gluedwithgold: (Default)
*dusts off her LJ*

Yeah, I kind of dropped out for a while. But, I figure it's time to pull my head out of the sand and take a look around again.

Yup, I've been hiding from social media. I've been mourning.

Read more... )
gluedwithgold: (Default)
Another easy one today.

Writing is my happy place!!!

After yesterday's autumn love-fest, I was talking to friends about how much we all love fall, and today was the FIRST DAY of fall, and there were google doodles and fall-themed Jared aesthetics, and the whole thing just gave me the fanfic feels. I just got this neeeeeeed to write beautiful boys cuddling under a big maple tree with bright orange leaves all around them and the sun filtering through and *swooooooons*

So, yeah - I've written about 2000 words of a mini-story, it'll probably wind up somewhere around 3-4k words (which is an odd length for me, I usually write one-scene ficlets that are about 1k, or full stories that are 10k on up - this one's totally different!). I'll hopefully finish that tomorrow, edit over the weekend, so there should be new fic posted from me soon! Woohoo!

But yeah, writing is so my happy place. I love the way my brain latches on to an image or a story premise, and doesn't let go until I've worked it out to a full-fledged idea. I love the a-ha moment when it all comes together in my head. I love starting to write, those first, tentative sentences flowing out onto the screen, then I pause and re-read, make a few adjustments to get the engine going then all of a sudden I'm off and the words are flowing, my fingers flying over the keyboard, and before I know it I've gotten a full page written with characters starting to come to life and the scene set and things are starting to happen.

When I write, I have this calm focus that I don't have any other time. My brain shuts down all the chatter - all that negative self-talk, all the worry and wondering what if, all the memories of things past that I can't do anything about but my brain latches onto anyway. When I'm writing, it's just me and the story. It's an escape, a way of transporting myself into another world for a while, but unlike reading or watching movies or television, when I come back from that escape I have something to show for it. I've created this world, these characters, this story - and hopefully it's good, hopefully it's something other people will want to read and get some enjoyment from. Because if I need to escape the world I live in for a little while, shouldn't I want to do that in a way that might benefit others? In a way that gives other people the same kind of escape that I need? Shouldn't there be something positive to come out of all the shit I have to deal with and fight all the time, something good from the way in which I deal with it? Yeah. I love writing. 
gluedwithgold: (Default)
Actually, I should be working, but - working from home 3 days a week gives me far too much freedom to slack off (hey, I don't get paid enough for the work I do, I don't feel guilty!).

I keep thinking about last November when I participated in NaNoWriMo. I wrote 50k words in a month. My life was eat, breathe, sleep writing. It was awesome. Even when the words I spewed forth weren't all that great, I was at least getting them out. Which is odd, considering I hate deadlines. I signed up for a challenge here on LJ and wound up dropping out because I just couldn't handle knowing I HAD to write this specific thing by a specific time. I tried forcing it, but...it all came out crap. I started two stories for that challenge before I gave up. My heart just wasn't in it.

Then I dropped out and, just like in the movies, the heavens opened up, great beams of sunshine fell down while a chorus of angels sung - I was free! No longer was I chained to one story, I could write WHATEVER THE FUCK I WANTED TO WRITE! WOOHOO!

But...I'm not writing. I keep trying but it just won't flow. I get out two or three hundred words and my brain deflates like an untied balloon slipping from my fingers (farty sounds and all). What's up with that??

I know I'll get it back. I know I'll keep trying, keep putting my ass in the chair and my fingers on the keyboard and sooner or later the words will start spilling out onto the pages again. I'll finish my works in progress, I'll move on to other ideas. I'll get my confidence back. I'm too stubborn not to.

But right now? I'm kinda bummed. Because I want to write, I really, really do.

Maybe I need more coffee.................................
gluedwithgold: (Default)
So. The lovely [livejournal.com profile] akintay posted a Friending Meme over on her journal (which I would link to, but I still don't know how {will someone please just wave a magic wand so I know how to use this site? Pretty please?} and I think most people who will see this already know her anyway so, yeah.) and it reminded me that I have this here blog/journal/place to spew forth all my thinky-thoughts.

Lately I've been inundated with new story ideas. It seems every time I turn around I'm grabbing my fiction journal and scribbling down thoughts on some new plot or character combination.
You see, here's my story. *settles everyone on pillows on the floor, passes out cookies and juice*
I studied creative writing in college - growing up I was always writing stories, foregoing recess to sit with a notebook, commandeering my parents' old electric typewriter (I'm old - we didn't have computers back then!) and eventually going on to study writing, despite parental protest. Being young and immature as I was, I didn't really take advantage of that education. I didn't put the work in. I wrote, sure - I participated in all the workshops, garnered some skill from being critiqued on a pretty consistent basis. But I didn't take the opportunity to really learn storytelling like I should have.

