11 Jul 2013

Artists and Surgeons

Just put on latex gloves to deter myself from biting my nails right off while I attempt to write. There must be a better -- and less ridiculous looking -- way to be rid of this annoying writing distraction, but for now, this will have to do.

They make me feel like a doctor, though, especially because their super sterile look and smell is reminiscent of the hospital. And that got me thinking: in a way, writers do a lot of operating. On their writing, of course. (Don't ask me to diagnose an illness or heal a wound -- I tend to jump to paranoid conclusions. I will probably assume that a headache = a brain aneurysm, or something equally as ridiculous.) But anyway.

We know that writers are artists. What with all that creativity and imagination and right-brained thinking. But we're also pretty left-brained when we need to be. Whether you're a plotter or a pantser, you will have to make sure, at one point or another, that your story makes sense. That all of its parts are in order and are working in unison. And that can't be achieved by simply plastering words on a page and leaving them the way they are.

That's not to say that the process is entirely systematic, though. If I've learned anything from surfing writing blogs, it's that the most important step toward finish a novel is writing the first draft without expecting it to be a masterpiece. Just write! Don't rewrite as you write, either!

I see you rereading that last paragraph and I'm telling you to stop! Stop in the name of writing law! (Okay, so it's not a rule written in stone. Just roll with it for the sake of the bad joke.)

I feel you, though. If you're anything like me, the thought of giving over authority to your fingers and to that part of your mind that's dying to write terrifies you. To the core. Like, nightmare fuel, man.

"Write? Not perfect? Must be perfect. Must be perfect first time."

Being a perfectionist is suffering. But damn it, it's important to tell your internal editor to pop shove it once in a while. Say it with me: POP SHOVE IT, INTERNAL EDITOR.

(At this point your internal editor refuses to even acknowledge you. You will definitely have to throw him/her out of the room and lock the door. Maybe push a dresser in front of it to be safe. Oh, and don't look out the window. He/she is probably staring through it, judging you.)

Now that you've sort of successfully gotten rid of that menace, in comes creativity. Pure creative extract, so potent that, during the first draft, you're Jackson Pollock, throwing and dripping words like paint across your Word document -- sometimes making conscious decisions and sometimes letting creative instinct take over. You can allow yourself to be daring and messy and unaffected by stray bits of imperfection.

But when it's all over, and your first draft is riddled with splotches and smudges that should never see the light of day...Well.

Enter the surgeon.

In scrubs and all, you saunter into the operating room, and with one look, you know: this one's going to be a doozy.

 "Is there any hope, Doc? Can we save it?"

You no longer see the imperfections as endearing mistakes and splatters.

You see blood, and lots of it. Gaping wounds and a heart monitor to remind you that you've got a crucial task ahead of you.

"Yes, nurse. We can save it. But it's going to get," you snap your latex gloves, "Messy."

So, there you are again, elbow-deep in a mess of a manuscript. But this time there's no room for mistakes. No giving yourself up completely to the right side of your brain now -- you have a patient to save, and you have to get all technical up in here.

"Another gaping plot hole! And... Oh, God -- did that character just bite her lip for the third time in this scene?!"

"I'm afraid so. Nurse, hand me that scalpel."

And so ends my roundabout way of saying that writing requires just as much systematic, logical thinking as it does creativity. I think it's awesome that authors are able to do both, even if they might favor one side more than the other.

What about you guys? Are you more of a artist-writer or a surgeon-writer? To be honest, I'm more of a surgeon. I jump the gun and start to operate before I should. And this is incredibly ironic because I study Visual Arts in university. I have a hard time giving myself over to artistic instinct when I'm painting or drawing, for God's sake. I don't know how I manage to get anywhere when I write.

28 Apr 2013

When Your Cat Tries To Help You Write

Pictured above is my kitten's attempt at helping me write my novel.  She likes to jump on my keyboard and walk around while I'm deep in concentration.  I can't complain.  Most of the time all she wants is to give me some loving.

And cat love is the best kind of love ♥

21 Feb 2013

Road Trip Wednesday #169: Anything For Love

This is my first time participating in Road Trip Wednesdays.  I'm excited, but I'm nervous, too.  Love and the things I've done for it is a really personal subject that has caused me great pain, but I think it'll be nice to write about it!

