Writing and Isolation

I wanted to write a short blog tonight about the writer’s life. Whether you’re a writer who writes after a day job, and most every writer has one, or a writer who has the luxury of writing full-time, you can’t write and chat. We write by ourselves at home, in a cafe or at the library, some chosen place to set words down. Some people enjoy the solitude and have friends to see in the after-hours. Others find they can write in isolation just for so long before they need someone with whom to check in. Others find it easiest to write if they have set a goal with another writer and each day report in on how well they are meeting that goal.

I have always enjoyed my solitude but then I’m a bit of an introvert. Lately, I am caught in the feeling of being alone too much. I signed up for a workshop to jump start my creativity again and realized just signing up for the workshop made me set goals in my mind to do several things I had been putting off: submitting to publishers and organizing my files for easier access. Both goals I have a hard time with because I can let them slide and besides, they are not creative. Having started both projects, I find I am uplifted, pleased with myself. Continue reading “Writing and Isolation” »

Remember the Purpose of Your Memoir

Be sure to stay on topic.  Write a phrase or sentence of what your memoir is most deeply about, for instance: connection makes us human.  Write a phrases or sentence of what the chapter you’re writing is about: losing connection to myself makes me lose connection to others.

As you write, check these two phrases and see if what you are writing is stayingon topic. If not, take the auxiliary material out. Maybe it isn’t needed at all or perhaps it can be used elsewhere by blending it in with other writings. Perhapsyou have subplots and will track those topics too which will make your book all the more interesting, for example: care of animals on winter farm and what the freedom of movement (body) gives your protagonist once you move away from the city. Continue reading “Remember the Purpose of Your Memoir” »

What is a Good Writing Schedule?

It’s always good to keep up a regular momentum. I don’t write at the same time every day but I know I will write in the morning. Sometimes I start at nine and other times at eleven. I know I’ll write in the morning until lunch, even a late lunch. That’s when I write best. Midday, I start to feel isolated if I haven’t been out. I use that time to swim, see a friend, take a walk, do errands and keep up with family up with matters. If I write too late at night I become too stimulated and can’t sleep so  I don’t write past eight pm. That is my rest time, my cut off time. I need some relaxation before bed and like to watch a documentary, movie or read.

I read The New Yorker and the San Francisco Chronicle every day and usually have a fiction and nonfiction book going. I like the stimulation of each and the relaxation too. I do this early morning and it helps me get out of myself and keeps my interest in the external world. Writing a lot makes me feel very internal which I like but I do want to be part of my time too. Continue reading “What is a Good Writing Schedule?” »

Writing Groups Help with Writer’s Block

Not writing? Tell your group.  Go anyway and say you’re blocked and read what you’ve written about being blocked. Bring anything you’ve written and take part. Ask the group for suggestions and take them. Or at least one suggestion. Ask the group to just listen and make no suggestions so you can feel free to talk and be part of the group.

There’s no shame in writer’s block. Most writers experience blocks from time to time. Write a poem in images of the next part of your memoir. Maybe it could be a stepping stone. Write another with more images and see what you’re writing.

Sometimes I will bring a list of strong verbs to use . Sometimes I write transitional phrases like in other words or thinking of the past, I. I might bring these off assignments to help myself and others write better. Or, bring a passage I love like the last line of James Joyce’s The Dubliners so everyone can hear great, poetic writing. Continue reading “Writing Groups Help with Writer’s Block” »