Do you sit in classrooms, chapels, and lecture halls and spout sarcastic humor? It’s usually something smart allecky in regard to what is being taught? I do. Sometimes I can’t control myself.
I’m not trying to disrupt. Really I’m not. I take everything seriously, but sometimes being serious is too . . . well . . . serious. Levity is like sugar and we all know what a spoonful of sugar does.
Sometimes when my pearls of wisdom come out funny, I get a laugh from people next to me, sometimes not. Other times, it’s a dirty look. I wonder if people think I do it for the attention.
Every week here on the blog, I try to write something wise for you to read. Most times, my words hit the mark. They’re pearls of wisdom. Other times, not s o much. Today, I have no wise cracks. I was late, so I’ll post later in the week.
I hope you’re enjoying the holidays. Hope your writing is going well. Good luck with it—see you next week.
Yes, I’m late, but I’ve been wondering if anybody really reads my posts anyway. I was trying to think of something to write and I opened my writing projects computer file. In the place where I keep my blog posts and realized it’s been a long time.
I began to post here in 2006, during the time we all started blogging to help our careers. By we, I mean all the writers I know. Blog posting and social media were deemed vital to our promotion efforts. In other words, we needed to do it if we wanted to be somebody.
For more than seven years, I’ve been posting once a week minus a few times I missed and plus a couple times I posted two blogs. I did the math and here’s the equation.
I wrote 44 posts in 2013 + 28 posts in 2006 + (52 weeks a year x 6 years) =
44 + 28 + (52 x 6) =
72 + 312 = 384 posts.
It’s been fun, sometimes wild, always educational. I usually write in retrospect, talking about something I learned during the week, using metaphors. I’ve learned that life reflects our occupation. The subject of writing correctly, lends itself to many object lessons.
I’ll keep posting here, I’ve been doing it too long to stop now. Hopefully, I can make a small contribution of writing help, or at least help someone realize they aren’t alone in this crazy avocation called writing.
Over the years, I’ve written about some of the places I’ve written while sitting behind the wheel of my vehicle. I talked about waiting for a sunrise on the roof of a parking garage. I’ve talked about writing in the parking lot, waiting for a coffee shop to open. What can I say? I get inspiration while propping my laptop between my chest and the steering wheel.
I’ve noticed my surroundings, sometimes, get written into the story, too. Once, I wrote a snowstorm into a scene, while watching it through windshield wipers. I can describe buildings and people while watching them in the comfort of my vehicle and it helps to have a first hand perspective.
I sat in a coffee shop once, watching two young lovers meet, greet, and interact. I opened a new document and wrote it as I saw it. I’ve used pieces of that scene in many of my books since. I’ve re-watched videos and written scenes from the inspiration. No, I’m not stealing scenes. I’m expanding other people’s work and making it better.
For a while now, since I work at night, I’ve had the pleasure of giving my daughter a ride home from school. I get up early, drive to the school, and write while waiting for the bell to ring. People come and go, cars are on display, humanity parades in front of me. Sometimes I’m too caught up in my story to notice, but other times I watch my new character walk past and get into a car.
I get several pages written while waiting, but I’ve got a complaint. There are many visitors parking spaces, why do they let students park their cars in them? Often, lately, I have to park on the outskirts of the lot, write for a while then drive over to pick up my daughter as she comes out of the building.
When I think of places to write and the advantages of observation with each, I think of reporters of the past. Have you ever listened to the narration of the Hindenburg disaster? That man was eyewitness to the horror, and he had the presence of mind to talk about it. Can you imagine a reporter with a laptop, covering Custer’s last stand? Can you see the benefit of writing in place?
If you are writing a mystery set in an old Victorian house, perhaps you could take your laptop and write it there. I write a lot of restaurant scenes because I write in restaurants and coffee shops.
I know, there are times when you can’t write in place. I passed an old house in a farmer’s field while traveling to Canada once. I had to stop and check it out because it was the house my characters were remodeling in my book. I couldn’t delay the family trip while I wrote, so I took several pictures. Later I used them to describe the house.
Take notes, live with your eyes open. Most importantly, write with your eyes open. Listen to your senses, and write it down.
I caught a glimpse of one of those morning news shows the other day. They were going to commercial, and the host said, coming up, Our interview with the best selling author . . . The statement caught my attention, but I missed who the author was. I waited, wondering who it could be. Perhaps it was one of my local, writer friends. Maybe a famous, national market writer offering insights to me, and other writers.
The author turned out to be Ann Romney, wife of the formal presidential candidate. "Here we go again," I thought. Thousands of writers sweat blood every day, hoping for a contract, and another famous person gets published.
Yes, I know, I’ve bored you with this subject before. It’s sour grapes and I need to let it go, but as before, I wonder, would she be published if she wasn’t married to a politician? Her book was marketable or the publisher wouldn’t print it, but is it selling because it’s good, or because she’s famous?
I think I’ve missed the boat. You see, I thought the secret was to write the best book I can. Also, I know that branding myself and paying it forward is vital, but it’s actually easier than I thought. All I need is fame. I need to do something spectacular then, submit my writing.