Monday, April 27, 2009

Go with the flow

The story I am working on is kind of odd, because I don't know where it goes, quite. There is a faint flicker of an idea of an ending, but I don't know if I will use it. I am just writing the story, kind of one sentence in front of the next, trying to keep it along some pathway. A while back I wrote 800 words in a mad, late-night rush, but felt that I hadn't communicated all I wanted, hadn't set the mood as I wanted and pointed where the story was supposed to go. So I started over and have written about halfway through those words at much greater length and detail, and have written over 1100 words about those first four hundred or so words. Hmm, you know, it actually seems way more lopsided in terms of expansion than those numbers suggest. Single sentences have become paragraphs, or short scenes. Hopefully, writing it like this will give me a better idea of where it is going. I just write something, keeping the work in mind, (I have a deadline) and writing the next words whenever they come to me, whenever they do. I don't overthink it, or worry too much about whether I should be sitting there thinking, or taking a break. I just kind of feel my way through it. The real question, is just having the right sentence to put next, and writing that one down. Its a different approach for me, but I enjoy the exercise of it.

Laying Down the Gauntlet

I did a bit of writing last night, and it went a little better than previous recent efforts. Part of the problem I have, I think, it that I just didn't have a solid idea of what the story was that I was working on.

I have decided to commit once and for all, to a project which I have been thinking of, recently, which is that I should write one short story a week. Between Sunday and Saturday, I need to start and finish the rough draft of a story, or a chapter of some larger work. At the same time, I need to do a final edit on a different story, an set it up so it is presentable to other people.

I think I can do this, because I am always thinking up new ideas for stories, but I just never commit to writing them, or I push them off to the future, pledgint to start working on them at some later date. But my disinterest in political news is growing, and this seems like a excellent way to fill up my day.

Besides, in the past, The lack of another analytical approach to writing has allowed me to skirt by on actual output. By making some kind of formal declaration of my intentions in a public forum (to extent this blog is public) I hope to hold my feet to the fire. the the overhanging threat of analysis will force me to act, making have to be writing throughout the day, every day, because, if I am not, then I am sucking at life. There really is no other option.

So a short story a week it is. I figure, if I can keep that pace up, within, say, a year, I should enough actual writing under my belt, enough experience, to have the confidence to apply for a creative writing program again. Or do something else, I don't know. The main problem I have is just my performance anxiety and the preciousness with which I cling to every aspect of this activity, and I just have to jump into it uncaring, just revel in the act of doing it, like I did with drums, if I ever want to get better. This self-analytical tendency can be stifling, so I need to turn it into something constructive.