Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Why You Should Ignore The Goblin

I stumbled across this evocative image today: a typewriter craftily morphed into a hungry looking mechanical creature that appears ready to gnaw the fingers right off of unsuspecting hands. It comes courtesy of an amazing sculptor from Oakland, CA by the name of Jeremy Mayer  (More of his amazing creations can be found here).

The moment I saw this angry fellow I had two reactions. The first was to laugh at the cleverly constructed character. The second was to cringe at how often I envision my laptop is staring up at me with that same expression. These days writing feels like more of a chore than it should. 

The annoyed little creature I see in my mind begs the question “what am I doing wrong?”  Should I start writing at a different point in the story?  Is there more research needed before I can move forward?  Or should I simply scrap this project in favor of different material?

Perhaps some wisdom lies in the Hogwarts' Defense Against the Dark Arts lesson from third year teacher Professor Lupin. Just like the riddikulus charm used to defeat the boggart, I will imagine my writing goblin wearing a funny hat and laugh it into submission. If that doesn't work, the least I can do is ignore it. C. L. Kay Ignore The Goblin Angry Typewriter Graphic

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Truth About Discipline

I love writing.  I truly do.  The process of creation and discovery feeds my soul.  Imagination rules my existence.  What I have a problem with, however, is discipline in my craft.  It is often a challenge for me to fit in quality writing time. Courage Quote by C. L. Kay Pen And Notebook Green Tint
I was always a good student in school.  I received top grades in college.  However, I did tend to procrastinate a lot on my writing assignments.  I know how to work and make the most of my time when I’m at the keyboard.  My issue isn’t that the time doesn’t exist or that I don’t desire to work.  I do fear the white page.  I do fear that the work will be horrible.  These are common writer’s issues that I’ve already learned to deal with.  So really, I’m not exactly sure what the reason is for my apprehension. 
I have a job four to five days per week in order pay my bills and rent, eat food and get to and from my job.  That leaves me with 48-72 hours per week that can be dedicated to my work, minus chores and of course sleep (one of my favorite activities; dreams deeply inspire and inform my work).
So, what is the deal?  I chalk some of it up to inexperience.  I have never worked seriously on a novel length project before (unless you count the 100+ page manuscript I worked on before studying fiction writing.  It is horribly written but conceptually golden).  It takes a lot of courage to jump into a project and make mistakes.  I have to constantly remind myself of my “shitty first drafts” mantra.  Am I simply a coward finding her courage?  Doubtful.  Otherwise, I wouldn’t be walking down this path in the first place.  Perhaps all I need is some time and consistency.  So far I have been consistent, however slow the pace may be. 

If any other writers out there have advice on how they push themselves to get their work done, I’d love to hear it. I’m always willing to learn and try new techniques.