7 Sites You’ve Got to Check Out About Journaling!

It’s mid-year.  Okay, a squoosh past mid-year.  Are you where you want to be with your writing goals?  No?  Yes?  Then, why not keep a journal?  Even if you are where you should be/want to be with your writing goals, maybe there are some articles you can read, that can help you excel even more so your WIP can be completed that much faster.  [Dare you hope!]

Here are some great writing tips, blog posts and websites that can share some info that may just be the inspiration you need to get going better, faster and more efficiently via journal writing.  Or, maybe these posts can help you to just get going! 🙂

  1. Writing Forward: This eight-year-old website has TONS of great writerly information to share including a really wonderful piece about descriptive writing.
  2. A great post about the healthy psychological benefits of journal writing specifically for military veterans: http://www.realwarriors.net/veterans/treatment/journaling.php.
  3. Writing to Heal – more on the benefits of journal writing to help us build a healthier immune system by the American Psychological Association (APA). (Who would have thunk it? That thing we do instead of sleep is actually good for us in some way!)
  4. Keeping a Journal to Remember Events – ‘nuf said.
  5. Dawn Herring is a Journaling Guru! Follow her site Refresh so that you can receive prompts & find inspiration for journaling from a new and different perspective.
  6. How and Why You Should Start a Daily Positive Journal – This is just in case you don’t journal…
  7. And for the last one, I couldn’t leave out a nod to the age-old discussion of paper?  Or, computer/laptop?  Here’s a recent study that may shed some factual information that you may, or may not!, like – http://www.medicaldaily.com/why-using-pen-and-paper-not-laptops-boosts-memory-writing-notes-helps-recall-concepts-ability-268770.

Ta-ta for now,

NB

Finding Voice on the Path of the Worker’s Life, Part 2

So, it’s been a few days since I began wrestling with this idea of ‘voice’.  I’ve been reading Shaun McNiff’s Trust the Process: An Artist’s Guide to Letting Go.  One line struck me…

If the ego is always in command, there is no room for the truly unusual and new insights to appear.

Another passage that struck a cord within me was this one…

…art has to flow naturally from the streams of an individual person’s experience.  Creation is a process of emanation.  Nothing will happen unless we start working and allow the practice of our particular disciplines to mix with the streams of ideas and experiences that are constantly moving through daily life.

Okay.  I had to stop and mull on this for a few hours.  For me, this means that one has to be true to oneself and express their authentic self within their written works.  There can be no dodging, bopping and weaving trying to hide behind pseudonyms.  There cannot be subterfuge in creating characters that spring forth from your imagination; you cannot hide aspects of them that you’d rather not deal with.

All of these things have their place in building a particular character to express a certain type of persona for a certain type of book.  But, is this the character — one who is inauthentic — in every single book you write?  Then, the writing is flat, lifeless, needs to be elevated to the next level. 🙂

With this is mind, I’m working on letting my characters speak and express themselves freely even if I, the author, do not sanction their views!  Regarding my characters, I will stand upon and beside the 5th amendment!

That’s all for now.  I’m still weaving my way through this fascinating book on the creative process.  I’m understanding more and more that “writer’s block” is merely a figment of our imaginations.  If we suffer from it, we just may be truly suffering from repressing something we’d rather not deal with consciously.  But maybe, just maybe…it’s the right time to jump in and let go.

Finding Voice on the Path of the Worker’s Life

So, I’m in the middle of this thing called mid-life crisis.  I recently had a child, my first girl, only about 2 decades after my first-born son.  I’m taking this class, right?  This writing class and I feel really geeked up about taking it.  I’m like, Finally! I’m going to be able to express myself using the proper tools from the writer’s toolbox!  So, I’m getting geared up in the month before the class — I get two short stories dusted off; I begin revising them (again).

Then, it’s the day before the course begins! I go online and read the syllabus.  My heart drops.  The focus of this course is Literary (with a capital “L”) writing. I know nothing of this writing. While I love Hemingway, I’m no Papa H.  I tried to read more of his work outside of my favorite short story — Hills Like White Elephants — I lost interest.  I got through 1/2 of his bio and wondered why the heck such a man would ultimately kill himself.  I stopped reading.

Here I am, in love with Hemingway and the mystique and bravado of the man yet I cannot get into his work, or his bio! Strike 1.

I think about backing out of the course.  I begin daydreaming about looking for an excuse as to why I cannot do this course. None come to mind except Chicken!!

Hunkering down, I do the course. I try and read contemporary fiction that is well-written (White Teeth; see my review of it here!) and I begin to understand the whole character-driven storyline and plot.

I still don’t see myself as this type of writer. Strike 2.

Then, we get to week 7’s short story submission and the subsequent critique. My word choices were questioned heavily.  So what I used altitudinous in a sentence that was not a comic piece, or an Olde Ye English novel.  So what?  I’m a bit crazy.  But, the real so what is my writing course instructor (an MFA professor) said that while I write straight forward, clear prose that is readily understandable, I inserted words that took the reader out of the story. Strike 3.

I wanted to stop the course right there.  And guess what? Life happened and I did stop the course right there. Why? Because what I thought was my ‘voice’ was being questioned and challenged.

Okay, that’s 3 strikes.  I’m out.  The question is, will I ever jump back in?

It’s been several weeks since that ‘voice’ incident. I’m less belligerent.  I am more humble.  I still don’t get ‘voice’ and what mine is.

So, I will research it.  Get feedback from others.  Read interviews of famous authors, and the not so famous ones, and see if I can refine and define my ‘voice’.

I’ll see you on the flip side…

NB