Author / Storyteller / Dreamer

State of Mind

Then . . . 

After a hectic week, I ducked into my local bookstore, collected books and magazines and then ordered my favorite breve with a shot of hazelnut in the café.  (I’d spent a lot of time in the Seattle area recently and picked up this coffee addiction!)

This past week I accomplished a lot and it taught me that if I push myself I can do much more than I thought possible.  I also learned that sticking to a strict schedule is really essential.  It’s now 2 a.m. and I’m about ready to quit for the day.

But it’s a bit early to pat myself on the back because my alarm is still set for for 7 a.m.

I enjoyed my late Sunday afternoon at the bookstore.  It was a treat to sip my breve and decide which book or magazine in my stack I’d reach for first.  I’m careful about book and magazine buying because I’m a pack rat.

Once I bring it home, it stays.  And, frankly, I’m running out of room!

But I couldn’t resist buying a Writer’s Digest.  I especially enjoyed the article by author and literary agent Laurie Fox titled Double Identity. It’s about “how one agent applies her on-the-job training to her own fiction writing career.”

Double Life

Okay, I’m not an agent but I, too, lead a double life.  So now wonder I identified with much of what she wrote.  I was also surprised that she, too, felt that a laptop was a wonderful solution for helping her to get away from all the demands of her regular work.  It’s portability makes escape to a less demanding space possible and so much easier to focus on just one task.

Also the WD article writer is a believer in writing the draft and spending time on revision.  This is rather a new concept to me as I tend to write and then polish a section before I move forward.  So I have a really good draft when I’m finished.

That’s been my habit but one I’m changing.  Right now I’m strictly concentrating on getting the draft written and then I’ll go back and rewrite, filling in all the details I’ve glossed over and doing any necessary research.

I’m challenged to do this for several reasons.

Avon author Elizabeth Boyle has a tip on her website regarding her own success at making this transition.  She’s become more prolific since she began quickly writing a first draft.

Also I read The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks and loved the book.  In the author note at the back of the book, he says it took eight drafts to get just the right balance between the two major plot lines. I enjoyed the book so much that the fact that he spent this extra time to get it right appeals to my own Virgo mindset. Although I’m not sure I’d like to do eight re-writes!

Fun Times

I spent a day last week with author Heather Graham.  It was one of those really rare fun days spent at a luxury hotel catching up on each other’s lives.  We both thought it was something we should do more often.  One of the subjects we discussed was my own recent interest in an Elvis tribute artist in the Seattle area.

I’ve seen Steve Sogura perform four times in the last six months and I was trying to explain to Heather why I find sitting in his audience so enjoyable. Besides the fact that he’s handsome, talented and has a voice similar to Elvis.  The whole experience makes me feel like I’m young again.

Rather like recapturing a slice of my life.

My sister, Shirley, got me hooked on Steve (not to mention low fat breves!) and we’ve had a lot of fun this past year re-connecting via Steve.  As I write this, I’m listening to a TV show called “Elvis: The Men Who Would Be King” and wishing Steve was on instead as he’s so much better than the artists featured on the program.

I was surprised to learn there were only 150 impersonators in 1977 and today (when this was written) there are about 35,000!

Then, I learned why.  One artist explained that he’s “keeping the magic alive.”

I suppose Steve helps me to remember the magic when I was much younger, single and, later, newly married.  I’m recapturing the same pleasure now with writing.  Trying a new method and routine.  Writing a quick draft with the intention of filling in more specific details in the second draft.  Embracing the challenge of revising and rewriting.

My own way of keeping the magic of the writing process alive.

A new state of mind.

 

and Now

Just finished a webinar for writers on Procrastinating Writers to Increase Focus and Unlock The Part of Your Brain that Says, “It’s Time to Write”

During my main writing years (which included a two book contract with a major publisher) I did struggle with not so much procrastination but writer’s block.  Or that’s what I called it but now, with years and a changed perspective, it might also have been a passive aggressive reaction on my part to family dynamics as well as not feeling good enough.  I had prolific published author friends and my efforts where often privately compared to theirs.  Why can’t you write like ….

All well meaning but the words took a toll.

And, for whatever reason, my writer’s block and/or procrastination cost me.  A great deal.

The seminar host, Joseph Michael, recommends writing in small segments of time.  With less stressful expectations, the inner critic or portion of our brain that stimulates doubt is not triggered.

But at this point in my life, I don’t care.

I also realize my style of writing has not changed as I’d once considered in the THEN piece.  I still write, rewrite and then move forward.

I’ll talk about writing in another posting.  I’m working on a manuscript that’s been in a drawer for years and one that I vowed to someone I loved to finish.  So that’s my main writing goal today: the fulfillment of a promise.

If other good things happen, that would be wonderful.  But for me it’s a personal challenge.

I’m going to do a blog post about Elvis.  I’ve traveled thousands of miles and had incredible fun experiences with family and friends over the years involving Elvis tribute artists.  (Tom Hanks movie about Elvis coming out in 2021 too!) I’ll spend some time explaining how this has helped keep the magic alive!

So I didn’t change some things from THEN, but others continued to enhance my life.

 

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