A Scripted Maze

perils with writing and whatnot

My Idiosyncrasies with Writing

My Idiosyncrasies with Writing

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Mike Licht @ http://www.flickr.com/photos/notionscapital/

I have some quirks about my writing that I know I need help in curbing. If there was any writing group in this little town, I’d be finding a way to become a member of it. Unfortunately, the bulk of this community is middle-aged to seniors trying to stay youthful through physical activities. I can understand this endeavor and would probably join them if I could. I’ve looked into online writing groups. Although I’ve joined one, Writing.Com, the spontaneous give and take isn’t there. Anyway, my passion is in the realm of writing, which I love dearly, and I’m trying my darndest to be more of the writer I feel I can be.

I read some of the blogs writing by writers, both professional and hobbyists. Many have written posts about their routine for writing. They list what they do first, second, third, et cetera. All points are worthwhile to consider for the one who is reading the post.

Quiet

One of the items listed seems to always be –have a quiet place to write-. This is a must for me. Without the quiet, there isn’t a chance in he** I’ll be able to write anything coherent.

I’ve come across people who are able to write while at a coffee shop, a park or wherever. How do they do that? Do they wear earplugs? Do they have some magical way to block out what is going on around them? There are times when even the whisper of the furnace or air conditioner will distract me.

Could it be that it’s a case of me having overly sensitive hearing? Actually, I can’t see how that could be possible seeing that part of my disability entails tone deafness in my right ear. If anything, I don’t hear well enough.

I could have issues with staying focused. In truth, I know this already. It’s another part of my disability. Some of my cognitive functions have been damaged, concentration being one of the big ones. The only solution I have come up with to successfully manage this deficiency is to have my surroundings as quiet as possible when I’m working on anything I deem as important.

Routine

Another item I see on many of these lists is –a solid routine-. I fall short in this area but have nothing to blame it on other that my reluctance to organize my days better.

I guess I could blame it on my husband’s work schedule. I’m a morning person, yet his job shift is late afternoon to late evening. I could tell you how ingrained my natural habits are, but the truth is I probably could change the time my creative juices are flowing to a later time. Between five o’clock and six o’clock in the early evening, I get what is called my second wind. On good days, it will last until approximately 8 o’clock. That isn’t a lot of time for writing but, with determination, it could make a good chunk of writing time. This may also solve the problem with noise I seem to be so susceptible to.

Editing

An item I see on lists that I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around is -when to do any of the editing-. I know that in order to get a good train of thought going, a writer should just write. Forget about misspelled words, grammar errors, and questions about the flow of the script. I know that I should just keep on writing until I feel done, at least for a short while.

Yet, I find myself stopping to look up a word in the Thesaurus or Dictionary, or I know for certain that I can make a phrase, sentence or a whole paragraph sound better and will stop to do that. I want to stop doing this. These things can wait until I’m done with the initial writing. The way I’m doing it now, I’ll never get past the first draft.

DOES ANYONE HAVE ANY SUGGESTIONS FOR ME? The first two problems are things I may have found solutions for but this third idiosyncrasy has me trapped and is making me counterproductive.

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25 comments on “My Idiosyncrasies with Writing

  1. Let's CUT the Crap!
    2014/02/05

    Glynis, I am like you. I stop till I find the exact word and I don’t have a specific time to write (I spend way too much time reading, writing and answering blog comments).
    I have belonged to a writers’ group but it has fizzled out. I am excited because I wonder if some of us could cook up something to help some of us online: How about an exclusive group, a private, closed WordPress blog where serious writer’s may post. Say a maximum of six members or something (not to become overwhelmed). The members would all have logon and password. I’ve thought of this time and again but haven’t found anyone who is looking for the same thing as me: a writers’ group. 🙂
    This may give other people the same idea to start their own manageable group. E-mail is too cumbersome but could also work. Even if the start-up is only two or three interested writers, I’m good to go. What do you think?
    A ‘small’ group would work best because it’s a private group. ??????????? 😉

    Like

  2. Justin Meckes
    2014/01/21

    I’ve timed myself before. It won’t work for everyone, but it kept me on task and away from distraction. Write whenever you can. Thanks!

    Like

    • Glynis Jolly
      2014/01/22

      Hi Justin

      Thank you for visiting my blog and I appreciate you commenting.

      I’ve tried timing myself, but it’s been a while since I’ve tried that method. When the alarm went off that last time long ago, it made me jump. I had gotten into a flow of writing and my mind was immersed in it. I guess I’m one of those who can keep on going as long as I can get a good start.

      Like

  3. kdub155
    2014/01/20

    Hi, I enjoyed this.
    As far as your editing dilemma goes, I suggest writing down/looking up words as you read a book, rather than fighting with yourself over whether the word you’ve chosen for your writing works in its given context. This, hopefully, will take the pressure off you while writing (perhaps you can take comfort in knowing you are actively expanding your vocab in other ways) and make your reading time more active/less passive.
    Also, maybe you could try dividing your writing time into different areas. Evening is for creative, afternoon is for mindless journaling…again take the pressure off of yourself while keeping your brain going creatively. Just my two cents.

    Like

    • Glynis Jolly
      2014/01/20

      Kristen, I’m enjoying your posts as well. You have a marvelous sense of humor and at the same time, tell it like it is.

      As for the editing — I think I just have to buckle down harder and refuse to let myself do it during the first writing. Maybe doing the jellybean gift routine will do it.

      Like

      • kdub155
        2014/01/20

        Good luck 🙂
        I look forward to reading.
        And thanks for the compliment.

