Archive for May, 2008

Staying the Course

May 28, 2008

I’m losing a little steam in the writing department, but I am continuing to plow through and show up at my writers room. It all starts somewhere and I know I have to put in the time. The conference is less then a month away and I feel like I need to step up the pace and really try to get into the other characters’ heads.

I created an entire Act 1 to explain more backstory – which I guess is part of the story. This will go before what i once thought was the first chapter, but it helps me get a better grasp on who the main character is. For anyone who cares about my writing process, which I am guessing is no one because the statistics on this site are dismal. But I will persevere.

Secret Jealousy

May 27, 2008

The New York Times Magazine’s cover story on Sunday was about and by a 26 year old blogger. Even though she wrote about how blogging hurt part of her life, there is a part of me that is incredibly jealous of her success (notoriety?) as a writer. She wrote about another girl who started a blog then landed an amazing job. It sounds like the second author was really one of the first ones to the plate and therefore a hot commodity in the same way that Jackson Pollock’s art is not so much amazing as it is that he was the first to do it and call it art.

I confess that when I was younger and I would see a child on the news who had some tragedy befall her, then she would be “rescued” or befriended by a celebrity I would secretly wish that I could have the same reward, even if it meant I had to endure the tragedy. I don’t know if that is more a reflection of my not so happy childhood or previous huge desire to be famous and adored.

Seeking my Stride

May 23, 2008

I was so proud of how disciplined I was earlier in the week. I started fantasizing of how much I could accomplish if I could use that one successful day as a barometer. The answer: a lot.

Unfortunately, after writing the scenes that I had imagined, I was not sure where I wanted to go in the script and thus experienced the proverbial writers block. I tried to write through it.

Day 1: not so bad, got a skeleton of a scene or two. Day 2: Bad. I dozed off in the writer’s room.

Not entirely sure where I want to go with the story. Perhaps my fear of making decisions is translating over to making character and story choices. I know I should pick one thing and go with it, I can always rewrite, but it sounds much easier than it is.

Wedding Friendship Casualties

May 22, 2008

Not sure if I mentioned this before, but I know several people, myself included who have lost friends around weddings.

Is it because the bride is going through a new stage and she wants to shed excess baggage? Did the two people outgrow the friendship and look at the wedding as a time to both close one door as the bride opens another? Does the bride’s control freak mentality reek havoc on what was already a shaky foundation? Are “friends” so wrapped up in themselves they let their jealousy dominate their feelings?

I don’t know. One casualty was the result of my diarrhea of the mouth. Fortunately I was able to make up with the friend about a year later.

7 pages

May 20, 2008

Today the babysitter arrived early so I was able to sneak to the writers room and write. In two hours of “free writing” which means not really correcting or editing nor pausing to find that perfect word, I wrote 7 single spaced pages and knocked out the scenes that I wanted. Woo hoo!

I am trying to psych myself out that if I can maintain that speed (7 pages a day, 3 days a week) I will be in great shape for the summer. But I don’t want to jump the gun, so I will just say that I am happy with my current accomplishment. I have already scheduled two more writing days, all consecutive which is not ideal, but oh well.

And I have some books to read for inspiration.

BTW – anyone out there hear of this Baby Peggy? I am reading her book, Whatever happened to Baby Peggy? http://www.amazon.com/What-Ever-Happened-Baby-Peggy/dp/0312147600/ref=pd_bbs_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1211322573&sr=8-1

Wow. What a disturbing story.

Goals

May 20, 2008

I keep trying to remind myself that the more work I do now, the better shape I will be in this summer and the more I will get out of the program. So I am trying.

I can usually focus completely at the writers room (once I finish snacking and I hide the iPhone) Beyond that, i can write a lot in my notebook, but not sit there with my fingers on the keyboard writing and creating.

I sometimes wonder if I am too hard of a judge on myself or too easy. My therapist, my friends, members of my writers group cut me slack, but I just feel that I can do more.
With that…and that the babysitter is here…I am going to head over to my space.

Putting in the time

May 16, 2008

I read a quote in one of my favorite writing books The War of Art. An author was asked if he wrote on a schedule or when inspiration struck. He said when inspiration struck. Fortunately it did so every day at 9am.

It is all about putting in the time. Going to the office, the desk, the computer and logging in the hours. In school they used to teach us to write “I have nothing to say” or “Writers block” incessantly until something else hit. Sometimes that is what it takes to get the juices flowing.

The writers group yesterday was good. Since my piece was the shortest I went first and probably had a disproportionate amount of time from the group. No complaints.

I’m flirting with the idea of switching writer’s rooms because I think there may be one slightly closer, but I feel loyal to the owner of one I’ve been using. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Schedule

May 15, 2008

I have decided to give myself a relatively strict schedule of writing at my writer’s room to keep things steady. Any writing, brainstorming, developing I do beyond the hours I log at the desk is a bonus. But i am not going to beat myself up if I do not sit down and write every night once I put my daughter to bed. Not productive.

Yesterday, I logged two hours “writing” at the room which was my goal. At night I read a YA novel that was tangentially related to my story and sent an email to someone to an actor I want to interview. These will both help move the story forward. While they do not replace hard core typing, they aid in the overall progress of the story.

Today i have the writer’s group which is looking to be more annoying than anything. We were all supposed to submit something because we won’t meet for 3 weeks, but come on. Nine single spaced pages sent on the morning of our meeting? I sent three because we will have to comment on four people’s submissions. I will do my best to read and be thorough in the time I have today.

Favorite inspiring book

May 14, 2008

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. Just reminds you that all artists have overcome resistance before completing their masterpieces. And Resistance is a nasty deceptive MoFo that can morph into anything convincing so long as you allow it.

My Best

May 14, 2008

I have decided to honestly give writing my best. If I fall short after however long, I will confidently know that I have done my best. I have to believe now that my best is at least good enough.

Last night completely jet lagged, I lay in my bed debating whether or not to get up and write. If I got up I might be tired the next morning, who knows what I would output, would it be any good? If I stayed in bed, I might get some sleep and the urge to write would probably pass. It was a tough decision.

I just got back from a solo LA trip (best mother’s day gift!) My friend, also about to turn the big 3-0, is moving to Dubai. A real Gold Rush. We talked about this next stage of our life that we are about to enter and what we were leaving behind. It was a blast. The point is, we are both leaving our comfort zone and security and taking a huge risk, her more so than me. But if I treat finishing my draft before the writer’s program as a challenge, I am bound to work harder and be more aggressive.

I saw how efficient my friend was in cutting out the slack and budgeting her precious time with people during her remaining week in the country. I should be this efficient and this productive. No reason I can’t start running on the ground. All I have to do is my best, nothing more. So like Nike says, Just do it.

Although I sometimes wonder why I need so much motivation and encouragement to do the solitary job of writing and creating which does fulfill me.