Habit

I am trying to blog every day. I’m doing it to help get me in the habit of writing on a specific topic daily. I can easily jot down 1000 words on whatever is on my mind at the time, but I need to focus that prolific writing to get the sixty plus items I have saved because they are almost done, half done, out-lined, or whatever stage I stopped writing in . . . they all need to be finished and submitted.

Meanwhile other ideas pop into my head. I feel as if I’m in a classroom with thirty children raising their hands and calling out, “Call on me! Call on me!” when I shuffle through the writing ideas that reside in my brain.

Still displaced at work. My future is unsure in that field. It’s also unsure in this one as long as I don’t set my mind to writing and working on what needs to be completed. So I come here daily (do I? that’s my plan) and try to put something down to see if I get worse as I form this habit or if I’m even able to focus and write daily.

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I Write Because I Cannot Not Write

I have been writing for years. There are too many words and thoughts in my head not to write them down. It’s how I get them out.

I see things that make me think of stories.

I ask, “What if?” and then write from there.

I write down funny things that do happen.

My emails are too long and I know it.

God’s wired me up to write.

Yesterday I said if he wanted something written, he could write it himself.

No, that’s what he has me for. I am excellent at my day job and I enjoy it, but writing is my passion.

Grumpy

I am once more displaced in my day job and more tired of the turmoil than anything else.

My youngest son, as he always says when I’m worried about my job, says maybe it’s a sign from God that he wants me to write.

Yeah, it might be.

“And with the life you’ve lived,” my son goes on, “God has sent you plenty to write about.”

I look at him. “Remember the movie, The Ten Commandments?”

“Yeah.”

“In that movie, God writes the ten commandments on blocks of stone. If God wants something written, he is perfectly capable of writing it himself.”

He bursts out laughing. I don’t know what is always so damned funny when I’m upset and venting.

Nothing is funny to me today. I am worried. I am tired of worrying. Writing is not anything I am interested in, except maybe blogging.

I’ve had a shitty life. I’m in the final years of that life, and nothing is ever going to get any better.

Write? Why?

Watching

Have you ever noticed how many ideas come to mind when you just observe your surroundings? Writers need to know where to get ideas to write about, and many of mine come from observation without knowing what’s really going on.

Sometimes when you can’t hear, but can just see actions of others, you can write your own script about what you think you saw.

I can stand on my front porch and get the plots of at least three good stories by just watching the neighbors. Sometimes talking to them puts ideas in my head as well.

I’ve been told I’m a good listener. I do enjoy listening to other people talk. It may be why I’ve done so well as a Reading teacher. Ten different children can read the same book to me and depending on word substitutions, inflections or even speed of reading, the story can mean ten different things. Listening to people when they want to tell you something is a good idea, if you’re a writer. The only thing I don’t like hearing is, “You should write a story about THIS!” and then they tell me about something that obviously has captured their passion. No, that’s not my story to tell; if you want it told, you write it.

But today was spent watching. I watched the giant grocery cart in the grocery store parking lot as I parked the car. I even took a picture of it with my phone. Then I went inside and watched all the weekend shoppers load their carts. They seemed more relaxed today. Monday is a holiday – Memorial Day – and perhaps they didn’t feel as rushed? It was pleasant at the grocery store. The cashier when I checked out was probably the kindest, most efficient cashier I’ve encountered in a long time. Usually cashiers talk to the baggers while they scan my items and I wonder if they even know I’m a real person? One day I’m going to send a robot through the check-out line with my items and see if some of them notice. (story idea?) But today this pleasant, happy cashier chatted with me and my son as we checked out. She was a delight to interact with.

On the way out, we heard the announcement about free hot dogs in the parking lot by the giant shopping cart. Oh, boy, lunch! So my son and I stopped for a hot dog. The man behind the counter gave me samples of different items and with the sun shining and the temperatures mild, we completed our trip with happy dispositions.

Spending $200 on groceries can be distressing. Today it was not.

You Should Try To Get That Published

My youngest son has his own blog and writes more faithfully (every day!) than I do. Tonight I read the blog he wrote about being in groups that teach you Chinese, and I said he should get that published. He said he would after he got a “following”. Well, being published will help you get “a following”.

Anyway, it reminded me of the book of poems I had written that someone found and said I should try to get published. They talked so much that to shut them up, I sent off a couple of those poems. Both were accepted by national magazines. Blew my mind!

I study the Writers Market. I believe it’s as much who you try to publish with as what you try to publish. I asked my son if I found a publisher who wanted to publish that blog entry, if he’d let it be published? Of course, he said yes.

