Support for a Writer

I had a completely other post ready to start tapping away with itself, since most posts tend to go the way they want versus how I actually have them planned in my head.  And this will probably be no different.

This past week, or maybe a bit longer, I’ve been struggling with the plot of my novel.  It’s my newest novel that I’ve been working diligently on for several months.  It’s still in the baby stages and far from even figured out or planned properly.  But it has been my baby and my main focus for some time.

However, I just have gotten stuck.  Not stuck so much as what I want to happen, but getting it out.  I can’t get the phrasing right, or it just sounds flat. I struggle with when something happens and how to get from point C to D.  I blame part of it on reading Emilie Loring and Nora Roberts books. I admire both of those writers to the hilt, wanting to be able to have the genius prose of Loring’s descriptions mixed with Robert’s delightful flow and conversations.

However, I am not Emilie Loring or Nora Roberts.  Far from it. I am a flat writer. I know I just don’t have it.

This is the part of writing I hate. That self doubt.  The “I suck the suckiest of all and I will never get out of the mire of bad writing” feeling.  Clearly I was at a low point.

So I vented to a marvelous man whom I will introduce now because while I have never mentioned him before, he is a big part of my life and he really should be added to The Cast.  Because honestly, he is a part of my cast.

Boris, aka Campbell Scott

Boris, aka Campbell Scott

Meet Boris. No, that is not his real name and no, he does not look like Campbell Scott playing Boris Kuester von Jurgens-Ratenicz On Royal Pains.  But he is quite wealthy, works in a business I’m still pretty vague about, is a lot like Boris in that he, um, likes to have his way….  Darling man, since I know you will be reading this, don’t take offense.   Anyways, Boris and I have an epistolary friendship/or whatever it is we have had for ages now, because it’s more than just friends, though we have never met.

So, anyways, back to the story.  I was bummed about my writing, so I dumped on Boris.  And Boris being like he is, charmer that is, was so sweet to reply with this response today.

“Continue with your writing. Please, I know how much happiness that brings you, so never let that lax.”

Now, that isn’t much in the scope of encouraging words, but coming from this man, it is huge. He has been supporting my ‘writing thing’ since I told him about it when we first met.  He has nudged me along when I have written something, and if I don’t tell him something big…. Whew! Watch out, I am going to be in trouble.  He likes to know when I’ve been turned down for query letters. He likes knowing when I’ve won a writing contest. (and when I didn’t tell him or thought it no big deal, I got an earful)  He has been so incredibly supportive in his own quiet way. In a way that is much more helpful than past boyfriends who shoved more than nudged and practically told me what I should write, not commend me on what I did write.

All this is getting to the point that as writers, it’s incredibly helpful to have a support system.  Someone or several someone’s who encourage and help us move along with our moments of self doubt. Boris is one of a couple other people that encourage. I have a friend recently who gave me props for sending out a query. (side note, query rejected via not hearing back. Le sigh)

So, as a writer, do you have a support system?

A special thank you goes out to Boris for being the sweetheart that he is.  You always know how to pick me up when I’m down.

Oh, and while he replied just today, I had gotten out of my writer’s funk a few days ago; sun is an amazing perker upper.  I’ve got an idea of how to fix what seemed horrible. But that aside, I’m still thankful for Boris.

Writing on

~K.L.B

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2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,400 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 40 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

 

A Bit behind in posting this, but I always like to ‘brag’ a little. Not that this is the blog to brag on since I do not update regularly. I hope to be a bit better about that this year, but we shall see.

Writing on

~K.L.B.

Is Writer’s Envy Green?

I am dealing with a serious case of writer’s envy.  I really don’t think it’s green, but more of a black.  A black that sinks its way into  your mind in a very insidious way.  Giving way to lack of inspiration and a general sense of self pity.

You think to yourself, “I’ll never be able to write this good,” or “Why did she get a book published so young,” or my favorite “you are wasting your time trying to be a writer, you’ll never get published, give up.”  Okay, maybe no one else thinks this exact thing, but I am, or have been.  Or various forms of said phrases.

I just finished this marvelous book, “The Violets of March” by Sarah Jio.  It’s brilliant and written in a way that makes me want to visit Washington, especially right out side of Seattle.  Well, Ms. Jio is young, married, with children, and did I mention she’s young!  And not only does she have one book published, but several.

Then I just started reading “The Tiger’s Wife” by Téa Obreht.  She’s quite young herself, being only 27 with this debut novel that has won awards.

There are actually several books recently, and mostly by women who are young, that have written novels.  Now, while there are many people that have written non-fiction books, I just don’t count that as quite as stellar. While I think it’s quite amazing, it’s not quite the same as writing a novel. Non-fiction is facts, not something you create in your own mind. You have things that you have to put into non-fiction…. Anything goes with fiction so long as it makes sense.

I take that back, there are several fiction books I’ve read that never have made sense but they still get published.

And here I am, procrastinating with query letters and such for picture books.  Are they a lot of work? In some ways. You try thinking like a ten year old when you are thirty.  No, they don’t take as long to write as a novel, but they still take time.  And a different kind of effort.  So there is work involved.

I guess it might be more of a case of, ‘maybe it’s just me’ and how I write that the envy comes into play.  I’m not always the most motivated person, so I put things off.  These women have probably pushed themselves more than I have, or maybe they have had the luxury of writing more.  Who’s to say, but that doesn’t mean I’m not still envious of their accomplishments.

