As a writing koan, which came first: the typo or the fix? Although we want to rely on spellcheckers, they might not catch when the mind goes in wild. During my writing meandry for S&M2, for my 2020 Album Review Game, I wrote: “While I give out forty 5-star ratings to albums….” Correction: “While I have given out forty albums 5-star ratings as of late 2020…” Would it have been a problem had I not caught it?
I’d like to take you through my process of writing the short story I published this morning. This essay has more to do with the nuts-and-bolts of preparing yourself for writing fiction. As a cheat sheet, consult the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. That’s how I assess any writer’s block I might have, but it should be useful to read an outline of my specifics because that’s how I assess priorities that might block the writing.
I have five items I want to sell to clear out some space out of the apartment-mansion, but because they are five different items, I, of course, have posted none of them. Have you ever tried to do five things simultaneously? The most we can do is multi-thread [or doing one action, then quickly doing another action] and not multi-task [doing multiple disparate activities simultaneously]. For posting things online, you can’t multitask. You’ll post nothing.
When I’m knee-deep in writing, my only focus is on completing the next thought. I’m not thinking about the weather outside, the clutter inside, exercise, or anything else. Until I get into that writing flow, any distraction can impair my progress, so I’ve found it best to write somewhere with a refrained amount of external information. Currently, I’m writing in front of my “downsizing wall.” I would write facing outside, but this chair isn’t ideal…
I realized a problem with my writing: I’ve reached a soft limit of how I can communicate. There’s a lot to unpack, so let’s analogize with my cheap “pawn shop special” bass: it fulfills all my limited needs when it comes to learning the basics. I can pluck strings and learn chord progression. I don’t mind tuning it whenever I’m serious about playing it. Now if I wanted to play with others or even professionally…
I’ve been writing and rewriting “The Story,” scene after stochastic scene, for as long as I can remember. An idea will pop up while I’m riding the bus, talking to someone, or reading a book. I’ll see a couple on the bus and think about John [left] and Trishna [right]. Better than stressing about work! In these situations, memories, or maybe more, I wonder: how much of “The Story” will be based on real people?
I realized a problem with myself: I wasn’t writing daily. Even though I was publishing essays daily, there were days I’d only write a few hundred words, so I agreed to dedicate myself to writing at least 500 words daily. If you want to be something, do it daily. This dedication has taken discipline, sacrifice, and stress. There are still days where I don’t write 500 words. Through all that, here are 425 words on what I learned:
I’ve had to shelve and nearly scrap 1000 publishable words. They’re good words that tell two good short stories. It’s just the series lead in a direction that won’t accomplish what I’m trying to do with the Sammohini Arc of “The Story.” 90% of it should be fiction practice and 10% should build context for John and Trishna’s Arc, the final and most ambitious story arc. Here’s why I haven’t dived in and started telling their developing story.
Spoilers?: Minor (my writing process)
WANNA SEE SOME BEHIND THE SCENES THOUGHTS AND EFFORTS? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!
In my last summer without obligations, between high school and college, I spent most of that innocent time writing a foundational element to “The Story” References stars John (left) as “everSOL the Valiant,” crash-lander on a strange planet that is driven to find his dearest friend “Trisha” (right). I forgot about References to become a salaryman. After rescuing it from this almost-lost disk, what’s available is online, unmodified. Let’s talk about my successful failure: References.
Spoiler Warning Scale: Minor (just recollections, regrets, reinforcements…) WANNA LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES TO BETTER IMPLEMENT YOUR BIGGEST IDEAS AND DREAMS? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!