Writing Down the Dream

I’ve been working on several projects through the course of this year, and I have buried myself in notebooks because I prefer to write first drafts in longhand.  That means I haven’t been blogging much. Call me old-fashioned, but when you write best at night while your dear spouse is trying to sleep, the scritch of my pencil is much less disturbing to him than the clicking of my keyboard.  Besides, it uses no electricity and requires no cords.  Imagine the freedom!pencil-and-paper-

Anyway, here’s the dream:  In the coming months, I want to be rounding out the memoir-ish book I’ve been working on and getting it to “finished.”  I plan on doing this in approximately 3 months.  What will happen to it after then, I am not sure, but I have high hopes.  I want to get it published.  That’s always the dream, right?  I want it to be a best seller!  I want it to be the book that opens the door to the writer’s life (which means I could quit my day job to be a writer full time).

In the meantime, I need to give myself some challenges in the form of exercises to get me writing on a more daily basis and in a more creative way.  Memoir is easy to do, but hard to make interesting, I think.  I am trying to be funny in this work, so I have been making fun of myself a lot.  I think I need to take it to another level, though.

So, today’s exercise is the “Three Times a Charm.”

First Time:  Write for 15 minutes about an event that happened (for me this is going to be something along the lines of a “The most embarrassing moment for me was when…” kind of event.

Second Time:  Write for another 15 minutes about the same event.  Write the event from the perspective of an outsider.  If this event involved other people, write the same interaction from their point of view (and if no one was involved, what would someone have thought if they were just watching you from a distance?).  Try to remove your internal perspective and get into the other person’s mind.  Were they mortified by what happened, as well, or were they just laughing at your buffoonery?

Third Time:  Write for a final 15 minutes about the same event.  This time, focus on the mortifying detail that made the event so embarrassing (or any detail surrounding the topic you are writing about).  Play up the suspense, leading up to that “oh no” moment.  Try to remember what you thought was going to happen and your reaction to what actually happened.  Capture that in thought-by-thought fashion.  What was the actual outcome of the whole thing, now that you have the perspective of time and distance?

Finalize:  Come back to this tomorrow and read each one.  Take the pieces you like the best and blend them together for the final episodic memory.

Good luck, y’all!

 

 

The 100 Day Project Kick-off (one day late)

Over in Instagram world, there’s this lovely thing taking place.  Starting on April 6th, people all over the world have committed to doing some creative something for the next 100 days.  This #100dayproject (that’s the tag in instagram) came to life from a partnership between  Elle Luna & The Great Discontent (a quarterly print pub and online magazine).

So, I am taking part, and I think you should give it a shot, too.  I am, of course, writing.  Of course!  I’m so happy to participate in “challenges” these days, I think I must be revisiting my old competitive tendencies from grade school.  Hm.  Not sure that is a good thing.  What IS good is the fact that such challenges make me stick to something longer than I normally would.  For whatever reason.  Probably because I am a recovering “straight A” student.

Anyway…here’s how I started.

I have this book in mind.  It’s something of a memoir mash-up with a food book/humor…it’s hard to explain. Anyway, so I brainstormed 120 prompts for this book with basic ideas I intend to cover anyway.  And then I must write about one of them each night for 100 nights.  The first one was “Drastic Times.”  Then you take some sort of picture to represent your work and share it on Instagram with the #100dayproject hashtag.  This was mine.

If you get overwhelmed with big things looming over your head (like…I dunno…writing a book), this might be one way to find a pathway into that project by tackling it in small pieces.  The brainstorming step is like leaving breadcrumbs for yourself, and writing each prompt out is like following them back home.  Hopefully, if you run into a witch who wants to eat you, a fierce woodsman will come to your rescue.  Or something like that.

Good luck, y’all!