The Writers Market is the most important book I have as far as books that help writers. It’s a thick book that comes out yearly and contains names, addresses, info that writers need to be able to contact publishers. It fascinates me to read some of the entries as I didn’t even know there were magazines devoted to some topics.

Now I need to find one on Chinese learning – a travel one? International one? Educational? The topics are divided into categories.

Maybe while I’m looking for a publisher for him, I’ll find a book of poetry publisher for me.

I Hate When This Happens

Someone will find out I’m a published writer and ask to see something I’ve had published. I’ll send them the link or if it’s a poem, copy/paste it into an email. I hate when they don’t say anything. Was it THAT bad, or didn’t they get it, or are they too busy to say anything?

I write quickly and I can write a lot. I do not understand those who either cannot or will not. Comments, good or bad, help me improve. Don’t ask for something and then fail to acknowledge that I sent it to you. You won’t get anything else.

 

Can I Do It?

For years I have dabbled in writing. Once in awhile I sent something to a publisher and to my amazement, they published it. There were also rejections. I know everything I write will not be gobbled up by someone with lots of money that they want to pay me for it. At least, not yet . . .

I’ve been encouraged by many people to write for a living. It was too scary an endeavor to try with three children to feed and care for. At times when the muse could no longer be ignored, I put pen to paper? Sometimes, depending on where the muse appeared. I also put words to monitor. What does a writer call it when they write on their computer? But in one form or another, I wrote down the idea, the story, the poem, the book chapter. Now at the end of my career in another field, I find I have many, many unfinished or half-finished writings.

What if . . . what if I now, today start working for a set number of hours on all those half-done stories and articles. What if I revise a poem and make it marketable? What if I take my writing seriously and use my talent to write something someone might want to read or might learn something from reading?I’ve had many jobs in my life. I’ve had many experiences. I’ve talked to many people. One of the things I wrote that incensed those other would be writers was when someone wrote “How can you write about something you have never experienced?” I answered, “you can’t” and that is the last time I will answer one of their questions. They bombarded me with comments that suggested I did not know what I was talking about. Some wrote the very things I would have written, if I’d elaborated. I did not know my audience. I gave them too much credit. I am still angry with their comments back.  There is more than one way to experience something. No one said personal experience in their question . . . I thought my comment implied research, dreams, talking to others, reading about it . . .

But I digress. My question today is can I succeed as a writer?

 

Would Be Writers

I joined a group of writers online who professed their desire to become paid, full-time writers.

I watched what they post and for awhile I’d write a reply. I have taken numerous writing courses. I even considered getting a MFA degree. I thought if they had questions I could help with, and vice versa, it would be a good idea to read what they wrote about writing and to write my own ideas and questions as well.

This has not worked out very well. My replies to their questions have been met with hostility. Many of their ideas boggle my mind when I read them.

I’ve come to the conclusion that many people who say they want to be writers just want to talk about writing or go about it helter skelter with no idea how to succeed. I probably sound arrogant. But I have taken writing courses, and when I encounter a question I learned the answer to in my course, I shared the information. I’d done it twice before I realized they don’t really want to know how to improve their writing. They just want to talk about it.

They have word wars, which I fail to understand. I can write 5,000 words a day. That does not mean they are good ones. I have had several poems published and most people know a poem is putting an idea into as few words as possible. The words are carefully chosen. No, I do not want to have a word war with them. It seems a foolish endeavor.

I did NaNoWriMo one November a couple years ago. No one liked what I wrote. I succeeded in getting my number of words written, but it was not a good read. The story itself may have been fine if I’d taken the time to choose my words carefully.

Character Development? I’ve studied that. The last post I saw about characters in that group was an idea to create SIMS and base your characters on them. I hate to tell anyone, but unless you’re the one playing the SIMS game, it’s a pretty boring game to watch.

I give up. I don’t know that I’ll ever become a well known, well followed writer. I do know they won’t.

Just a LIttle Bit Gets Me Started

Writing is something I enjoy doing. I dream of being a well enough paid writer to quit my day job. The only reason I don’t finish all those half started things I’ve written are because I don’t have time.

A blogger I know and love, who writes The Troubles With Life blog (http://thetroubleswithlife.blogspot.com/)

wrote in one of his blogs that you should follow your passion. If you want to write, but lack time, you can surely write one sentence a day. So I decided to do this. What starts as one sentence for me turns into 500+ words before I’m done each day. That’s getting my book written and is helping me review and revise things that are already partially written.

As a writer, I’ve never been more motivated or productive. Thanks, son.