My New WIP: A Mental Challenge in Not Thinking and Having Too Much Fun

Well, if you guys know anything about me, it’s that I’m always, always coming up with new ideas and writing too many books at once. (Right now, it’s four. I think. Are we counting thought processes?) Anyways, after a fifty billionth breakdown over “WHY I HAVE NO PLOT?” and “WHY THESE CHARACTERS NO WORK?” and “WHY IS THIS THE SUCK?” I finally called it quits. Not on writing, mind you. THINKING.

Yes, I’ve talked about this before, especially during NaNoWriMo. But this is a level even I’ve never reached before. As it turns out, this is the first book I’ve ever written where there is a certain time when I can write it: when I’m flat-out, drooling, giggly tired. Sound whacked out? Possibly. But I bet you’re jealous of all the fun I’m having.

If I were to read this WIP while sane awake, I would know–as I know now in the back of my head–that this book is rather plotless. In fact, the entire beginning of the book doesn’t make any a lot of sense. Best part? At the moment, I don’t care. I introduce two new characters in situations where I can’t name drop without making it sound force, and in all seriousness they go through the chapter being called “Scaly-face” and “Gandalf Guy.” My MC is actually crazy enough to make that work for me, which is awesome. I’m not even 3 chapters or 10,000 words in yet, and she’s already referenced Disney, Pocahontas, the Wizard of Oz and the Lord of the Rings. She says things that I doubt are going to be funny to anyone but me. But I DON’T CARE.

Maybe this book will never be anything. That isn’t the point here. The point is that I’m fed up with taking writing so freaking seriously. This started as fun, didn’t it? So I want to keep it that way. Sometimes you just need to break away from your real, serious WIP and write something that makes you laugh at yourself. I think of it like a writing exercise–and also somewhere to store all those jokes that I think are hilarious but no one else seems to. The greatest thing is? My short attention span is actually remaining excited about this project. So at least if I’m not writing anything that will ever get me anywhere, I’m WRITING. And that’s the important thing.

And who knows? Maybe this’ll turn into something that is better than any WIP I’ve ever tried to think about!

When your writing style begins to lose its mind…

Did you know that could HAPPEN? It’s a true fact, believe it or not. I just discovered this, roundabouts yesterday. Here I thought I was being so awesome–I was starting off the New Year the right way: writing. This short story just kept coming and coming until I’d sacrificed multiple hours and 11 pages of notebook paper to its altar. Then I went to read it. My face looked a lot like…this.

Only less yellow. Anyways…

Whether you’re really conscious of it or not, everyone has a writing style all their own. It’s something you do naturally, without thinking about it, because that’s just the way you write. You probably don’t even realize what the nuances of it are because you just do it. But let me tell you: when you depart from it, you know it.

I didn’t understand this story right after I wrote it and I still don’t understand it a day after I wrote it. It is so not me I don’t know what to do with it. It’s lack of coherency is probably another problem I have to fix… But the thing is, I know what it ISN’T: it isn’t what I normally write. And I’m not talking genre or characters or anything like that. I write fantasy all the time, my MCs tend to be girls–it was actually a story idea I started months ago but never finished. The rewrite yesterday turned into another beast entirely.

The thing about writing is that it’s a fluid craft. It changes when you change, and you change day-to-day. Your writing one day won’t be the same the next day, and it doesn’t always get better consistently either.  You probably already know that the best writing comes when you’re in that “mood” that is really hard to find but always amazing to be in, as our friends from Calvin and Hobbs by Bill Watterson understand. And sometimes that creativity is just strange. Like this story I’ve got here. I’m going to need a decryption machine in Gibberish to understand just what’s going on. But you know what the funny thing is? I like it. I like it a lot. No, not the story. What the story represents.

Sometimes you start feeling like the way you write is tired and tried, but the problem is that you think you’re stuck with it. You think that this is the way that you write and, while you can learn to write better, it’ll always have that same flare to it. You started doing them because you thought it was cool, but now it’s like you’re stuck on them. I certainly thought I was. I had seven different stories started in my notebook, and I didn’t think I could write one of them well, so I just wasn’t writing. That is probably the worst thing you can do.

You know what, maybe it will take you all seven stories to get one paragraph of amazing writing. Maybe it’ll take you all seven stories to get a sentence. That’s okay. Just let out the words that want to come out and stop thinking about it. Yes, what comes out might make absolutely no sense, but that’s okay too. That’s nonsense you wrote. And maybe it’s less nonsense than you think.

This Poetry Thing

This Poetry Thing

I think this poetry thing
Is going to my head
Since now I can’t even think
Without putting my thoughts into stanzas
Without inserting needless line breaks
Without rhyming random words

I think this poetry thing
Is going to my head
Since now I can’t look at anything
Without hearing the whisper of the trees
Without seeing the story of the clouds
Without smelling the adventures in the kitchen

I think this poetry thing
Is going to my head
Since now I can’t write anything
Without making it a poem
Without chopping it into formats
Without putting it on my blog

I think this poetry thing
Is going to my head
Since now I’m supposed to be doing everything else
But, of course, I’m writing poetry

September 24th – I Believe in Magic

I Believe in Magic

I believe in the sensation
Of pens gliding across paper
I believe in the power
Of the erasers on pencils
I believe that ideas
Are never completely out of reach
I believe that my inner editor
Is useful … sometimes
I believe there are always stories
Waiting to be told
I believe there are always characters
Wanting to be heard
I believe in the millions of journeys
You can take from your chair
I believe that you can become
Your characters
I believe that writing
Is magic

July 28th – My Words

Heyy, look! A single poem appearing on the day it is supposed to! Gee, what a NOVEL idea, no? 😀

My Words

I put a pen to paper
And told it to write me
A sonnet
A haiku
A limerick
An epic
A rhyme
Anything that spoke to souls
With meaning deeper than the sea
And words that flowed like rivers
But when I put the pen to paper
None of that flew out
Instead came choppy verse
With heartfelt words
That pleased me even more

July 12th – Being a Writer

I meant to get this up earlier, but I lost my poetry book where I was writing all this down the other day! It was awful, actually–so glad I found it!

Being a Writer

I know I probably shouldn’t complain
But it seems that when it rains
It pours
Because after months of
Not being able to write
I can’t seem
To stop

There’s poetry
Streaming from my pen
Soaking my paper
In abstract words
That seemingly mean something
To my subconscious
And it’s flowing so freely
I can’t always tell
Where one poem ends
And another begins

There’s prose, too,
Exploding onto the page
With long, vibrant descriptions
And endless action
With plenty of dialogue
But every character
Is so unique
They want their own novel
And what am I to do
When I’m already working on three?

I know I probably shouldn’t complain
I certainly like this
Better than writer’s block
But what’s this poor writer to do
Then ignore all spelling, grammar
And nonsense mistakes
And write until my ink runs dry and
Ever last pencil is gone
Hoping at least one good thing comes out

I guess this is called being a writer

July 8th – My Soul on Paper

OK, so, after I wrote some of those poems I got some remarks that they were very personal and maybe I shouldn’t be writing them down. This is my response.

My Soul on Paper

You say I shouldn’t
Write down
The feelings in my heart
But if I don’t
Then tell me
What is writing about?
If I can’t write
With my emotion
Tell me what’s the point?

To me
Writing is sharing
A part of yourself
And not all parts
Are happy
So why should I pretend
That’s all I am?

I refuse to write a lie

So if I write something
That you say
Is very personal
I consider this a compliment
For you see
If I can place a bit of
My soul on paper
Then I have succeeded
As a writer