Inspirational Quote # 264

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Writing Bad to Get Good

Free Writing

Lately, I’ve been contemplating the difference between writing and editing. I mean sure we need our brains for both tasks, but doing them requires something very different. And although I am not tackling the entire process of editing right now, I wanted to share something with you about writing, to help you get over the fear of trying to create something great as soon as you start.

It’s not a myth or a secret weapon, however, because we should all be familiar with the process of free writing. I am mentioning it here, because by using it you can get around the problem of procrastination, and it may also help you to turn off your internal sensor. The one that often dictates that you must be great.Or perfect. Or extremely competent. The one that sometimes stops us in our tracks, and derails all our good intentions.

              the-war-of-art    Writing With Power

In his novel, The War of Art, Steven Pressfield called that force resistance, and urged us to continually show up and do the work, while Peter Elbow in his novel, Writing with Power suggests that the writer should, “Just write, trust, don’t ask too many questions, go with it.” I agree with both of them, and one way that I have found to do this was suggested by Natalie Goldberg in her novel, Wild Mind, where she encourages writers to do different tasks such as free writing.

wild-mind

My favourite free writing task, is the one called I remember, to do it you can write things about your past, things of course that you remember. For example, I remember that one summer in ’99 where I went with my parents to the beach, but what I remember best of all was being thrown into the deep end and my brother telling me to swim. As if it was so easy for a beginner. As if I had already learnt to tread… You get the point, just go with it. Allow yourself to write for ten minutes straight without stopping. Or editing. That is the the small move you make, allowing yourself to write without being too critical. Don’t stop, just allow yourself to write. Do the work.

writing

This is how you may start off writing bad, and eventually get good. The truth is when you first write you don’t really know how bad or good the work is. In fact you might second guess it and think it’s really bad, but if you give it a few days or weeks, or months depending on your own method of editing, you might find something that speaks to you. Something that comes directly from your core that you may not even remember writing. But to do that you have to turn off that sensor first. The one that Goldberg calls the ‘monkey mind.’ That is the thing that makes you see everything as either bad or good.

writing-topics

Remember though that it takes time and space and distance to get over yourself and your ego. So that you can see the work for what it really is. Or as a friend of mine pointed out a few years earlier, for what it might become. Give yourself the time and the space. Be patient with yourself, the same way you would be patient if it was the writing of one of your friends. Take the leap of faith. Believe in yourself and the work. Trust me, it makes all the difference. And when you put down your writer’s hat and become an editor it might be best to start with intention. Ask yourself: What am I trying to do (or say) here? Is it clear to the reader? And if not jot down what seems wrong, and draft out a possible edit.

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The thing is the mindset of the writer, will always be different from the reader’s so your approach will also have to be different. But before you go from writing to editing remember to put a block of space between the two tasks, and trust yourself enough to know that once you get it all down the first time, thereafter you can polish it up to make it better. But focus on one task at a time, be it writing or editing, and try not to rush when you get closer to the ending.

Have a fantastic week and keep writing!

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Freestyle Writing Challenge 2: Fear an adrenalin shot taken or avoided

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As a child, almost instinctively you know not to walk the streets at night, even if you are holding onto the hands of your mother, and trying to get a taxi. There is nothing more frightening than the sound of the wind at your back, roughly tugging as though it would rather wear your clothes, and walk in your shoes. So you close your eyes, the way you do when you are home alone, and there is no one else there to protect you.

Because the room is dark and you can hear the curtain move as it beats upon the glass. Or is it your teeth that are chattering. Either way it is fear, inside and outside of you, like a doppelganger that cannot be soothed. But closing your eyes only makes the fear more palatable, and just when you think it can’t get any worse, you are feeling to go to the bathroom, only to get there you will have to compete with a long narrow hallway, a square, obzokie washing machine and a leaky faucet.

No, things can’t get any worse you tell yourself, wondering if you can make it down there with your eyes closed, and then you feel someone’s hand on your arm. So you do the only thinkable thing that comes to you.

Scream!

