The Writing Spider hasn’t written much of late, has she?
I have been sickish/busy/burned out from my job/apathetic/finishing reading a great book mostly the last few weeks. I started to write a post about my 10 year college reunion a few weeks ago and I still have the draft rolling around. Plus I started work on a new short story and I’m kind of at the point where it’s getting difficult.
I am a character-driven writer. I love coming up with cool people to spend time with in the world of the story. This may be why I enjoy creative nonfiction so much but that’s another post entirely. So I came up with this character and started writing this piece around that character. Remember your junior high English classes when you had to figure out the structure of a story? Characters, setting, conflict, action, resolution, end. I love the first two but I can do without the rest. I’m terrible at making up a conflict. I know it doesn’t have to be something huge – Kurt Vonnegut said every character must want something, even if its a glass of water and conflict comes from putting an obstacle in the way of getting the water. Maybe I should write a story where everybody wants a glass of water.
My point is, I’ve created the characters and the setting and now comes the difficult work of making you care about them at all. This is usually the point at which I just give up but I actually really love the concept of the story and feel that if I can do it well, I will be very happy with it.
I made a little plan about writing. I am forever making plans and sometimes they work. Part of my plan was to write more. Part was to get proactive on the rest – find a writing group, read more about writing, etc. Incidentally, part of this alleviates the boredom and frustration I often feel at my day job and thus helps to take care of my Day Job Problem.
I would be a famous writer by now if it wasn’t for my Day Job Problem. Or sleeping. Or television. Bah.
In another bid to motivate myself, I am continuing to listen to Mur Lafferty’s podcast, I Should Be Writing, and reading any author blogs I can see at work. Another part of the Day Job Problem is that I can’t see blogs because I work for a bunch of Fascists who won’t let you see anything remotely fun. Thank goodness for iPhone, but I digress.
Neil Gaiman’s website is available to me at work which is a good resource but also makes me feel sort of like if I talked to Neil about writing he would laugh at me for thinking I’m a writer at all. No, he wouldn’t, he’s not that kind of guy, but he’d be able to spot my problem. I’m not writing stuff, finishing stuff, and sending it out. I’m just sticking my toe in the baby pool of writerhood. I used to be doing backflips off the high dive and now I’ve got on the inflated swimmies and a nose clip and a flower patterned swim cap.
I emailed a professor from grad school who directed my thesis and to whom I am still grateful for going to bat for the creative writers in a school where creative writing is the red-headed stepchild of the English department DESPITE the fact that the school includes on its faculty some of the finest authors in the country and I’m not just saying that. I asked him if he knew of anybody who was looking for writing group members or a group to join. This is also how I found the Evil Dictator’s writing group, but surely my professor won’t send me astray again?
On another note, today is election day in the US. Part of why I’ve been so distracted is the massive amounts of political talk I’ve been exposed to the last few weeks. I’m on overload! So I will say that I am going to vote today and I encourage you to do so if you have not already.