A New (or Old?) Writing Trick

I meant to write something light-hearted this evening, but I am too furious. Rather than bang my head against that wall until it broke, I decided to write something else for the evening. It’s interesting to me that it will take a few hours for me to build up steam when writing fiction — I write sort of stop-and-go for a bit, but the longer I’m at it my rate of story spinning grows exponentially — but when I sit down to write a blog post, I vomit words everywhere.

It might be a trained response, come to think of it*, which is interesting.

Because this was true for me before blogging was A Thing  (that I knew about, anyway). Back In The Day, when AIM was becoming A Thing, one of my closest friends had a computer that for some reason couldn’t support AIM. But we would not be thwarted. And so we just used our email accounts (we had these horribly embarrassing email addresses, too, which I will not repeat for shame. And, on a Completely Separate note, if you are one of the few who remembers it and feels compelled to share, we’re probably still good enough friends that I know where you live). Of course, this was Back In The Day, when inboxes had size limits. If I didn’t respond to emails fast enough, my inbox would overflow and I would be unable to receive emails.

The most obvious effect of this is that I finally learned how to type for real. I mean, I knew how, but since I didn’t bother, usually, I had been horrendously slow, because I wasn’t interested, despite Spooky the Ghost’s best efforts. I had pen and paper and neat handwriting; what did I need with rapid typing? (The last time I took a typing test I scored over 100wpm with 100% accuracy, so I clearly got over this.)

 

THIS GUY

THIS GUY

If my friend was only sending me snippets of dialogue, there was no trouble keeping up. But, much like why I started this website, my thoughts were often not snippet-sized. And I would send her these emails that had a spoiler warning in the subject line: “RAMBLE.”

And then I would snark, for paragraphs and paragraphs. And she, kind soul that she is, would respond like she’d found me witty, and so the next one would be even longer and snarkier, and it didn’t take long for this to spiral out of control. I wrote a whole novel of snark. (No, I mean that literally.)

But this seems to suggest that if I operate on the assumption that I can’t block out hours-long segments every day to write and yet still must do the writing (both of which are true), then if I trained myself to do this with blog-type writing, I ought to be able to do it with fiction, right? They’re different sorts of writing, but a number of the mental processes are the same.

I have cut out or condensed all extraneous parts of my life as much as possible, but the only things left are not optional. I’ve budgeted my time as much as I can; now it’s time to learn a new trick.

 

*I really hadn’t thought of that until I typed it, oddly. My fingers think quicker than my brain. I didn’t know where this post was going until it came out.

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