Class Participation

Blog, blog, blog… sigh.

I’m having a particularly un-creative spell right now. Trying to come up with new and exciting topics to blog about in order to keep my readers reading and evoke responses is hard enough work, but writing something visually and emotionally charged for my Appetites… I’m blanking out.

I took Ruth’s class to light that fire again, and it has worked, but sometimes too much learning can be every bit as overwhelming as not enough. In writing, where is that line? The line which all writers teeter like high-wire acrobats; where they hone their craft; where great works of literature are born?

I feel like I’m standing on that platform in the pitch black, reaching out tentatively with my foot, looking for the high-wire; not confident enough to just step out where I know it should be and trust that it is there. Did I pay enough attention to setting? Did I use enough description? Have I woven the details in an intricate, yet clear pattern? Did I….

Whoa… overload.

If I allow myself to step back, and actually watch from the seats as my muse sways overhead, I’d see that all these guidelines, all these details have intuitively found their way into my writing. I’ve used every single one, most of the time, without knowing it, and I watch my muse walk, surefooted, along that wire way overhead and I marvel at how it is doing it, but not too much for fear of distracting it causing it to plummet to the floor amid wooden and flat descriptions and contrived settings or situations.

I guess with the highs, come the lows, the crawling through the muck, the writing when writing feels like pulling on a pair of rough woolen socks. It can’t always be spectacular, sometimes it has to be just ok.

I guess it boils down to impatience, I’m tired of waiting. And this waiting is proving to be a bigger hurdle than any writers block I’ve encountered.

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About Dale Long

Writing ambushed me from the shadows. At first I pushed it aside as nonsense, but luckily my wife and two girls saw the potential. Since then I have had an article published by Metroland, placed as runner-up and in the top ten in humour writing contests and various other contests. The icing on the cake was placing as runner-up in the WCDR's Wicked Words contest (130 entries) and having my entry published in the contests anthology of the same name. My entry was an exerpt from my upcoming novel, Echoes.
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9 Responses to Class Participation

  1. deepamwadds says:

    blogging in the wind? Carry on, my friend… I love Nathalie Goldman’s suggestion to give yourself permission to write something awful. Tell yourself, “Okay, I’m going to write a piece of crap now.” And go… see what happens. It frees something up, lets the expectations fly and soon you are soaring – even above your musing tightrope walker! I’ll wager…

    • Dale Long says:

      The last assignment handed in was, in my opinion, wooden and flat. We’ll see how it goes.

      • Ruth Walker says:

        Dale — your “wooden and flat” is not at all — you know my comments by now: strong piece with some lovely twists and turns. You maybe lost faith in what you were writing toward the end and…well, we writers are our own saboteurs. We allow the editor to perch on our shoulders, dissuading us from belief in the work.

        Trust your creative self to know what it is doing. There are no wasted words when you are following your muse. Whether you use them now or use them later in another piece, they are there, waiting for you to put them in the right order.

      • Dale Long says:

        Thanks Ruth, your comments were exactly what I needed. You were right, it is a small piece of my second novel, so the POV switch was subconcious. That and I allowed the word count to influence me. Won’t happen again.

  2. Theresa says:

    Dale – there’s no point to worrying about every piece. We’re not going to write exceptional work every time. But what I’ve found is write, come back to it later and often you find there are little golden nuggets in that work you thought was flat. And time away gives you another perspective on each piece of work.

    You do remember that you are harder on yourself than anyone else, don’t you? Keep writing bud, even if you think it’s not going well. You’ll catch up to your muse and run her down eventually.

  3. Theresa says:

    I think that may be because we tend to compare it to the first one. Luke – let go – trust in the force. (it’s Obiwan here) The way I approach my writing – jot down everything that pops into my head – some thoughts I develop and some not. I find some of it is meant for the story I’m writing now and some of it gets me thinking about stories that live on the fringe of my imagination. I tend not to concentrate too hard on what I’m writing but kind of let my thoughts drift to different parts of it. But that’s just me.

    It’ll come – just keep writing something – anything. And the force will guide you.

    See you Sunday. T.

  4. Lisa Llamrei says:

    We’re in the same boat, Dale. I am also finding that the second book is harder than the first. Most days I feel like I’m pulling teeth, but we’ll both get through it. I can tell you that, in your case, the struggle is not affecting the quality of the writing, at least not in the pieces I’ve read. Onward ho!

    • Dale Long says:

      Thanks Lisa! That’s reassuring to hear. You seem to write so effortlessly so to hear you are struggling too, even a bit, helps. And Theresa gets so many ideas she’s gonna have 12 books going at once 😉
      It always surprises me when the piece I struggle so hard with and feel is flat or wooden still gets positive feedback. I must be doing something right.

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