Monday, August 11, 2008

To Write or Not to Write

"To write or not to write"... Are you kidding? If someone told me not to write, it would be like asking me to cut off an arm. I couldn't do it. Oh, sure, writing can be like a painful tooth extraction. (come to think of it, all dental work is painful) However, that wouldn't, couldn't stop me from taking pen to paper, fingers to keyboard, voice to recorder. Whatever the mode of communication is, writing is essential in my world.

Now, how much? Well, I guess that depends on individual choice, which can be dictated by available time and energy. A very well-known author and someone who has put his advice on writing into a book on ... well, you guessed it ... on writing says that ten pages a day, everyday including weekends and holidays, is a reasonable and fair goal. I say that if you write twenty pages one day, and then none the next because your daughter needed to be rushed to the hospital for stitches after cartwheeling into a tiffany hanging lamp, gashing her toe while breaking several panels in said lamp (and yes, it happened...why would I make something like that up?), then your fingers aren't going to fall off and your creative brain to freeze if you skip that day and then write the next. As the saying goes, life happens and the poop that goes along with it. The important thing is to just keep writing. Sure, if you can manage a regular schedule of writing, do it. But keep it up. NO QUITTERS! If it's what you enjoy, as I do, then you can't quit.

My question is ... what is your writing habit? And do you write continually on one project? (Writing comes in all forms ... for instance, pick a writing prompt with a different topic each day, something that only needs 5 minutes of your time, and it will help get the creative juices flowing -- but I will save this topic for another blog post...) Please, share your thoughts.

6 comments:

Creative Student said...

Hello!

I am a student who writes now and then! I mainly write songs but I have some how got into writing a story of sorts on my blog - people seemed to love it so I am up to Chapter 3 - Part 2 already!

I am no writer, or never thought I was anyway! I have terrible spelling as well!!! Would love to know what you think of my story so far! I will certainly check back to your blog, maybe you could post some of your short storys and things on here, people seem to love it!

teacherwriter said...

teacherwriter said...
Well, I have spent the evening going back through your story and other posts. At first, when you invited me to read your work and comment on it, I admit I was hesitant...the what-ifs came to mind: what if I don't like it? what if I can't think of anything profound to say? etc. Drum roll please!.......
I like it! It's truly entertaining. Your characters are believable -- complete with flaws and emotions we all can relate to. And the plot...it twists, it turns, it surprises, all at a fast, intriguing pace. I love the comic relief -- old, wrinkled drunk lady, the fat guy at the accident site, the dialogue with the nurses, and Jack's phone conversation to Mike after "nearly killing" Stephanie. The only writing critique I could give might be to say, yes, I agree with you about the spelling errors; also, grammar/punctuation errors here and there. Maybe I would add to watch how much description you use...say for instance in Ch. 1 Part I when describing the office. I mean I can't be sure since I don't know where the story will go, but unless the office will play a major roll in the plot, why give so much detail? Stephen King in his book on writing says that you should never lose sight of the story and muddy it with too much description. Also, you should leave some to the reader's imagination. Okay, I've rambled on enough. Hope you continue...it really is a good read!
Please visit my blog site at anytime!
http://kjlong-teacherwriter.blogspot.com/

Deanna Lynn's Photography said...

I tend to write short stories and poems. I don't write everyday, and sometimes a week will go by without me having written anything. I write when I'm inspired, and so sometimes I'm inspired a lot, and sometimes a lot of time will go by before I'm inspired by anything.

teacherwriter said...

Deanna Lynn,

I agree with what you are saying that inspiration has so much to do with when you write. I can't write everyday on the same project without it becoming too mechanical, uncreative, and just plain blah! However, the writing prompt idea is good in that it simply exercises your writing skills. I like what Stephen King says..."Read a lot, write a lot." That seems to sum it up. :)

_-*Kristen*-_ said...

it depends on what im feeling and what type of thing im writing.

Poems: they have to be written on paper, else i dont think about the words before i put them down.

Stories: I tend to start a story and not finish it a lot. I really try to finish it, but i get bored with the idea of it. so what im trying to do with a project im currently working on, is writing a bit, and not think about it until im ready to write some more. usually, i write a first draft, then type it, then go over it with a highlighter, and retype it and theres the chapter!

Ares said...

my problem is that, at times, my hand writes faster than my thoughts, and sometimes i just have the idea of what im gonna write; i lack the words.. but the scenes continue to play in my mind, i simply can't put them all down. it become accumulated and then another story would start forming again in my mind.. i had thought of quitting before but my heart wouldn't let me do that. you're right, as long as you enjoy what you are doing, you can't quit. but it's still troubling me.