Tag: writer workshop

Writing Update and Mini-Workshop

Friends! It has been a long time since I have written anything really noteworthy. I became very engrossed with my job and family and while those things are amazing, I’ve said it a million times before, writing is essential for me.

Here I am here bringing you an update as to what I have in the works regarding writings.

I have already talked about my other undertakings; videos, travel, gaming, ect., but what about books, poems, writing workshops? Yes! I am so excited to get back into making writing a focus. I think many writers suffer from a constant ebb and flow of creativity, the struggle to write consistently and the feeling of failure when you do not produce something. Writing is a weird sort of beast. Your accomplishments give you this amazing high and if you don’t reach your own personal goals or you feel it’s “not good enough,” well, the lows are incredibly defeating.

You can feel on top of the world one minute and like a speck of garbage not even worth cleaning up the next. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions and it’s not easy.

Now, throw in distractions, family, day job. other hobbies and you have a recipe for procrastination and the procrastination diminishes your self-esteem, you feel like garbage and therefore let the distractions become even more distracting.

This cycle is hard to break and most people won’t break it, or you’ll break it for a little while maybe a year or five years, but its an easy slip and it only takes a little to fall back into the folds of distractions.

That’s OK. Everyone is a work in progress and sometimes we are going to show the kind of discipline it takes to write that novel we’ve had in our head for years. Other times, we are going to eat a try of cookies and say F#$! it! Then, probably feel like shit later and regret it, while eating another 2 cookies and watching Netflix. Guess what, you can still write that novel. You don’t have to be anywhere close to perfect, but you do have to try.

And be honest with yourself. Most people don’t learn to be honest with themselves until, shoot I don’t know if most people ever learn it. I think you start to learn it when you start to learn to love yourself. When you love yourself, you can accept your flaws and failures with grace, understanding and a reasonable sense of betterment.

If you let the distractions get in your way, instead of grumbling about it, succumbing to the idea you are a failure, acknowledge the misstep, try to understand why you acted that way. Are you afraid that if you wrote something, you would hate it? Are you not sure where to start? Did you actually just WANT to watch Netflix instead?

By the way, all of the answers to those questions are okay, no matter what they are, but you have to be honest with yourself. Once you find the real answers, you can focus on real solutions. So you’re afraid? Fair, now research some ways to handle and conquer fear. I’m going to tell you, that answer is exposure, which means you need to sit down and face the blank page. Throw away your pages at first if necessary. BURN them. Do whatever it takes to take the edge off the fear and you will see progress.

Not sure where to start? Again, easiest thing you can do is research. Research some ways to get organized, or ways to create a work space that inspires you. Research prompts, do them daily. Again, you can get there, you will see progress.

Okay, you actually just want to watch Netflix instead. There are probably a few things going on with that one and you need to answer honestly. Are you serious about writing? Yes or no? Is your current lifestyle able to accommodate writing, realistically? If you are working 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, you have kids, or a family, pets, you need time for self care and as much as you want the self care to be your writing time, writing is work. You have a lot on your plate and you actually just want to watch Netflix instead. You know what? That’s fine too. Being honest and realistic about who you are, what you fill your life with and not feeling ashamed because you cannot realistically fit more into without suffering in other areas is a very important step. You may decide that writing regularly is not for you and you would rather play with your kids at the park and get good sleep than try to cram it in daily. You could choose to devote one day a month to writing, see if it’s something that fulfills you and if it does, eventually, you will want to choose it over Netflix. Or maybe you don’t want to. Again, that’s ok. Being a casual writer is ok.

I know I choose movies, games, my family over writing. I started to choose a job I was not passionate about over writing as well. So, with a lot of planning, I quit, because if I was honest with myself, it was going to take that big of a change to put me in the right space for writing and I want to write.

I have babbled on enough. Here is today’s short exercise:

Be Honest with yourself. Grab a piece of paper, right now, and answer these questions:

  • What do I really want from life?
  • Do I enjoy how I am spending my time?
  • What do I like about my life?
  • What do I like most about myself?
  • What do I like least about myself
  • Am I prepared to change?

Practice honesty, don’t feel bad about the honest answer. If you don’t like the answer, you, and only you, have the power to change it. No one is going to do it for you.

As for what I am writing, I have a children’s book that needs some last edits and illustrations. In fact, a highly rated, cheap drawing tablet just came to my doorstep thanks to Amazon. I am going to finish this up and go test it out. I have never used one before, and I’m sure I am in for some failures, but honestly this is what I want to be doing and illustrating this book will be so worth the failed attempts. I will probably also put on Netflix, just in the background… honestly.




Writing Sound

Today we have an exercise in sound. Now, there are several ways to incorporate sound in your writing; by way of similes, metaphors, onomatopoeias, etc. In my opinion, I lean towards using similes or metaphors more often than onomatopoeia because I find that onomatopoeia tends seem more childish, the clock goes tick, the horse says neigh, the horn went honk. I think that if you want to use words that mimic their sound, the sentence has to be a bit more complicated. When your sentence is more complicated and uses more educated words, certain onomatopoeic words blend well and add that sound effect the writer is looking for. I still think when I see something like:

Crash! The car skidded into the power box and sparks illuminated the hood in brilliant flashes.

sounds a little young, simply because of “Crash!” I think the writer’s goal is to surprise the reader and by making a one word sound/action it hooks the reader, but from a readers stand point I think a little bit more subtle hits me harder and grabs me. Instead try:

That’s when they crashed. The car skidded into a power box and sparks illuminated the hood in brilliant flashes.

It’s a statement and although the reader will take more time allowing the to figure it out before they finish the sentence, it works to build tension.

In other cases onomatopoeia works very well. You could argue that “skidded” from that sentence is onomatopoeic, the skid mimicking the tire vibration when the car slides and in this case it serves the sentence very well. Other not quite so blatant words like “plop”, “giggle”, and “sizzle”, when used well transform the mundane sentence into a well rounded sensory expirience.

But in no sentence does the word “buzz” belong.

Do you know of any instances where an onomatopoeic word worked well, or did not work at all?