I am currently working on three different books. As an idea for each of them pops into my head, I sit down and write out that scene.
I’m finding that beginning the book with a good “hook” is hard for me. I’m not sure where to try to begin two of them. I read somewhere that publishers usually throw away the first thirty pages of a novel because most writers begin too far back.
Where does the story start? I’m not exactly sure. I’m hoping that once the scenes are all written, I can go through and put them in order and maybe that will help me find the beginning.
I do know I have to write when I’m inspired, or I lose the words. I often wake up ready to write, but with this job I now have, I don’t have time to sit down and write in the mornings when the muse arrives.
One morning I woke up with a whole alphabet rhyming book in my head. It played over and over as my early morning poems do until I write them done. I did not have time to write the whole thing, so I repeated it on my way to work. I thought once I got there, I’d scribbled the words down. Someone met me as I came in, started talking to me and the words have never returned. I can remember some of them, but not all. I regret not being late and taking the time to write the words down while they were in my head.
Likewise with my books. I’ll either wake up thinking about a scene or one will pop into my head as I am washing dishes, or doing some other mundane task. If I don’t stop right that minute and write the words down, I lose them.
So instead of being a disciplined, start at the beginning to tell the story writer, I write more like a grasshopper, jumping from scene to scene with the words pouring out as I write.
I tend to do that as an educator as well. As I teach, I’ll notice confused looks or something related to the objective being taught will pop into my head and I’ll include it. I recently got criticized for that after an observation. I was told to choose one thing and stick to that and only teach that as I taught. ???? I cannot do that. My students learn more than is expected and pay attention, for they, like me know where the lesson is headed, but do not know how we are getting there. I have a path marked, but frequently stop and explore other avenues as we go through the lesson plan.
It is my sincere hope that at the end of this school year I can quit this full-time job that takes so much time and energy and devote myself to being a full-time writer. I go where my mind leads me. I do not try to lead it where I want it to go. I’ve been published. I’ve been rehired to teach. I think I know what I’m doing. In fact, I know I do. What’s that old saying, “Do not say it can’t be done to the person who is doing it.”
Something like that. Let me fact check. Found this: “In these days, a man who says a thing cannot be done is quite apt to be interrupted by some idiot doing it.” Not exactly the words I remember being quoted, but the idea is certainly there. I found it here. http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Elbert_Hubbard
I’ve begun a writers notebook. I found a notebook I bought for one of my sons years ago. It is filled with blank pages. On the cover is a frog and in a caption are the words, “”Oh, great! Bugs for breakfast again.” This makes me smile and so I pick up this notebook cheerful and ready to fill it with writing ideas. That is what my writer’s notebook is. I include article ideas, story ideas (keep it by the bed to jot down dreams that might be written up as stories or poems) . . . and descriptions of places and feelings. All these are not only good writing exercises, but will provide info if I decide to write about that place or time.
I can also tear out the pages and file them under topics, if I get that far in my writer’s quest to decide to do so.
I’ve had notebooks before . . . journals as well . . . but this one is different. As I prepare for my writing life/ my retirement from my educator’s life . . . I can store up possible ideas and then write them up when my time is free.
After reviewing my evaluation from last year’s teaching experience, I think I am meant to be a writer.
I’m an excellent teacher. I have a Masters Degree in the subject I teach (Reading). I have had at least two articles published on Reading and Writing in the last two years. Yet, as I view this recent evaluation that I think may be visible to everyone on the internet (?), I see I am listed as “Developing” in my knowledge of subject taught. How the hell can that be? Masters Degree and Published work on subject taught.
Obviously I am meant to be a writer, not a teacher. I’m good at both, but I’m tired of not being appreciated.
I do believe in America today there is a movement to limit public school education and to replace knowledgeable teachers with those who will do as told and not complain. Already in North Carolina, teachers will lose tenure in another year or two. Every teacher will be on a year to year contract, and can be let go when the year is over. That means teachers will be even more compliant than they now are. I’ve been told I could be fired for not teaching exactly what I’ve been told I could teach. If they walk into my classroom, and I’m teaching something not in the curriculum (they number each objective and that is what you focus on), I am subject to immediate dismissal. I’ve also been told not to speak out against anything in today’s educational system. We all have been thus instructed. The career I began with such happiness and that I’ve done with such joy, is not the career it was when I first began. Teachers are not respected, they’re not appreciated, or at least that’s what my colleagues say to me. Most are dissatisfied. What is going to happen is public education, at least in this state, will begin to be done by those with personalities that lend them to manipulation and control. They will teach what they’ve been told to teach and will never question why or the end result. It’s a sad day for public education. I wonder what the private schools are allowed to teach? Are minds there more challenged? Are they more open? I don’t know, but I know writing is much more appealing. Can you hear me now? I’m not allowed to speak out where I currently work.