • Liza @ Middle Passages: Liza was one of the first writers and fellow bloggers who gave me a leg up.  She reposted a goofy post of mine where I intereviewed myself, and has been a stalwart supporter and friend of WSMG ever since.  Her own blog is full of wonderful prose and pictures, shared in a quiet, thoughtful way, and well worth a visit.
  • Lola @ Sharp Pen/Dull Sword: Lola is one of the grooviest folks around, and one I’ve been lucky enough to get to know outside of the blogosphere as well.  Her infectiously positive attitude, warmly supportive vibe and razor sharp writing and editing style have been a real influence on me, and she’s really helped shape my views as a budding fiction writer.  Go on over and join the Wolf Pack if you haven’t already!
  • Donna @ Donna Hole: Donna has been one of those long-time bloggers that you can tell really enjoys getting around and visiting everyone.  She’s one of the most frequent visitors here at WSMG, always taking the time to provide in-depth, well thought out comments, and she’s a unique, generous person who brightens your day every time you come in contact with her.  Hang around her blog for awhile and I’m sure you’ll see what I mean!

Anyway, thanks a million, ladies!  Thanks for helping me along on this writing journey and for being such a good friends! 

BTW, as a quick aside, I’d like to thank Matthew and Alex for setting this blogfest up.  It certainly is an inspired idea–and you should go visit everyone else too as I’m sure there’ll be plenty of fiction-related lauding and high-fives to go around.

Now I’m off to see who everyone else is recommending!

*****

Check back on Monday where I’m gonna talk some about the Kraken as part of October’s Monster Fest.  Get all the details here!

Just a quick drive-by post, as I have a lot of irons in the fire at the moment, many of them related to writing (and this last bit makes me happy :D).

I’ve been working feverishly on my Rule of Three Blogpost entry–going up Wednesday–and if you haven’t signed up yet, you’re still in luck.  Check the link on my sidebar.  Submissions close at the end of the evening, so go on over and check it out.  I think it promises to be a nice event, and I’m certainly looking forward to it–not only because we’ll get to read a ton of great stories, but also because I’m using it as a kind of writing exercise to get my feet wet, get my sea-legs back under me.

Also, I’ve also just learned that the Literary Lab is featuring its 3rd Annual Writing Contest and Anthology, which I am likely to enter also.  Submissions are due by December 31st, 2011, if I’m not mistaken. 

I am thoroughly enjoying stepping back into the world of a fiction writer–spent this weekend getting more organized, in fact–but I had forgotten how quick the pace of time can go when one is so busy.  Not to worry: I am loving every minute!

And I am starting to go through a lot of my old writing, re-reading, evaluating.  We recently combined files from several different computers into one master file, and I can now review a number of different pieces I’ve written, some very old.  I am looking for strengths and weaknesses, trying to understand where I still need to grow as a writer.  And trust me, there’s plenty of room for growth!

Just one day at a time, right?  What about you?  How are things in your world?