You Say It’s My Birthday?

It’s my birthday. What did you get me?

I wrote last week. That’s kind of exciting. Not really, but sort of.

Writing is a practice thing. It’s the sort of thing you get better with the more you practice. I sort of feel bad about it. I signed up for a critique from my writers group. The main reason I did it was to give myself a deadline. I signed up two or three months ago.

I was hoping the deadline would get me writing sooner. It didn’t. It turned into a last minute cram session. This isn’t unusual for me. I’ve been like that my whole life.

I’m glad I got some writing done and am hoping to build on it over the next week or so, but at the same time, I feel bad, like I wasted the time of my fellow writers. They are a good and supportive group, so I don’t know that they would really feel that way, but I know I could do better.

Writing is a practice thing though. Someone mentioned that it was really good for a fast first draft. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. I know I can write better at the same speed, if I am writing regularly. You know, practicing.

It’s that way for me in golf. I play golf probably about five times per year. Mostly it is a schedule thing. I am busy. I’m not a great golfer. I’m not even decent. My handicap is around double bogey golf, so, I am not good. Because I play five times per year.

Here’s the thing. I’m really not that bad at golf, either. I know how to swing. I can do it quite well. Often times, I play several holes as a par golfer. I out drive people with a Five wood to their driver. They ask why I don’t use a driver. I point to my ball and ask why I should. Then I am forced to demonstrate, which is when I show them how far I can launch a ball off the course, because when I don’t practice, I slip. I roll my hands over and hook the crap out of the ball. So I use the five wood, because I am more likely to control it than the longer driver.

Writing is like that for me as well. I write fast. I am not a multi-drafter. I get most of it on the first pass. When I am practicing, I remember my tricks like all five senses every five hundred words. When I am out of practice, I forget that. In the eleven pages I had critiqued, I don’t think I had one smell or taste. Though I tend to use smells of food for taste. It’s a cheat, but it’s hard to eat every two pages. And really, how often should one taste blood. Ok, vampires are different.

So, you’re thinking the obvious thing. Why not go to the driving range once per week? Why not write every day, or at least every week? Well, the driving range thing is a priority issue. Just not high on it.

Writing? Well, that’s something Brenda Novak touched on in her presentation this past weekend. (She’s awesome, BTW) She talked about emotions. One of the things she mentioned is how a writer’s emotions can seep onto the page subconsciously – how a scene that is the perfect set up to be comedic just doesn’t work. It can be a subtle thing, hard verbs and such, that even though it reads funny, it just doesn’t work.

Writing takes a lot of my mind. To do it well, to remember all of my tricks, to keep the emotion on the page that I want, I need my brain. I’ve had a lot going on over the past year(s) and I haven’t been consistent at writing because of that.

Brenda didn’t say don’t write when you’re stressed. She was just making us aware that it can happen. I know it can and does. And it keeps me from writing. But there’s no better feeling than being around other writers and having pages written. I know that.

I’d keep writing more, but I’m getting to the point of telling you plans and that never works for me. If I just do it, I can tell you when I am done. I’m not losing another trip to England because I decided to brag about it on twitter and karma laughed in my face. I have plans. SECRET SECRET PLANS!!!

I am still waiting for my presents. This post was long. I should have just posted a picture of a cat.

One Response to “You Say It’s My Birthday?”

  1. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! As a present to yourself, you should write. Seriously, writing every day is a great way to get yourself in the groove and really make progress. Start with 500 words a day and go from there. You can do this! Because it’s a command, really.