These are the thoughts of a Texas transplant in West Michigan who makes his living as a newspaper reporter by evening, and a struggling novelist by day.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Random Thoughts on Writing

I feel pretty confident about the Z book. I started it on March 19 and thus far am close to fifty pages double spaced. Perhaps it’s not much, but I write for about an hour or so a day and average a few single-spaced pages a night.

More can be accomplished but I haven’t sat down and done this on a regular basis in forever. It’s a discipline to sit and write and not get up and be distracted. So for that hour I am not online. I take a deep breath and go.

And when do I write? Well, most times it’s at night around midnight or so. I love writing when it’s quiet, when I have the house all to myself. The only sounds are the heating ducts popping and the vents pushing out warm air. I can handle that.

I’ve tried writing earlier in the evenign but can’t. I don’t think it’s necessarily the kids, but it’s mostly the proximity of the computer to the rest of the house. It’s right off the living room, which is a hub for activity. There is no door to block out noise of TV and kids playing. So nothing gets accomplished.

Today, was an exception. The boys were out at the aquatic center and Kayla was quiet. Dawn joined the boys. I took advantage of the time and hit the keys. It was productive. It was a critical point in the story: a shit hits the fan moment. It was an awesome feeling to write it. I enjoyed it. As I told my friend Mark today, it’s fun creating something from your imagination. I can be a crazy and wild as I want. I often am.

Sometimes we refrain from saying to writing things because we are afraid or embarrassed by what others will think. I say do it, especially with the writing. Probably a lot of us think “weird” thoughts but most are afraid to express them. I know I’m weird, so I express these thoughts through writing.

I started reading one of my favorite books tonight; it’s Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast. It’s mostly a memoir of his time in Paris during the 1920s. In addition it serves as his guide to writing. It’s fun to read about the times in the ‘20s and his view on how he wrote. One of my favorite sayings about writing from Hemingway is to write one true sentence. He would do this when he was having trouble writing. He’d compose some sentences, but made sure to wrote one that was a “true” sentence and he’d discard the rest. The book always has served as an inspiration to me.

And so here I sit by the monitor in the “coputer” room. I’m surrounded by an old recliner, winter coats stuffed in a closet, bookshelves filled with office stuff and a lot of my junk, and pale yellow walls. It’s messy but I like it. It makes writing in this room very comfortable.

So there random thoughts on writing. Time to shut this donw to t