The biggest challenge I face when writing is getting out of my head and doing it.
It would be easy to assume that when I am not physically engaged in the act of writing that I must not be writing, but the truth is that I am writing nearly all the time. Dozens of stories – many that will never manifest on a page – are in play at any given time.
And when I am not “writing”, I am thinking about writing.
It’s a wonder that anything else in my life gets done.
I’m sure you might wonder how a writer writes in their head and if I could explain it properly, I would. However, it’s not a straight forward thing and the best example would be daydreaming though instead of wishful thinking about my own life, I dream up lives for people who don’t technically exist.
To me, it’s a natural extension of the “fan fiction” I would daydream about characters in the books I read when I was young. In my experience, books never ended. I simply moved the settings and characters into my mind and continued on as I thought the narrative should travel.
As I got older and mastered – after a fashion – the art of writing, I borrowed ideas from books and television and began inventing characters, settings and narratives of my own.
But then, as now, I think a lot more than I write. A lot more.
When I sit down to write then, words come out in a hurry and because I have spent so much time with characters and ideas in my head, it might seem to anyone watching me that I am channeling stories. Plucking them out of the air even.
The only problem with my method of “writing” is that I sometimes get stuck in my head.
And let’s be honest, it’s easier to write when it doesn’t require you to actually write.
With writing comes revising, editing and that can sometimes be tedious work. Though I will admit that I love editing. It’s my inner English teacher’s only outing anymore and she relishes it.
So, when I am in one of my stuck in the labyrinth of my mind periods, I sometimes turn to writing prompts. Think of it as following a trail of twine to the exit. Like Theseus only I didn’t have to slay anything. Much.
I’ve run across two fairly decent prompts in the past couple of days.
First one is a computer game actually called Elegy for a Dead World.
Based on the poetry of Shelley, Keats and Byron, you explore dead civilizations and write their history from the point of view of an archeologist.
The second is a 30 Day blogging challenge. I haven’t done one of those in forever, and though I don’t find all of the daily prompts intriguing, I am going to give it a go in my own fashion.
It’s this or write about Canadian/Albertan politics and truthfully, I am full up with impatience with both right now.
Mostly because there is next to nothing of great importance going on although one would not know that given the volume level of the dialogue on current topics.
Let’s just sum up briefly by saying that some people’s perspectives are in sore need of grounding reality checks. In the young I can write if off to youthful idealism, but there are plenty who are old enough to know better that should simply find new hobbies because they seem to have lost their way.
So! Writing Challenge it is.
At least until I get bored or the temperatures rise to such a level that I will need to be outside as often as possible. Warmth is not a lengthy visitor on my little patch of the western Canadian prairie, and I find, as I age, that I need to physically bask in it as much as possible so when winter comes – and it always does – I don’t lose my will to live.