Writing is my form of therapy. Sometimes I write to vent. Sometimes I write when I’m anxious and need to calm down. And sometimes I write just to write. Character profiles, line editing and scene revisions, or that one annoying scene that I can’t get out of my head. I tried to write earlier today but the words came out clumsy sounding and I stopped. It wasn’t a pleasant scene either, and not something I was in the right mindset to keep working on. I was watching Criminal Minds while I worked (I work from home so I can do that) and it got in my head.
And then there are times, like right now, when I want to write, but for the life of me, there just are no words waiting to jump out and be written. Most often, it’s when there are other things distracting me, like the TV or dad, but sometimes that writer’s block is there even in the silence. But there is a quote that always makes me feel better when writer’s block hits.
“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” – Louis L’Amour
So, sometimes I will sit at my desk, stare at a blank screen for a few minutes, check emails, etc. and then I will just start writing whatever is on my mind. After a few lines, I just keep going and going until my muse triggers and I find something that starts to flow like water. Sometimes what I write is pure gold and doesn’t need much revision. Other times, and this happens more often, it’s crap and I know later I’ll have to rewrite it because it sounds forced or it doesn’t sound anything like I imagined it would. This was not something that happened overnight. I took a lot of college classes on creative writing and actually minored in it, and this helped me learn how to better my writing from the mediocre high school level that it was at. And it was awful. I probably mentioned that in a past entry. It was just laughably awful.
Even now, I’m looking at buying some books on writing about magic, fight scenes, and darker scenes, just to read about them and learn new ways to try and better my own writing. I still have a couple books from my college classes and recommendations from professors that I need to read, but I feel like wanting to read more about how to better your writing makes you that much better a writer. I tend to strive for perfection, but sometimes there are certain areas of writing where I have no experience and I need someone else’s feedback to help me. A lot of times, that someone is my best friend, and I always appreciate whatever feedback she gives me. It helps make my somewhat good writing into better writing.
I’m not sure if I’ll be posting any of my personal writing here yet, especially since I’m still working on my first novel and I’m still pretty shy about sharing it with anyone besides my best friend. I can say I have a harder shell for critique about my work, but that doesn’t make sharing it any less intimidating. I’m just glad I have a small support system that helps me feel like this is what I’m supposed to be doing with my life. Having even just one person believe in my dreams and goals makes it all worth it, because I know how hard I can be on myself, and how many critics are out there telling me I can’t do it or I’ll always be a starving artist because writers don’t make good money. It’s not about the money for me; it never was. I write because it’s who I am.