After I graduated and the real world struck, I gave up on writing. Now, 20 years later (yeah, that long - I said I'm old - shut up!) I've reignited my passion for writing in a major way, and with my new maturity I'm working toward learning all those things I should have learned when I was in school.

And it's paying off. My dialogue has improved immensely, my characterizations are getting stronger, my descriptions more vivid. I'm starting to work imagery and theme into my stories and my plots are becoming more complex.

When I first came back to writing, coming up with ideas was a struggle. I'd get a vague image of a story - a lot of times no more than a sentence or two. I would sit down to write, and let the story unfold as I worked. The characters would come to life, conflict would emerge, all in front of the keyboard as I struggled to put one word in front of the other.

Ideas are coming to me left and right now - and they're becoming much more intricate. My latest one filled two pages of my journal, and incorporates a lot of the history of the protagonist (which will come out within the story, of course). This one hit me two days ago, and I've been filling in details since. Just a few minutes ago I was sitting here pondering what my secondary protagonist's character flaw would be. And it hit me - THIS is how you build a story.

I've had many discussions with my friends ([livejournal.com profile] dancing_adrift and [livejournal.com profile] non_tiembo_mala) about plot and how to come up with what actually happens throughout the timeline of the story. We're all learning to improve our writing, and plot seems to be the one thing we keep coming back to, that we keep struggling with.

What's happening for me (and of course, everyone's process is different, this may sound assinine to someone else) is that I start with a situation, a premise. Into that situation I put characters. How those characters interact, react, change, grow - that's where the story unfolds. So, what I'm learning is that rather than needing a specific series of events - A happens, then B happens as a result, leading to C happening - what really fuels my storytelling is character. The more fleshed out, the more real my characters are, the easier it is to throw them into a situation and let the events unfold. The more intimately I know the characters, the more logical it becomes to see what they would do, how they would react. If one character's flaw is a fear of commitment, when he meets another character and falls in love, that is going to create conflict for that character.

So, basically - all those exercises I was supposed to do in college, creating character sketches and biographies? They were right. It's useful. It's important. It's integral to storytelling. If I could go back in time and talk to my 20-year-old self, I'd definitely smack her upside the head and tell her to pay attention. Who knows, maybe we'd be published by now!

Now...I just need to sit down and actually write all these stories....
gluedwithgold: (Default)
I don't get out much. I fight anxiety and depression daily. Notice I say fight - this is a purposeful word choice. I don't struggle, I don't suffer - I literally fight it every day because I am determined to not allow it to keep power over my life. It's taken many, many years to get to this point but I'm here. It's been just in the last year that I've been able to open up to life. Much of this is due to the love and support of my sister and my friends [livejournal.com profile] dancing_adrift and [livejournal.com profile] non_tiembo_mala. I'm now able to fight through the anxiety and do things I wouldn't have considered a few years ago.

Last night I went to a concert with my sister. We arrived very early and got very close to the stage - fourth row, nearly center. I've been to concerts before - the last I went to was ten years ago, and the only way I was able to do it was to stick to the outskirts with a clear, quick escape route. But not last night - last night we were right in the thick of it. And I did experience anxiety and panic. The volume that close to the stage was epic - I could feel the ground shaking beneath my feet, the flesh on my arms shuddering with the beat, and the thumping of the bass heavily pounded in my chest. I was unprepared for that much of a physical experience, and it scared me. But I pushed through it, and by the end of the show, I enjoyed it.

The lead singer came out into the crowd during one of the encore songs, and there was a push of the crowd (he was close - my sister got knocked in the head with the microphone cord) - I knew ahead of time that this would happen, it happens at every one of their shows, and I knew I would be in the middle of it. I panicked anyway. But I also dealt with it. I fought down the thoughts that would have blown the situation out of proportion in my head - the thoughts of "what if I get separated from my sister?" "what if I get pushed down and trampled?" "what if I have a panic attack?" - I made it through, and even though I have no memory of that particular song of the show, that's okay. I made it.

As we sat in the car waiting for traffic to clear enough to be able to back out of our parking space, I was enveloped with an overwhelming sense of pride. I was exhausted, sore, and anxiety-ridden, but so fucking proud of myself for doing it. For fighting that which, not that long ago, would have kept me from going and having a good time, enjoying the music, the energy of the crowd and the company of my sister, of making memories that will stay with me for the rest of my life. I didn't miss out.