First thing's first: I met my boyfriend online.  Before you jump to conclusions about online dating, let me explain.  We met through a video game, and my feelings for him developed, well, out of nowhere.  I was caught off guard because I never expected anything of the sort to happen to me, a level-headed, realistic gal.

It's safe to say that I didn't begin to play online video games with the intent of finding love.  If anything, I played them for the sole purpose of personal down time.  It was my escape, and I didn't see it as a social outlet.  I did my own thing, had my own fun, and that was that.

He was the first to communicate with me.  He invited me to his guild (man, does this sound geeky or what) and we hit it off really well.  Like I said, I never made the effort to talk to people online, so this was all new to me.  I thought of it as a penpal type of thing, and it was nice to talk to someone who had so much in common with me - and who had my kind of sense of humor.

Honestly, the rest is history.  We skyped/video chatted so much that by the time I realized I had developed feelings for him, it was too late.  I couldn't deny what was happening.  I was terrified.  I already had a negative view of online relationships because they were just so taboo that I didn't need to be reminded that what I was doing was crazy.  I knew it was crazy.  I still know it's crazy!  (Although I consider myself a seasoned veteran now.)

Love is a commitment, plain and simple.  When I fell in love with my boyfriend, I knew that we would never have it easy.  He lives in America; I live in Canada.  The distance itself isn't even the issue so much as nationality is.  How would we live together when the time came, what with all the citizenship hoopla?  And, moreover, what would our peers think?

I'm the type of person that cares way too much about what other people think.  Not in the "omg I don't look a certain way therefore I am unworthy" sort of way, but in the "I want you to accept me and I don't want you to look down on me" sort of way.  I'm a people-pleaser - I don't want to upset them!  So knowing that people didn't understand or were freaked out by my relationship hurt like hell (it still does).  But after being able to meet my boyfriend in real life and realizing that, despite popular belief, we are compatible and we still love each other just as much, if not more, in person, I had an epiphany: my happiness is important.

I know that if I give up on my relationship because everyone tells me that it's unrealistic or insane, I will regret it.  Forever.  I love this man, and I'm not going to back away from something I adore just because it's may be seen as taboo.  He makes me happy.  That matters!

Stories of people who've found love or friendship online inspire me - they warm my heart.  The world is such a marvelous, vast place.  There are literally billions of people out there, and I think it's great that technology allows us to connect with such ease nowadays.  I mean, obviously...but I'm biased.

Long story short: I'm currently in a very long distance relationship with a boy I met through an online game, completely by chance.  As weird as it may be to some, I found love in a hopeless place

And that's the craziest thing I've ever done for looooooove~

15 Jan 2013

When You Should Be Writing But You're Not

Or a variation of the title: doing everything but write because deep down you have writer's anxiety.

I find that my biggest problem when it comes to writing is that I procrastinate.  I procrastinate a lot, actually.  I open word and stare at my manuscript and smile.  I read and reread parts that I'm unsure of and then I open up chrome and begin to do research.

Researching what, exactly?  Well, everything that is anything about writing.  Because why write when I could be learning the ins and out of the industry?  Why just sit down and write when I could ogle tumblr for visual inspiration?  Why write when I could search for songs to listen to while I write?

While I write?  When do iIwrite?

I really need to stop being so worried about how well I'm writing or whether or not my story is up to par.  I need to stop second guessing myself and just put my fingers to the keyboard.  Because in the time that I've been writing this blog post, I could have been writing.

11 Jan 2013

First Post (Again)

Hello!  This being my first post, I thought I'd share a little secret:

This isn't actually my first blogger post of all time.  To be honest, I first joined blogger back in 2006, when I was fourteen.

Fourteen years old.

Okay, so I technically haven't posted anything to my old blog since 2009, but it's still pretty crazy that six years have passed, no?

I was never a quality blogger (there's no fooling myself there), but for those wonderful three years, I had a great outlet in writing my every thought online.  Which makes me wonder: why did I ever stop?  What happened in my life to make me leave blogging behind?

Wait.  Tumblr is considered blogging, right?  Right.  Then I do still blog.  But instead of writing my thoughts, I represent them in form of images.  My tastes, my emotions - I see them in whatever I reblog.  Of course, that still doesn't explain the switch from writing to visual blogging.  I guess me being here now is my way of rectifying this lack of written thought?

I hope I can keep it up!  I'd really like to document the process of writing my novel.