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222 words, 10 minutes

Okay, Marjorie I saw the new post option this time. Thanks again for the writing challenge.

This post is an answer to a free style writing challenge

from https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com/2015/05/24/free-style-writing-challenge-the-hurt-behind-the-smile/

The Free Style Writing Challenge Rules:

1. Set a stop watch or your mobile to 5 minutes or 10 minutes whichever challenge you think you can beat.

2. Your topic is at the foot of this post BUT DO NOT SCROLL DOWN TO SEE IT UNTIL YOU ARE READY WITH A TIMER.

3. Fill the word doc with as many words as you want. Once you began writing do not stop even to turn.

4. Do not cheat by going back and correcting spellings and grammar with spell check in MS WORD (it is only meant for you to reflect on your own control of sensible thought flow and for you to reflect on your ability to write the right spelling and stick to grammar rules)

5. You may or may not pay attention to punctuation and capitals. However, if you do, it would be best.

6. At the end of your post write down ‘Word count =_____’ so that we would have an idea of how much you can write within the time frame.

7. Do not forget to copy paste the entire passage on your blog post with a new Topic for your nominees and copy paste these rules with your nominations (at least 5 bloggers).

So, instead of blanket nominations, I invite any interested parties to continue with the new post below, and thanks again for reading.

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Your New Topic:

Oh the tangled web we weave, when we try to deceive. (Deception)

Freestyle Writing Challenge: The Hurt Behind the Smile

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This piece was written in response to a freestyle writing challenge from Marjorie Mallon at kryomagica. Usually, I don’t do this sort of thing, but upon reading the challenge I thought about my main character, Brandi Daniels from the Way of the Seer, because her story was first posted here.

Follow the link if you haven’t checked it out already. (Brandi is a teenager who believes that she possesses innate gifts and more than anything, she wants to be reunited with her long-lost father.) Below is her note to Roger, the boy who once saved her life.

Thanks Marjorie for this prompt/challenge.

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The Hurt Behind the Smile

(Brandi’s secret note to Roger)

When I first met you all I thought about was that you were probably just another dumb jock, but then you came to the diner, taught me how to discover themes hidden in literature, and defeat men who wanted to overthrow me. You were my guardian, seems you knew I had powers long before me, and Teresa and you saved my life.

And I’m thankful for that even though I can never repay you. When the incident happened at the school and my father appeared, you were there. Truth was, you were always there. Even when I doubted myself and my latent talents. Look how far I’ve traveled and I’m still here. On that floor, crying because you are gone. A thorn from a rose, broken off and stripped to prevent other things. Only now I am lonely, regretting the friendship that could have been something great. Regretting the lack of time, but hoping at least that the hurt behind the smile will eventually fade. Because my memories of you, right now, are everything.

words 174, 10 minutes

This post is an answer to a free style writing challenge

from https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com/2015/05/24/free-style-writing-challenge-the-hurt-behind-the-smile/

The Free Style Writing Challenge Rules:

1. Set a stop watch or your mobile to 5 minutes or 10 minutes whichever challenge you think you can beat.

2. Your topic is at the foot of this post BUT DO NOT SCROLL DOWN TO SEE IT UNTIL YOU ARE READY WITH A TIMER.

3. Fill the word doc with as many words as you want. Once you began writing do not stop even to turn.

4. Do not cheat by going back and correcting spellings and grammar with spell check in MS WORD (it is only meant for you to reflect on your own control of sensible thought flow and for you to reflect on your ability to write the right spelling and stick to grammar rules)

5. You may or may not pay attention to punctuation and capitals. However, if you do, it would be best.

6. At the end of your post write down ‘Word count =_____’ so that we would have an idea of how much you can write within the time frame.

7. Do not forget to copy paste the entire passage on your blog post with a new Topic for your nominees and copy paste these rules with your nominations (at least 5 bloggers).

So rather than nominate 5 bloggers, it’s my pleasure to invite any of you who would like to participate to do!) I look forward to reading your short shorts, and thanks again for reading.

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