Wednesday, May 25, 2016

It's My Story And I'm Sticking To It

   I have spent quite a bit of time lately pondering the reasons why I write and how my writing changed over the last year. When I first started a little over three years ago, it was strictly for my own pleasure and I enjoyed creating something new. Writing for others never entered my mind.
   I've written about this before how after my friends and family convinced me to get serious and learn how to write to sell, I completely changed my focus. I became obsessed with learning everything I could about writing correctly with the intent to lure the reader. Being a perfectionist didn't help as I was determined to use every new rule of writing I discovered.
   Unfortunately, this took away any enjoyment I had originally found in writing, and it became a chore just to get anything down on paper. I would over-think every sentence or word I wrote down. Was that the right word? Is the sentence structure correct? Could I have written this a better way? Folks told me I had to find a way to turn off the inner editor monster I'd created and only bring him out when ready to edit. This has proved almost impossible.
   Last week, several online friends challenged me to write a story mixing genres. It had to include a cowboy, a mermaid and be somewhat historically accurate. A complete story instantly filled my mind, but I tried to ignore it as I'm desperately trying to finish my first full length novel. I finally gave up on Sunday and just sat down with a fresh notebook and wrote the words as they appeared. It took me the better part of the day, but when I finished, I had over two thousand words. I haven't done that in over a year. I had finally written something again the way I used to without worrying about grammar, word choice, etc. It remains to be seen if I can now apply this to writing my WIP, but at least I now have the confidence that I can still write the way I used to and enjoy it.
   If you are interested in what I wrote, here is a link:

Thanks for reading.


  1. I think you did a fine piece of work with the Mermaid story and I'm sure you had fun doing it. I use to sit and long hand stories but since the RA has started to set in the keyboard is a god sent. So, now my long hand is reserved for love letters to my sweetie.

    I think you may be unnecessarily hard on yourself to edit and reconstruct sentences on the fly on paper. I would be lost in my line outs and margin notes, then to rewrite the same paragraph or sentence on the next line with minor or major changes. Finally, to transcribe it into the computer anyway.

    As you put it in the last post though, it works for you and you do good work for the effort expended.

    I know what you are talking with being challenged with an idea. You did that with me with the Vietnam era story. Immediately got my juices flowing, popped the top off a Monster drink and got my fingers a typing.

    Good post as always. See you next meeting.

    1. Thanks Jerry. Most of my editing goes on in my mind before I ever put it down on paper so there isn't a lot of scribbles on the page. It does make for very slow progress and is something I have to deal with. See you in June!