Tuesday, March 24, 2015

It doesn’t matter what you write… My Position

It doesn’t matter what you write… My Position

This is the third of three blogs on what you should be writing. What follows the ellipsis in the title is “…as long as you’re writing something.” PRO and CON arguments in support of that statement were presented in previous blogs. This week I’ll present the ”what I believe” position.

Keep in mind as you read this that the purpose of a blog for a writer is to extend your brand, communicate with your readers, and offer insight into the writer of the blog as a person. Hopefully, each of my blog entries does a bit of each.

Since writing is a process that spans genres in both fiction and non-fiction, writing something, then editing it, and revising it, and editing it, and having the writing critiqued, and editing, and revising it, is valuable practice.

If you are writing something to avoid writing something else, well, that could be a problem. I am not advocating writing as an avoidance strategy in any sense. Sometimes, you just get stuck—perhaps your protagonist has landed in a situation from which there seems to be no escape. Sending your mind on a trip down another pathway—by spending time writing on another project—might be just the trick to unleash the idea that’s holding your character prisoner.

However, intentionally avoiding one project for a prolonged period of time just because you don’t want to work on it probably indicates that the project you’re avoiding should be removed from your radar screen entirely.

I just scanned the area around my computer and I see no dead horses. But, I suspect an equine corpse is lurking close by, so let me cut to the chase.

If you are a writer, you should be writing. Period.

Writing isn’t just pounding keys and watching words appear on the screen in front of you. The process varies a bit by author, but the a good overview is provided in my booklet, “Idea Farming – Volume #1 – A Science Guy’s Read on Writing.”

This blog was written while I’m also working on production of a new book, editing an existing manuscript, and finalizing the formatting of “Book Creation – Volume #2 – A Science Guy’s Exploration of Publishing Resources”—which will be out by the end of March 2015; and adding ideas to the outlines of two other book ideas.

Once again, if you are a writer, you should be writing.

Next blog: Using Search Terms/Keywords to Attract Buyers to Your Book –an excerpt from my latest booklet, Book Creation – A Science Guy’s Exploration of Publishing Resources

Follow me on Twitter: @CRDowningAuthor and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CRDowningAuthor


My website is: www.crdowning.com

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

It doesn’t matter what you write. . . as long as you’re writing something. CON

It doesn’t matter what you write… CON

This is the second of three blogs on what you should be writing. What follows the ellipsis in the title is “…as long as you’re writing something.” Last week was the “pro” arguments in support of that statement. This week I’ll present the opposite side of the argument—the con position. I’ll take the position of compromise in the next blog. Two blogs from now, I’ll present my conclusion/compromise/”what I believe” position.

Of course it matters what you write when you write. Each type of writing has its idiosyncrasies, whether in different fiction genre or switching from fiction to non-fiction. When you switch back and forth, you force your brain to “reset”—something that takes some time and diverts your thinking process from what you were writing to what you are now going to start writing.

When you are writing a story, you (should—see earlier blogs or Idea Farming A Science Guy’s Read on Writing) have an end point in mind. When you divert your thinking from the goal, you derail your train of thought. Like any train that’s derails, it takes time and effort to get the locomotive back in place and moving forward.

If you stop writing a story and work on another story or a non-fiction piece, you will have to retrace your plot before you pick up where you left off. If you don’t review what you have written and where the story ends, you will most likely end up somewhere off the pathway you envisioned for your story. Worse case scenario: you’ll have to backtrack and rewrite part/most/all of what you started because you’ll not be able to reconstruct the pattern your brain was using for the story you stopped writing.

Unless (s)he has a masochistic tendency, and enjoy self-inflected pain, “do overs” in manuscript writing are not something a writer looks forward to. Retracing steps in the writing process leads to frustration. Frustration leads to worry. Worry leads to writer’s block. Writer’s block leads nowhere.

If you’re stuck, take a break. Take a nap. Read a book. But, don’t deflect your writing process by “writing something else.”

In my New Writers Corner  is Kayla Bluster (@kaybulster). She’s got a Young Adult book out now. Titled, Wishful Thinking, it’s a very good read. I suggest keeping your eye on her progress.

Next blog: It doesn’t matter what you write… My Position

Follow me on Twitter: @CRDowningAuthor and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CRDowningAuthor

My website is: www.crdowning.com

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

It doesn’t matter what you write. . . as long as you’re writing something. PRO

It doesn’t matter what you write… PRO

This is the first three blogs on what you should be writing. What follows the ellipsis in the title is “…as long as you’re writing something.” This week I’ll discuss why this statement is true. I’ll take the opposite side of the argument in the next blog. Two blogs from now, I’ll present my conclusions.

Writing is a linear process that forces your brain to look for connections. Your brain sometimes stops looking for connections when it finds the first one. However, it frequently finds several possible connections and offers those options of connecting information—whether you’re writing a story or an article.

You, as an author, have control over which of the proffered connections between pieces of information you wish to use. You might even try one connection, find it does not lead to the next story arc or conclusion that you want. When that happens, you frequently try a second of the options first offered. If you’ve been writing long, you’ve probably continued this process through multiple iterations of plot lines or conclusions until you find one that suits your mood.

But, it’s entirely possible that none of the original connections are headed in the direction your conscious thought wishes to take your story or article. This situation is a form of writer’s block. When I continue to write in this state—frequently in a different genre or on a non-fiction piece—I often find that, when I return to my dilemma, a solution is “right there.”

Your brain is an intriguing neurological amalgamation. While it can be bored by similar stimuli over extended time, adjusting the focus of thinking usually provides an adequate different stimulus to encourage new patterns of thought.

If you’re a writer, writing is what you do. So, write. Write some more. Keep on writing.

If you’re stuck, write. Write some more. Try writing something completely different, then come back. Regardless, keep on writing.

The next in my New Writers Corner: Kayla Bluster.

Next blog: It doesn’t matter what you write… CON
Follow me on Twitter: @CRDowningAuthor and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CRDowningAuthor

My website is: www.crdowning.com

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