On the plus side, I’ve been trying to make an effort to work more on the literary agent process. It’s a tiring process and I usually can only research a couple a night. But that is progress from the last five months of nothing.

Writing on

~K.L.B.

I think this should be a note to myself as well. I finally sat down today to work on my Argentine tango story. So far I’m enjoying it, even if I haven’t typed one thousand words. The rule is just to keep writing!

I hate the ‘reblogging’ on wordpress, but I could not resist this. This post is just truly amazing, and I HAVE to try the chocolate cake, even if I hate using the microwave. I think I shall try some of this the next time my brain blanks. Oh wait, wasn’t that today? Hmmm.

While We're Paused!

Every writer has dealt with that massive, invisible beast that plants itself squarely on our desks, preferably in front of our computer screens, and leers at us in a mocking sort of way, just daring us to get anything accomplished.  Sometimes this beast teams up with Facebook or another soul-sucking website and we lose hours without knowing where they’ve gone.

And our story sits tragically abandoned.

There are lots of ways to get around writer’s block.  We all have our tried and true methods, so I  thought I’d contribute a couple of mine.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes (quite frequently, actually) I just need to get away from my work.  And I don’t mean Facebook away or even read-a-good-book away.  Those have their places (especially the latter).  But little treats that allow me the sense of escape can make all the difference when it’s…

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Eating, Sleeping, and Fresh Air

There is something I believe that is important for writers.  (and for those of you out there saying impor-DANT, there is a ‘T’ in there, not a ‘D’, and quit emphasizing it the wrong way. I don’t care what the news media and half the people on TV are saying.  Say it correctly, please)  Okay, pardon that rant. It’s been driving me nuts for a while now.

Eating a well balanced meal is crucial for brain function

Now where was I?  Oh yes.  A writer actually needs three things that are quite important for the health of the writer.  Correct eating, sleeping, and fresh air.   A writer needs to make sure they eat healthy so that their brain functions properly.  Personally, they should drink plenty of water as well, because, well, we all know we are made up of mostly water.

Sleep.  Now that is something I have become really terrible at.  I have not been getting enough sleep.  Staying up till past 2 in the morning is not a healthy way to live.  I’m not partying, but just being up that late is not good. I can’t possibly get enough sleep doing that.  Because I have been bad about that, I have been paying for it with being exhausted in the day and not being all with it.  It does not help if you need to focus on writing and you get tired looking at the screen. 

And lastly.  Fresh air.  Now, I actually meant exercise, but as I’m not too great in that department, even twenty minutes of sitting in the sun and getting Vitamin D, is important.  A nice walk would be good too, and I have been working on that.  Yoga?  Well, that’s a nice low impact exercise that can limber you up to sitting in a chair and writing. 

Breath deeply and get some fresh air.

Open up the chest, stretch the arms.  Loosen up the back.  Come on, you are going to be sitting in a chair, probably with bad posture, because who of us sits up straight when we are writing. Oh, you do?  Well good for you.  I don’t.  I slouch, which is really bad.  Heck, I don’t even write in a chair half the time.  Right now I’m sitting on a stool, in my room which subs as a place to put my laptop at night.  Sort of a mini table.  Because Why would I write at a desk with a chair?   

But get out and get some fresh air.  Breath deeply.  Stretch a little.  While your at it, eat an apple, or some fresh fruit of some sort.  Drink a glass of water.  Water is good for you. Oh, and if you didn’t get enough sleep the night before…. Take a nap.  It might do you good. 

Because, who wants to be one of those sallow writers with deep-set eyes?  They were not healthy.  I want to be healthy and have pink skin, and no baggy eyes. 

Writing on
~K.L.B.

Merlin’s Shrinking Spell

I wish there was a way to shrink my books so that I could carry a pocketful of different books.  I’ve always loved Merlin’s ‘shrinking house’ in Disney’s The Sword In The Stone, where with a “Hockity Pockity”, everything starts to shrink.  I always thought that a spell like that could   come in quite handy when I wanted to take multiple things with me.  On a side note, I could seriously declutter my room with that spell.

The spell would be perfect for notebooks and journals as well.  Just think if you go to the beach.  Forget the Kindle, you have a pocketful of books.

The reason I was contemplating something silly like this is because right at this moment I am reading Sense and Sensibility and carting around with it, Poemcrazy, an Emilie Loring book I love, my journal half the time, my poetry  notebook, and occasionally a few other things.  Oh and did I mention  that S&S is coupled with Pride and Prejudice in the same volume?  So you add that all up and you’ve/I’ve got a fairly large stack of books.  It’s not like I can read all of those at one time, but I do rotate through them depending on my mood.  I just like having certain books with me on a regular basis.  I’d really love to add a dictionary and thesaurus as well, but that is really pushing it.

So a spell  like Merlin’s, or Balthazar’s in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, you know where he folds out the book from itty bitty to massive?  Yeah, that would be nice.  Those five or so books would weigh nothing.  Carry them around in a little bag or something.

And just thing of how nice a spell like that would be when you go to the library.  That 25 pounds I carry almost every week?  Gone!  Just my purse would do.

Oh well.  Since such a spell doesn’t exist, I will have to continue to cart around whatever I’m reading.  It would really help if I wasn’t so interested in everything.  I might be able to cut down the stacks.

Writing on

~K.L.B