Writing is like cultivating a garden. If you don’t feed it, nothing grows. I’m discovering thist more and more and unfortunately, the hard way.
Often I binge write. I get on a roll and I’ll post to my blog, Day In and Day Out, four of five times in a week. Then something switches off, or life happens and it can be weeks. Like right now. My writing has taken a six week hiatus and my head starts screaming at me “WRITE! Just WRITE!” But I’m in my car driving somewhere and when I get home the voice has been drowned out by a three old needing “milkie” or
“sontee eee!” (something to eat)
Discipline is my kryptonite. I lack it and I desire it. Fortunately my best time to write is nights. Everyone else is in bed. My Nanny Granny duties have ended for the day and I have the quiet house to myself to open up my brain and write. Unfortunately, my best time to write is nights. When my head kicks in gear and the words flow, I’m up into the wee hours of the morning abusing my laptop.
The fertilizer that feeds my writing and gets things going are prompts. I have several favorites. I’m huge music fan and collector with a wide range of styles so there’s the “100 Word Song” Lance, a fellow Studio 30 Plus member, has at his place My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog, Trifecta’s weekly writing challenge, and Velvet Verbosity’s 100 Words. I’ve participated in a couple of prompts here at Studio 30 Plus as well. When I’m participating in prompts and really stretch into those that don’t necessarily appeal to me at first, I have discovered that I write better and reach for more. Often once I get started I am writing for multiple prompts in a weeks time.
I find I want more from myself as a writer and am my harshest critic. I yearn for more and better quality time to write so I can punch out more than 100 or 200 or 500 words at a time. I have several examples of writers who have produced some quality stories using nothing but prompts to put together a plot with a beginning a middle and an end, and I’ve got a story going right now that is all prompt driven.
I give in to the distraction of cooking. I love to create, alter and prepare wonderful, delicious food and I blog about that as well. After two of my pack moved out of state and I got regular phone calls asking for this or that recipe, a blog was the perfect answer to share my recipes not only with my kids but my widening group of friends. So Cooking the Mad Scientist Way was born. Some weeks cooking becomes my focus as I spend time in the kitchen perfecting a recipe. When cooking happens, creative fiction writing suffers. Recipe blog posts are given the effort to make them well written and entertaining if possible, so it’s not a complete loss.
Photography has been a longtime love of mine and pictures go hand in hand with my creativity. The upside is I almost always have a picture somewhere on my hard drive or iPad that is perfect for a blog post. If not, I grab my Canon 40D and shoot, transfer edit and upload.
While I tend to be hard on myself for not being as disciplined as I believe I should be, I can look at my extra creative outlets as branches on the same plant. My imagination is always working on something. I’ve given myself permission to have other outlets to inspire and share my abundance whether it’s something tasty, a beautiful picture or new story.
So for now, with the time I’m given between being Blossom’s mom, a babysitting Nanny Granny to Princess and Warrior Girl, wife to Captain my Captain and being an awesome cook and a mediocre housekeeper I write, I blog and I create what comes when it comes. I balance what’s in front of me in the moment and I tend the big garden where writing is but one row.
*** Blogger Note: Tom Petty and I go back a long, long way. Since the beginning of his career to be specific. Long road trips and raucous fun blasting songs on the radio or the electronic device of the time. I love that he sings with raw emotions, and this song pretty much sums up what I wish. I wish I had it all; all the time I want to write, I want the perfect kitchen and all the time to cook, I want the best camera and the time to step out the door and frame the perfect shot. I want it all. Don’t we all?
I wrote this post for Studio 30 Plus as a featured writer. Tuesday and Thursday they feature articles on writing, becoming published, social media strategies, improving your blog, and more. I don’t think I’m an expert at giving advice on any of those, so my article is about my writing process.