        Like

  4. I have been seeking to join a writing group in my area as well. It isn’t easy. Many are closed or are too far away. I think starting a my own my be an option. I too, am one who needs quiet as well. When I am surrounded by too many distractions I just can’t stay focused on the task at hand. So stay with it my friend, we all struggle with the same things you mentioned at one time or another.

    Like

    • Glynis Jolly
      2014/01/20

      Why is it that misery loves company?

      I truly wish I could one of those who can write anywhere at anytime and have such an ingrained huge passion that the right words would come to me automatically and I would give a da** about the spelling or grammar.

      It’s comforting to know that I’m not the only one struggling so much. 😉

      Like

  5. BarbaraZ
    2014/01/20

    For me, I need to get the right word ‘at that moment,’ so I will do a search then. It may change my direction. My real editing is done at the end. I, too, am searching for that ideal spot. Being in a warm climate, I could go to the park around the corner. I get distracted easily when at home…. it is the Internet access! Of course, to write at the park means all research must be completed beforehand!

    Like

    • Glynis Jolly
      2014/01/20

      Yes, this is what I mean, Barbara. I must find the word that say exactly what I mean and I feel I must find it before I can go on with the writing. Because my PC is on DSL, I’m always online. Somehow it’s taken away the mesmerizing effect of the Internet for me.

      Like

  6. Carol Balawyder
    2014/01/20

    I like Linda’s suggestion of starting a writing group. Also put the Dictionary and Thesaurus away and just write the first draft. Just go until you write The End. Then edit.

    Like

    • Glynis Jolly
      2014/01/20

      The end? That’s going to be tough. I know you’re right but… I think I need to relearn how to outline a story. I think that’s the only way I could write until the end.

      Like

  7. Hello Glynis,
    If there isn’t a writing group then… why not start one! Just put some cards in shop windows, surgeries, library or where ever people gather. What’s the worst that can happen???

    Like

    • Glynis Jolly
      2014/01/20

      If I lived in a larger town, Linda, I’m positive that your suggestion would work fine for me. However, my town is small. I don’t drive except in emergency-type situations anymore and there isn’t a bus service here. In fact, every time I’ve called for a taxi (that was a couple of years ago when I’d be out of town every week), no one answered the phone. I’ve had to rely on relatives for transportation. This little town is in the South. I’m from the west. This means that I’m labeled as an outsider. Many people, although not all, here in the southern states of the US are very territorial. It isn’t as exclusive as it used to be but I’ll have to be here a while longer before I’m considered one of the crowd here.

      With this said though, your comment has spurred other ideas that I’m currently looking into. Thank you for your help, Linda. 🙂

      Like

  8. April
    2014/01/20

    Not being a writer, I don’t have any suggestions regarding writing. What I can offer, never give up, and believe in yourself.

    Like

  9. Travelling Macs
    2014/01/20

    I have no suggestions. I don’t write regularly so when I do I’m usually so motivated I can block the world out. I do write from loud places sometimes as the moment is my motivation. I definitely do write on though before editing letting my passion guide me. I often don’t even look at the monitor as I type, going back when I find a ‘pause ‘ in my flow, to correct. I teach this method in my classes at school too – though I DO also teach how to construct a phrase/sentence/ paragraph/ written piece so they have the skills to edit later 🙂 Good luck as you find what works best for you 🙂

    Like

    • Glynis Jolly
      2014/01/20

      I do read while I type. Surely this is over of the large fallacies in my habits. This is something I must stop doing.

      Like

  10. giorge thomas
    2014/01/20

    I’m one of those coffee shop people. I need a certain level of background noise for which to function. It all depends on what get’s you motivated, really, and it all depends on what you are writing.

    Different things need different environments. When I’m writing poetry, I tend to like the quiet. Having said that, most of my poetry comes to me when I’m out and about. I’ll see something, be inspired, and immediately need to write it down. I’ll then go back and edit it when I get home.

    You’ll learn with time what type of environment and what time of day suits you best. I’m not creative at all in the mornings, so that’s when I do blogging, answering of emails and such like. By afternoon I’m ready to write. I write best at night, probably because I have nothing other than sleep in my way.

    I’m a big one for the writing-and-leaving scenario. All of my poems are written in a little notebook and I’ll leave it a good few months before I go back and read what I have written. Because by then you’ve actually forgotten the words, and can view it with some perspective. Quite often I read things I’ve written and thing, man, I’m brilliant, but a lot of other time I look at it and think it’s shit. Or I look at it and see the potential it has, and have a clearer view on how to edit it.

    That’s all for now – hope all goes well with you!

    Like

    • Glynis Jolly
      2014/01/20

      It’s been decades since I’ve written a poem. Your idea has me thinking about trying some again because going back months later may be just what is needed to get it perfect or at least the closest thing to perfect. Thanks for the idea. 🙂

      Like

  11. Glynis I know what you mean. A good writing good is like finding gold. I was lucky I had one where I used to live but have not found a replacement group although I’ve tried many in our new location. Something that I find effective for me is always stop mid sentence or paragraph. Not at the end of a paragraph or train of thought. I think it was Ernest Hemmingway who suggested this. I find it works because you can easily get into the flow again and it will take you on in a natural progression whereas stopping at the end how to start the next piece becomes a problem.

    Like

    • Glynis Jolly
      2014/01/20

      That’s an excellent idea, Irene. I’ve been writing one wholes scene in one session of writing, at least when I can. Yet because I’ve finished a scene, I have to get my juices flowing again the next time I sit down to write. This may limit that problem. Thanks 🙂

      Like

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This entry was posted on 2014/01/19 by in whatnot about writing and tagged , , , , , , .

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