Sunday, April 1, 2018
Today is Easter Sunday AND April Fool’s Day. My day will began early with sunrise service. Someone will peel a chocolate egg to find a grape inside instead. And the fruit drawer in the fridge contains naked and chilly chocolate eggs. The Easter egg hunt this year features tiny little quail eggs. Ham and potatoes and fine china will be part of our day.
This month, I write about being a writer, alphabetically.
I’ve written nonfiction, short stories, and poetry. My media has included everything from keyboard to fountain pen to crayon. And yes, I’m working on a novel.
Please join me each day as I explore this craft and career of playing with words as I participate in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2018.
The Letter A
Writing is art. The medium is words, the product lives in the heads of readers. Authors aren’t likely to have clay embedded under their nails or turpentine stains on their floor, but they are unquestionably artists. As in music, practice and technique, form and composition each play a part in skillfully getting a story onto paper. The emotion and beauty and message and passion in our stories is found in our readers’ interpretation. That subjectivity means that what the reader sees in their head may not be what we envisioned when we put the words down. Which, of course, we can’t control. And that doesn’t matter, because it’s art.
Every writer has their own method to prevent inspiration for disappearing before the story is written. I, like many others, carry a little notebook full of cryptic phrases and ideas that for whatever reason resonated at some time. A quick peek in those pages and I find “nuns on horses”, ‘lawnmower wars”, and “cheese”. But this paragraph is about awake. Inspiration strikes at the most inconvenient times. For me, that’s most often in the hours when last-callers are staggering home and most normal people are fast asleep. I can scribble into my notebook and go back to sleep. Then I wake up when real morning arrives, but the wow has usually went. So I’ve learned I’m better off just staying awake and hitting the keyboard then and there. And that works for me.
Action is a double bonus word. Because I must take action if I want to be successful in this career. It’s a competitive business, intentional action to further my success is mandatory. So I take classes and attend seminars and conferences to improve my skills. I network. I listen to the advice and guidance of agents and editors and successful authors. And I write, and write. And write. Because the action of practicing daily makes me a better writer.
And now for the bonus – our stories must have action. It may be a car crash or a kiss or a teen rolling their eyes or an imagined activity. But something has to happen, and each of those happenings must have a reason and a reaction. And those actions and reactions must drive change, or else the story will be boring. Nobody wants to write boring fiction.
I wrote for money, then I wrote for pleasure. Now I write for career. I desire to be successful, to be published and to be paid for my writing. This will take determination and hard work. My ambition is what drives me to plan and learn, and put into place the things that will help me achieve this goal. Don’t let anyone try and convince you that ambition is a bad thing.
My ambition is the driving force behind my blogging nearly every day this month. The discipline and action of daily practice will improve my craft and cement my dedication. I’ll allow myself the intentional flexibility to create my next work of art. And, since my last compelling revelation hit at about three this morning, I sincerely hope that I won’t be awake until a reasonable hour tomorrow.
Next up, it’s all about The Letter B.