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!



Writing Myself into Bliss

If you’ve ever read or watched “The Secret,” you know that the power of positive thinking is purported to be…well…almost magical.  Now, now.  I know what you’re thinking.  You are thinking… Fine.  Maybe I don’t know what you are thinking, but I think there is something to this theory.  I have set a goal for myself, in the short term and the long term.  I have set up a writing retreat for myself in the mid-term.  So one of the secrets of the secret, is that you MUST convince yourself of the actuality of your goal.  If your brain believes it, then your life will align itself, somehow (magically?) to make it so.  Hence, you must present your goals in present tense:

I am a writer.  I am published.  I make my living by writing. 

Okay.  That’s cool, right?

Guess what I have to do now. 

Write. Write like my life depends on it.  Because it does.  If I don’t make it my life, I’m never going to create the reality of “being” a writer.  For now, I will write as much as I can in my spare time, I will carve out spaces in weekends to write, I will create a routine to write every single day.  My goals will be like stepping stones that get me from one side of a river to the other.

I can totally do this, and so can you

Here’s an exercise: 

Write a scene using color as a theme. 

I will post my results tomorrow.

(good luck!)