Writers and Being Lonely

The writing process, writing advice, and updates on your work in progress
hektorkarl
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Re: Writers and Being Lonely

Post by hektorkarl » April 28th, 2011, 12:12 pm

Craft-advice intake can cannibalize other forms of reading and writing. Self-control is easy to ask for but harder to implement :).

It's worth trying things that have helped others to focus, but with the understanding that a lot of techniques work only for certain people. Failed experiments are only to be expected. Collecting failures is a form of progress.

Colson Whitehead had a pretty funny recent column on writing and internet distractions: http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-t ... ology.html

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Cookie
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Re: Writers and Being Lonely

Post by Cookie » April 28th, 2011, 12:26 pm

sierramcconnell wrote:
I can be social when I need to be, if there's no personal connection there, but if I have to make a personal connection for longer than five minutes, I get sick. (Physically, yes. It's a social phobia thing due to past traumas of losing people.) So it makes it especially difficult to make friends, even acquaintances in the world because I'm automatically assuming you're either wanting something, going to leave, or going to be killed\taken from me.
I was like that for a long time. Still kinda am I suppose, for pretty much the same reasons. Probably why I don't mind being single for as long as I've been.

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Re: Writers and Being Lonely

Post by Fenris » April 28th, 2011, 1:16 pm

Wren Emerson wrote:I'm finding balance really hard to maintain right now. It seems like the days of writers being hermits who get to spend their days writing and being eccentric are long gone. Now there's so much pressure to get out there and promote not only your books, but yourself, to the entire internet. I spend more time looking at message boards and blogs than I do writing most days. Clearly, I can't keep this up and have a successful career. But it really seems like every article about the industry or the craft is relevant and deserves my attention. And let's not forget forging connections via Twitter, Facebook, and the 5 or 6 forums I stalk.
Welcome to the world of the modern writer. But you know, I sometimes wonder if it isn't really as bad as it seems. Yes, we might spend less time writing than doing other, arguably less important things. Yes, we might feel like we're juggling too much at once. But if what we're reading is helpful, then it's not a complete waste of time. For example, if I returned to the way I was about ten months ago, sitting at my computer all day pounding into MCWord and not accessing the internet at all, I'd get a lot more done. But I wouldn't know the first thing about publishing, self-publishing, tips and tricks, and marketing, and I wouldn't have met some of my wonderful critique partners/betas. Like everything in life, it's a trade-off, and both sides have their pros and cons.
Cookie wrote:It's almost as if I've sunk into that part of my consciousness that holds an unlimited fount of creativity, and don't know how to get back out. And I'm not sure I want to. I kinda like it there. Interesting things happen.
I find writer's block is more than happy to eject me now and again. But yes, interesting things do happen when we let our minds wander, don't they? It's just scary when we don't even notice until an idea crops up--where did that come from? How did it get here? What made me think of this and why won't it go away? But then I realize I don't want it to go away and scrabble madly for a notepad to write the idea down on. Life around me is...well, interesting and sporadic, I suppose, and whether that's a good or bad thing probably depends on who you ask.
Hi, my name's Fenris. I'm a thousand-year-old monster who's broken free to destroy the world. Your kids will love me!

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sierramcconnell
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Re: Writers and Being Lonely

Post by sierramcconnell » April 28th, 2011, 1:27 pm

To wax poetic on the subject...

Alone, a drop of water is just that. A drop.

But when it finally has the courage to join with other droplets, it becomes a trickle. Then a stream. Then a river. And soon, it can become an ocean.

Every interaction we make with others gets us closer and closer to an ocean of knowledge, so every second we spend trickling away on the internet or blogging or tweeting or whatnot, so long as is in pursuit of writerly goals, isn't wasted. It's gathering droplets.

We've had a lot of rain here lately, can you tell? :3
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Cookie
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Re: Writers and Being Lonely

Post by Cookie » April 28th, 2011, 1:37 pm

Fenris wrote: But I wouldn't know the first thing about publishing, self-publishing, tips and tricks, and marketing, and I wouldn't have met some of my wonderful critique partners/betas. Like everything in life, it's a trade-off, and both sides have their pros and cons.
I'm so flattered, I think I'm going to cry.
I find writer's block is more than happy to eject me now and again. But yes, interesting things do happen when we let our minds wander, don't they? It's just scary when we don't even notice until an idea crops up--where did that come from? How did it get here? What made me think of this and why won't it go away? But then I realize I don't want it to go away and scrabble madly for a notepad to write the idea down on. Life around me is...well, interesting and sporadic, I suppose, and whether that's a good or bad thing probably depends on who you ask.
I don't have that problem. When I get stuck on something, I can usually move on to something else. Usually another medium. Drawing inspires me to write, and writing inspires me to draw. It's kind of an endless circle.

