Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Dark Side Of Writing

I am a writer and a blogger.

Therefore, the majority of my down time should be geared towards advancing those twin themes of the written word. When I sit down in front of my computer, I should be doing so with a clear and coherent plan of attack based on those two mediums.

If writing is the topic du jour, then I should be working on the following sub-topics: re-writing a short story; continuing to work on my next novel; continuing the submission process with my last novel.

If blogging is the topic du jour, then I should be creating enough blog posts so that I can work on the first topic without worrying about disappointing my friends and readers over the lack of fresh blog content.

Instead, when I sit down in front of the computer, I am unable to access that twin plan of attack. Why? Because the current mind fuck that the real world decided that I really needed to have in my life, is wrecking havoc on me in more ways that you can possibly imagine.

Case in point: What I really wanted to write about today was part three of my series of posts called "The Stubborn Side Of Writing." It's been well over a month since I last touched upon it and I thought that now would be a good time to revisit it. Especially since that I'd promised everyone that I wouldn't touch upon my novel for a few weeks, and that I didn't have anything else to write about for the moment.

So I re-read my last post, saw the teaser at the end (Why I Chose The Various Components That Went Into The Creation Of The Story), then took out a few sheets of paper and got ready to write.

Try as I might, no insightful thoughts about why I chose that particular course of direction or those particular elements for my chapbook came to me. Instead, the only thoughts that swirled around my head were the events that happened two weeks ago and how the upcoming days and weeks would unfold as a result of those events.

Ditto for when I gave Dandelion Tears a whirl.

I sat down in my den late Saturday evening (April 2nd) with the basic intent of either working on the short story that gave birth to 4 chat room personas, a presence in the chat rooms for 4 years, 5 blogs, a multitude of half written trunk novels, my last novel and my current novel; or my current novel.

I chose to work on my current novel.

So I took out my current novel in order to re-familiarize myself with the current plot lines (got about three or four, I think), opened up the binder and began reading from the beginning. Sure enough, within less than a minute, instead of letting what I wrote enter my brain by gently knocking on my temple, the events of two weeks ago played the roll of the big bully by pushing the novel to the ground and kicking sand in its face before barging in to set up shop.

And yes, the end result was pretty much the same: zero thinking about the novel and 100% about what happened two weeks ago.

So now I sit here contemplating the direction I want to go with my writing, and quite frankly, it bothers me.

On one hand, I can try to weather the storm the best I can and wait for it to clear up before taking another stab at working on my latest project.

Or, I can try to work in the obviously strong emotions that I'm experiencing right now and take my book in a direction that perhaps that I didn't envision when I started writing it to begin with.

And let's not forget about blogging. What happened to me two weeks ago is invariable going to affect what and how I write stuff in my blog. Will my blog still have that same carefree yet pointed outlook on the world around me, or will my blog now have something of an unidentifiable edge to everything that gets posted from this day forward?

What it boils down it is that I'm now at a crossroad with my writing/blogging and I have no idea on which way I should go with it.


  1. I think you should just run with how you are feeling as much as you can on your blog content.

  2. The last few nights for me I've just been unable to get motivated to write, even though I have plenty of opportunities and some good ideas. Maybe it's just that it's spring. I'll blame in on spring.

  3. Lynn: I have thought about that, but the problem is that I don't want to run the risk of having the blog going through a period of blackness, so to speak.

    I've always prided myself on not letting stuff from certain parts of my life filter into what I write on my blog.

    I do thank you for the advice though. It's always welcomed and appreciated.

    Charles: I would love to blame my tribulations on spring. It certainly would make things a bit easier for me.

    As it is, I have to find a balance between how I'm feeling and how much I want to inject those feelings in to my writing/blogging.

  4. I have had this recently and you may remember I said on my blog that I was suffering with depression. I decided to roll with my emotions, and try not to be "funny" because I couldn't. Actually my last few posts have been quite heavy and emotional, and I found it helped me to just write. I've always wanted to be as real and as honest as I can on my blog, because when I try to fake stuff it just makes what I say sound crap I think.

    I say embrace the feelings and run with it.

  5. I think Lynn and Joe said it best.

  6. Joe: I agree that when you try to fake it on your blog it can often sound phony (or wooden, take your pick).

    I don't mind, to a certain degree, going with my emotions when I write. My problem is that sometimes when I do (especially if I'm angry), it can go in a direction that may make people wonder just exactly what might be wrong or something.

    I remember when I was writing a particular passage to my recently completed novel, I was in crappy mood that day. So I got on a roll and really poured my emotions into my writing. Problem was that when I'd finished it, it wound up being a bit too dark and too violent for that particular scene. Even though it was a good piece of prose, I had to delete it because it didn't fit and people would question whether or not I was playing with a full deck.

    Whereas I can to a degree control what I write for a story, I really need to exercise caution when it comes to blogging.

    Blog posts can become so misconstrued and taken out of context that if you're not careful, you can dig yourself into a major hole that will take you forever to get out of.

  7. M: You snuck in at the exact moment I posted my comment.

    Sneaky little kitty you are. :D

    Yeah, they sure did. They both have given me some very good food for thought.

  8. Not only sounds like inspirational frame of mind at the time of trying to write issue- but loss of ability to focus in the moment.

    Apprehension does it to the best of us! A matter of ineffective use of avaible time due to pre-occupation. How about a bit of self-hypno?

    Try putting on a tune to sing loudly with to take you to a more carefree point in your frame of mind- like a fave from your teenagehood-

    I like Red hot CHile Pepper tunes, Foreigner, ect as a mood lifter.
    I do the opposite- I sidetrack away from the problem as much as I can.

    Good Luck!

  9. I'm not sure what the best answer is, but I struggle with this same issue on my own blog -- I tend to keep things pretty light, even if that's not how I'm feeling. There are definitely times I'd like to pour my negative feelings into my blog posts, but I'd rather not have everyone wondering what in the world is wrong with me. :)

    But I do find that writing things down helps, so if I'm in one of those moods, I'll write in a journal, send an email to a really good friend, etc.

  10. Snaggle: I rarely have that "loss of ability to focus in the moment" problem because I've been pretty good about not letting stuff in the real world bother me like that, but this is something that is so out of the ordinary that it is gonna be somewhat difficult to get out of.

    Music might be the key of getting me into a better frame of mind for writing, but since one of my requirements for writing is silence, I'll have to find a way to work it in prior to writing.

    Lisa: I sometimes do the same thing as well, send an e-mail to a friend or try to have casual real time e-mail conversation with a friend for venting purposes.

    But considering the amount of grief that has been going on as of late, I've really had to circle the wagons and go underground on things like that.

    I'll try to find a way to work through it though, one way or the other.

  11. I keep a lot of the heavy stuff in my head off the blog. A couple of times, I have put those feelings in a post, but I chose at the last minute not to publish. I want the blog to be honest but I can see that I hold back what troubles me. Why? I'm not sure. I think I worry too much about my blogging audience sometimes to be as honest as I want to be.

    Hope you're able to work it all out in a way good for you G.

  12. Kelly: Sometimes its good to worry about your audience. I usually have a core set of readers who are more than used to my skewered outlook on life. But I still have that tiny bit of a censor in my head because even though a blog should an accurate extension of its owner, I don't want inflict certain parts of me on those who choose to stop by and read.

    I don't have much of the same problem with my writing, although after going through all the grief with my first self-pubbed novel, I'm more concientious of how I write certain scenes/themes into my stories.


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