Some Extra Stuff: Writerism

So, it’s Sunday afternoon. It’s been a great day so far; beautiful sunny weather, with a nice cool breeze to accompany it. I don’t really have a set topic today, but I’m determined to get back on to my proposed scheme of post-every-sunday which was interrupted so savagely by my net failing for the past two weeks.

It’s funny how it’s on beautiful days like this, when I’m out on a walk feeling great and involved with life, that I most want to write. It’s when I’m observing something on a great day, when there’s a particular striking feeling or image, that I most want to replicate life by putting words down on a page and conversely, when I’m least able to do it. Writing, for me then, is a struggle to hold onto that elusive, somewhat euphoric feeling, wrestle it home and infuse it into my work.

I have some particular processes; I can’t work when I’m emotional to any great degree, I generally have to be blank as I struggle to recreate that feeling I mentioned. I’m writing this in response to a post I just came across, which reflects a position I’ve always felt set me apart (in a bad way) – basically, I’ve always found it hard to just write. To sit down mechanically and just blurt out 500-1000 words every day. I need some inspiration to strike me, I need to want it and to actively be going after something specific. When the times in-between these “inspired” bouts of writing become too drawn out, I do try and spark something myself, but I don’t do it often at all. Which is one of the reasons I’ve always looked askance upon Nanowrimo.

Having said that, I can perform well under pressure – university has proven that to me, that I can write to deadlines within reasonable limits. And last year I gave Nanowrimo a go and was able to produce 20,000 words that weren’t all that bad either, so from time to time, like I said, I try different things and it seems to work okay. One thing I realised a while back is that there’s no point in listening to someone else’s methods, no matter how famous they are, because the process is different for everyone.

How does it work for you?

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In some unrelated but awesome news: Season 4 of Mad Men has begun and it’s as great now as it ever was, simply stellar stuff. And the first episode of Sherlock, the new, modern take on the old story, is out and was very promising and quite good. Those are both shows you should keep an eye out for. Also, I only recently completed viewing of the absolutely great miniseries Jekyll, which you *must* see if you haven’t. It’s superb sci-fi writing coupled with great performances, especially by James Nesbitt, who effectively blew my mind. He was incredibly terrifying…his teeth…*shudders*

I’ve also been continuing with the truly fantastic comics of Fables and Preacher, both of which, for mine, are the best ongoing series I’ve come across in this format. Great stuff.

Next on the reading list: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

And that’s a general wrap on a general post about what I’m thinking/doing generally…:P

August 1, 2010

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  1. 's Avatar
    Iain Broome Thanks for linking to my post over at Write for Your Life. And as you know, I agree with you!
    August 1, 2010 at 11:44 am · Reply
  2. smaur I write under weird situations. Stress and pressure feed my desire to write, so that in during the uni year, I constantly crave a few moments to sit down and punch out a story. The summer requires a lot more mental tugging. So it's a bit weird to me that you need to be totally empty, because total emptiness is the least-conducive brainspace for me to write in. But to each his own. About forcing writing -- I've finally come to realize that I can't just sit down and puke out words, because those words will always be stale and flat and puke-scented. Nanowrimo doesn't work well for me, even though it's often a blast, because I need time to putter around and futz with sentences. I'm finally realizing that it is in fact okay to tweak and delete in first drafts, whatever others may say. Also, hooray to all of your media-related news! Mad Men is glorious, & Fables + Jekyll are excellent. Although you MUST read "Ex Machina" by the ever-stellar Brian K. Vaughn, it's not only ongoing, it's a really amazing exploration of the superhero genre. (After Oscar Wao, of course!)

    August 1, 2010 at 8:28 pm · Reply
  3. 's Avatar
    Omar Duly noted! I'm reading Wao now. I don't always need to be empty; I just find it to be the most conducive state to good writing. That being said, my opinion is always changing as I try new things...*sits on fence*
    August 9, 2010 at 5:34 am · Reply
  4. Elena Oooh I really want to read Ex Machina. Still haven't gotten around to it despite having someone guest review it on my own blog. Whoops. More to the point of this post: I agree, mostly. Buuut personally I find that I need to be in the act of some sort of writing to keep up with the habit. When I first got my awesome old-school manual typewriter all I could bring myself to do with it was type out my grocery list for the week. (And if I felt particularly creative, my meal plans for the week too.) Hmmm that sounds like I've progressed to using it for something more substantial/literary. I haven't. And when I find that I'm reading too many cool articles on the interwebz and not writing anything myself, I'll try and do a haphazard journal entry response thing. It's not creative and wouldn't be of use to anyone but myself, but I find writing...anything...therapeutic, even if it's not in the slightest bit creative. Or intelligent. I think the reason we're told to write write write is because for most people, it takes a few thousand words of utter shit before anything good starts to trickle out the ends of our fingers. But like you said, you have to find your own methods and do what works for you, not what other people say. (Although that being said, I have a major problem with people who consider themselves writers but don't read. That doesn't make sense to me at all.) Re: Mad Men, now I just feel even more behind the rest of the world. Just finished watching season 1.

    August 25, 2010 at 2:12 pm · Reply
  5. 's Avatar
    Omar That's true, I'm always reading...but then again, I haven't come across people who consider themselves writers and not readers. Also, I really, really want an old manual typewriter. I can't think of anything cooler or, conversely, more wanky. But still, I want. Majorly.
    August 25, 2010 at 5:15 pm · Reply

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