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Re: Writers and Being Lonely

Post by Fenris » April 28th, 2011, 1:43 pm

sierramcconnell wrote:We've had a lot of rain here lately, can you tell? :3
Same here, storms too. When I'm not swimming into town I'm huddling in my house for fear of flying branches and tornadoes. Fun weather, but at least I like the windstorms.
Cookie wrote:It's kind of an endless circle.
Same for me, but rather than drawing/writing it tends to go meditation/writing/piano/writing/etc/writing...and so forth. Maybe it's just me, but I can glean ideas from the smallest things--I once came up with an entire scene while washing the dishes. And hey, I was telling the truth--you and my other crit partners have made my WIP better than I could have alone. Thank you.
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sierramcconnell
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Re: Writers and Being Lonely

Post by sierramcconnell » April 28th, 2011, 2:07 pm

Fenris wrote:Same for me, but rather than drawing/writing it tends to go meditation/writing/piano/writing/etc/writing...and so forth. Maybe it's just me, but I can glean ideas from the smallest things--I once came up with an entire scene while washing the dishes.
TMI WARNING BUT---I once came up with an entire story from a cyst on my ovaries. The main character's name is Denise. Her mother died of an incurable disease when she was a child, and her loving father works a lot and is simply too busy to be there enough for her. She takes care of the house and tries to manage things, but she's a real jerk to everyone else. The girl she bullies at school finds out about this and follows her around until Denise finds out and they sorta begin to become friends\more than that. Then of course, poor Denise's love interest gets struck with an illness just like Denise's mother. OH NOES. Will she die? Will Denise lose the one person she ever cared about again?!

Yeah, I bet my parents (this was back when I was home) was very curious about the giggling and crying\snorting I was doing in the shower that day.

And yes, I named the six centimeter cyst on my ovary Denise, because she gets bigger and smaller, and has a team of misfit cysts that never go away and cause my life to be hell one week out of the month. XD She had to have a name. I yell at her too much not to.
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Re: Writers and Being Lonely

Post by Cookie » April 28th, 2011, 2:11 pm

We have a lot of rain waay up here too. No tornadoes (too hilly), just thunderstorms. Although, there is a tornado watch in the NYC area.

I've formed scenes while doing the dishes. I think it's the mindlessness of the activity that allows your mind to wander.

I've always wanted to play the piano, but I would kinda need to buy one first. My brother suggested to me not too long ago that playing an instrument would help clear my mind, because when he plays the guitar, he thinks of nothing but the chords.

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Re: Writers and Being Lonely

Post by Fenris » April 28th, 2011, 2:28 pm

Cookie wrote:My brother suggested to me not too long ago that playing an instrument would help clear my mind, because when he plays the guitar, he thinks of nothing but the chords.
It really does, but I'm not sure it has to be an expensive or even official one, like the piano or guitar, etc. Heck, you could probably pick up an ocarina at a Renaissance Fair and it'd work just as well. It's the relaxation that comes with something fun but unchallenging that helps, at least for me (I tend to only play songs I've memorized already when I play between writing sessions. New songs might be a bit less relaxing, so I save that for writer's block).
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Re: Writers and Being Lonely

Post by sierramcconnell » April 28th, 2011, 2:34 pm

Ah, if only I could read notes...darn musical learning disability. I can only sing\play by ear. It doesn't matter what I do or how long I go to school. They always slip away from me.
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Re: Writers and Being Lonely

Post by Cookie » April 28th, 2011, 2:42 pm

sierramcconnell wrote:Ah, if only I could read notes...darn musical learning disability. I can only sing\play by ear. It doesn't matter what I do or how long I go to school. They always slip away from me.
I saw somewhere (a long time ago) sheet music where the chords were broken down into letters, to help people learn. I found that writing the letters on the keys in pencil helped me practice.

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Re: Writers and Being Lonely

Post by Fenris » April 28th, 2011, 2:54 pm

Don't let that discourage you, Sierra. Playing by ear can be just as relaxing, and it's actually easier to memorize something you've created if you don't have notes for it (the mind focuses more on the movements of the fingers, so it learns quicker...? Maybe? That's my experience). Actually I've found it more liberating on occasion to take all my music off the piano and just...play. Even if it's terrible, even if it's nothing. It's like stretching a sore muscle--it may feel uncomfortable at first, but then the tension disappears.
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Re: Writers and Being Lonely

Post by Cookie » April 28th, 2011, 3:03 pm

*wants a piano*

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sierramcconnell
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Re: Writers and Being Lonely

Post by sierramcconnell » April 28th, 2011, 3:17 pm

I have to learn by what they call 'tabbing', which is basically finding what a key\hole is and what the note is each time and scratching it on the paper. Eventually I'll figure out what each one sounds like and I won't have to color the pictures in. Every time I try to read the notes, they confuse me to the point that I can't see them correctly and I get dizzy and headachy. I've had about nine years of choir, and I still only learn how to sing by listening to the song first and then singing it afterward.

I was in Madrigal Choir, and could sing in the range of Soprano I all the way down to some upper ranges of Bass. Because I had a very broad voice, and had started choir with an Alto II voice. (I have a deeper voice by nature for a girl.) But unfortunately I've been sick so much and had a couple surgeries since then, and now my voice is much deeper and I have issues getting that high. You use it or lose it. :D

I've never been much of an instrument player (short fingers) but I've always wanted to learn the violin, flute, and piano.
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Re: Writers and Being Lonely

Post by Fenris » April 28th, 2011, 3:24 pm

sierramcconnell wrote:I've never been much of an instrument player (short fingers) but I've always wanted to learn the violin, flute, and piano.
Those seem to be the big three; those would be my choices as well (though perhaps replace flute with ocarina). But hey, better short fingers than long, clumsy ones like mine. Even after practicing the same song for months, I rarely get it entirely right. I either mess up the middle, or do perfectly until the last note. For obvious reasons, the latter is the most frustrating.
Hi, my name's Fenris. I'm a thousand-year-old monster who's broken free to destroy the world. Your kids will love me!

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