You know, I’ve always wanted to be an actress. Well, at least when I was younger. I even joined the drama club in Secondary School (Junior High) and managed to get a few small parts, before stopping completely because of exams.
Once or twice I can even remember getting butterflies in the pit of my stomach, and experiencing stage fright. But thankfully I have learnt how to deal with them, because even now it rears its ugly head just to show me who’s the boss. Each time though, I take it in stride, always making a decision to do what I am supposed to do. Read a piece of poetry or give a speech.
But before all of that, there was always writing. Something for which I didn’t need to learn any more lines, because I would be the one creating them. The one assuming the role of that said character, or the entire cast, depending on what the story needed. Busy learning how to come up with appropriate lines for entirely different situations, which (as I am sure all of know) is more than nice.
Believe me, writing is amazing. So, when I read that piece of advice posted above – become your character at least when you write from the novel on writing, Characters, Emotion & Viewpoint (by Nancy Kress), I thought I’d share it with you. Because our readers cannot go into our heads, to learn everything we know about our characters. Instead, we have to get everything down on the page, leaving only the salient bits that are relevant (for whatever part of the story they are at).
And what better way to do that than by crawling into our character’s (/ characters’) skin. Especially when writing, so we can create an accurate picture. Get everything that’s pertinent. Then, when we’re done, we can slip back out, and assess what we’ve done. Both as a writer, but also preferably as a reader, to ensure that everything’s just alright.
Like always, keep writing and all the best!
In our hyper-induced state of overwork sometimes knowing what to say no to can lead to some relief. However stopping for the writer may also cause stasis which would have been avoided if we agreed beforehand to focus and plunge on. Or in other words to finish what we start.
Forget the new idea that seems to toy with you, from the periphery. It is only a distraction. Write it down it you must but then get back to work. Wrap your mind around the idea of bringing that current thing to fruition, because every step will bring you closer to mastery. Control. Self-confidence.
I am sure we all have drawers, shelves and folders of uncompleted work. But what if right now we decide that the project we are working on ‘now’ is relevant. What if for one minute we give ourselves the green light to focus on the work at hand. To bring it to a state of completion, doing away with the meddlesome voice in our head that is already searching for something better. Different. Or greater. Forget that irksome voice. The best thing you can do right now is to focus on the project in front of you. Bring it to fruition.
Yes, get into the habit of finishing what you start. Even if you have to resort to tricks, treats, mini-prizes, goals and mission statements. Nobody said it was going to be easy, so pace yourself. Train yourself for the long haul.
How? By breaking big projects down into smaller, more manageable ones. Choose to write between 500-1000 words so you don’t unwittingly cause yourself to freeze, and whenever necessary take a break, and as always all the best with your writing!