13432449_10206508469902898_9122512293563496297_n.jpg
The National at MassMoCA - June 11, 2016

I got home late, fell into bed exhausted and slept peacefully and happily. I woke up, still tired and sore, still feeling full of pride at my accomplishment, of how far I've come in my fight. When I went online and started seeing the news, my high deflated. I found there had been yet another shooting, 50 people dead and 53 injured at a club in Orlando.

I started thinking about why something like this would affect me so strongly. I don't watch the news - I gather a meager understanding of what's going on in the world through headlines on the internet, but I can't stomach anything more. I get anxious and depressed when things like this happen, and I can't wrap my head around how things like this can happen. So I escape into writing, reading, fandom, television and music. I ignore the horrible things that go on in the world because it's too much for me to handle. And that's why the news of this shooting knocked me down off my high of accomplishment. I can handle a concert, but I can't handle the world at large. I can function in my own little, sheltered environment, but I can't open myself up to the greater circle of society. I can't find the strength to join in the fight against these terrible things, even though I fully believe in fighting hate with love, and the more love is put out into the world the stronger and more effective it gets. It's not that I think I will never be able to put myself out there. I know I'm still working on it - last night is evidence of that. I just still have a ways to go before I get to the point where I can fight the panic and fear it brings up in me.

And that brought me to wondering why I choose writing as an escape. I realized that even though writing is a solitary process, that I can shutter myself away with my fingers on the keyboard and not be affected by the things that scare me, it still creates an avenue for me to participate in the society that I'm afraid of. Through telling stories I can put the love that I have, that energy, out into the world. It's my way of fighting. Right now it's what I can do while still caring for myself - and I'm okay with that. Right now, it's enough.

My heart goes out to those affected by this awful, hateful act. I send my love to help in the fight against hate. My words will be flowing as much as possible.  
gluedwithgold: (Default)
It was about a year ago that I started writing again after a twenty year hiatus (yes, I'm old enough that twenty years of my adult life can pass with significance - pipe down, you whippersnappers!). I started writing basically as soon as I learned to read, and never stopped all through high school and college (I majored in writing and literature - go figure). But once I graduated and the relative freedom of school was ripped from my hands as I wailed and moaned, begging and grasping for it with aching, bloodied fingers (I may be exaggerating a wee bit) and I had to engage in "real life" I let go of the passion and dove into the daily grind of making a living. Writing was always at least in the back of my mind, and throughout the years I made half-hearted attempts at renewing my passion, reinventing my determination and discipline. It never stuck, until now.

Now I'm focused and passionate, spending more time thinking about writing than anything else, and actually writing for at least a few hours most days. I seem to have hit a roadblock, however. I have so many ideas and so much desire - my favorite daydream right now is being able to quit my day job and write full time - that I've found myself stagnant.

I'm three quarters finished with a J2 RPF College AU, I have a solid idea for [livejournal.com profile] spnhorrorbang that I can't wait to dive into, I have another exciting idea for another J2 RPF AU story (a fantasy genre story that's so far out of the realm of what I normally write that I'm chomping at the bit to explore it), a half-formed idea for an original story that I intend to write during this year's NaNoWriMo that I really want to flesh out so I'm more prepared for the month-long marathon in November, my fiction journal is slowly filling up with other ideas and it seems I have something newsmack me in the face with a resounding splat every day (ideas are gooey - they splate when they hit). On top of all these ideas, I have an uncontrollable desire to work on certain elements of my writing - exploring different points of view, experimenting with stream-of-consciousness narration, toying with theme and motif - to learn and grow as a writer (which, of course, can only be accomplished by writing - duh).

Sounds like a writer's dream, right? Except that I'm finding myself completely overwhelmed by all of this, and when I get overwhelmed I turn into a possum curled up in a tight ball in the middle of the road in the dead of night. I get overwhelmed and I just can't do anything. I sit down to write, and the thousand words that would have taken me an hour and a half struggles out over three hours because my mind won't settle in, it's constantly skittering from one thought and idea to the next without every pausing to work on the task at hand. And what I do manage to produce is dry and lacking the heart of what I push out when I'm really focused and writing with flow.

So what the fuck do I do now? Well, my best guess is - I write. I put my butt in the chair, my fingers on the keyboard and I struggle through forcing every constipated word I can get out onto the page. Maybe everything I write will be crap, and I'll have to edit the fuck out of it to make something even remotely readable out of it. But if I let this overwhelming stagnancy take hold, I'm in for another hiatus of whining and complaining that "I wish I could write because I miss it." Fuck that. Writers write, and whether I'm writing coma-inducing crap or amazing literature that will change the collective consciousness of the universe, I am a writer. 

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