Web Cowgirl 衛 思 維 (webcowgirl) wrote,
Web Cowgirl 衛 思 維

Writing is an energy

I'm very full on in my play "The Xmas Carol" right now: in the middle of the final act (given that the end is going to be, "Oh it was all a bad dream" this seems to be to be the real final act, though not the end). I'm finding that one thing my writing retreat did for me is that it seemed to turn writing from something I had to wait until a muse stopped by to do into something that I could turn on and off more like a water fountain. Of the various writers I consulted for advice, this was the most impossible to implement one (in answer to the question " how do you get "big" writing done?"): "Write a word. write another then... you have a sentence and eventually you have a paragraph. Then you cross it all out but you are writing."

And now, actually, I am reaching the kind of forced flow this person (Lyn Gardner) was recommending. Here's her full suggestion:

Get off twitter for a start. Go somewhere with no internet and write a word. write another then... you have a sentence and eventually you have a paragraph. Then you cross it all out but you are writing. also don't think of it as big writing. people often think they can only write under perfect conditions. I write anywhere, on trains, platforms, the bus. If u wait for perfect conditions you'd never start. sometimes I faff a lot but then am suddenly v productive as if subconscious doing it for me

What I've found very helpful about her suggestions is trying to aim for the concept of getting writing out of a mindset you hope for and into a mindset that you create. I have been helped in this, I think, by the use of the "pomodoro technique," recommended to me by cavalorn: somehow, now, winding up that little tomato puts my brain into "and now you shall create a play" mode.

But here's the rest of the advice from cavalorn: "I think it was Stephen King who said a writer needs only one thing: a door he/she is willing to shut. Calculate total wordcount per day needed, divvy it up into AM and PM chunks, make coffee, get to it. Page count also an option. For scripts, there are standards about how much time a page represents." I haven't figured that out, yet, but fortunately a friend who read my play (and produces about 20 a year) said that my first script is about XX minutes long, so now I know and now I also know I need to add more to Three Brothers, which I shall do after Xmas Carol is mostly wrapped.
Oddly, I have more friends that are professional writers than I realized, so my question met with some more suggestions from another friend, Cherry Radford, which helped me stop worrying about using Moleskines and a pen and to just go for it: "I mostly write by hand & transfer to comp later - helps the flow, and you can do it anywhere. I have an outline and a couple of possible endings, but I limit my fretting to the chapter I'm on. I often only manage s chapter a week, but I've always been blessed with a ludicrous confidence that I'll get to the end." And her advice has helped me, too, because in some ways, what she said was, "Believe in yourself and your ability to finish it, and suddenly you will find, lo, it is done!" So I talk about my plays in terms of when I finish them and not if I finish them and I am already thinking about play number three, four, five, six and seven. Will they get produced? I feel confident play #1 will, and play #2 might, if I time it right - thus the rush to finish it. But finishing them is enough: I've already had enough really positive feedback that I feel that my plays will be produced, and I will need to write more because people will want them.
Tags: writing
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