Shari Creates

750 Words

Posted on: March 8, 2010

I have been struggling with the story in progress for several weeks now.  In the end, the struggle seems to come down to two things for me; first, that I was too worried about figuring out what happens next, and second, that I was letting people and things upset me to the point that I could not spend time alone in silence without crying.  I should know by now that any form of plotting is bad for my initial process. In fact, plotting has killed several story ideas for me in the past.  Apparently, if I have anything more than a vague idea what happens, I lose interest and motivation in writing the story down.

As to the second point, I am in the bad habit of withdrawing from my communities when I start to get depressed.  When someone hurts my feelings, or I get frustrated with work, or I get bad news, I withdraw further.  That makes things like losing my boss to cancer or being frustrated with my writing much harder to deal with, which makes me more depressed and withdrawn.  What to do?  Well, I have been making an effort to be more involved on some of the forums I am a member of, and to comment more on blogs I like to read, and to make sure I go out with a friend on the weekends.  Plus, some of the depression is inevitably linked to it being winter, and now that I have started some seeds and am planning the new garden shape and what goes where, I have less time to sulk.  (It’s not all sulking, and I am not trying to trivialize the things that have been making me sad, but sulking is how I think of the time I spend brooding about what’s been happening.)

Ha! I have hit full on crazed rambling tonight, for sure.  The point of this post initially was to mention a site that I just joined called 750 Words.  The goal is to write 750 words each and every day, based on a book I think I read a long time ago called The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. It may have been one of the sequels that I read…  Anyway – the point! She encourages you to write “morning pages” every day, defined at 750 Words as: “Morning pages are three pages of writing done every day, typically encouraged to be in “long hand”, typically done in the morning, that can be about anything and everything that comes into your head. It’s about getting it all out of your head, and is not supposed to be edited or censored in any way. The idea is that if you can get in the habit of writing three pages a day, that it will help clear your mind and get the ideas flowing for the rest of the day.”  The appeal of that to someone like me is clear – maybe I will spend less time dwelling and sulking and over-analyzing  all of the crap in my head if I give it an outlet.  So far, I have successfully completed three days.  There are all kinds of nifty analysis tools there, and all journal entries are private by default.  We will  see if the unstructured, puking-every-crazy-thought onto paper method helps me. And having a goal of 750 words means that I have something to act as a limit – after I finish the thought, if I’m over 750, I quit and move on with my day.  Or write a somewhat incoherent blog post, because I have not found my filter yet… I may end up writing fiction there instead of garbage dumping.  I do know that I like the simple interface, and think it will be useful no matter how I end up structuring the daily goal.

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