My Art is My Life

A lot of artists, writers included, will tell you that their lives would be incomplete and unfulfilling if they were unable to express their artistic side. I can tell you this is no exaggeration! I have recently blogged about my new writing schedule, which has worked out brilliantly! This past two weeks, however, have not been very productive because I have been sleeping in… In fact, I am not getting enough rest to wake up as early as I need to in order to write.

While I love my early morning writing sessions, I am sleepy and turning off the alarm. Well, that has to change and it did, as of this morning. I will just have to take a nap during the day or go to bed earlier. I have so much pent up stuff — I don’t know what else to call it — that I feel bloated, full to the brim, the words need to tumble out! I have felt disengaged and frustrated.

So, despite the tiredness, if I persevere, I will learn how to adjust my sleeping patterns in order to get more rest. I have made a pact with myself not to let anyone or anything interfere with my writing sessions ever again.

In order to enjoy your life, you must allow yourself to express your art!

 

-AH

Also posted on my blog at http://andreahunter313.com

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Writing Prompts

Even though I am working on a novel, I sometimes want to change the scenery, so to speak, and write something different.  My intention is to keep the prose fresh by exercising other types of writing. Yesterday was such a day.  I was running through my twitter feed and found a writing prompt from @prompt_fairy (mahalo, by the way).  The prompt was for a flash fiction, but I used it in a poem.  It’s a little dark, not my usual style, but I enjoyed writing it.  You can read it here if you’re so inclined.

So, in my usual early morning writing session today, I put down 836 words, including the beginnings of a new subplot.  This is why, for me, writing outside of the main project once in awhile helps expand my creative flow. What “devices” do you use to increase your creative flow?

-AH

 

Sunday Synopsis – Moving Forward

Another month has passed and I am so involved in this hula conference that I had, again, stalled in working on my novel. Of course, I am beating myself up about it and so my husband — bless his heart — reaches out to a friend of ours who is a published author, asking for any advice she might impart to help me get back and stay on track with my project. After all, I have been working on this project on and (mostly) off for a few years now.

Anyway, our husbands are band mates and a week ago, after a gig, everyone went over to their place for a small celebration of her husband’s birthday. During that little soiree, she and I had a nice talk and she told me that she had worked for 8 years on her début novel. She was having a difficult time writing during the day because they were running their business and she was just overwhelmed with interruptions. Finally, she decided enough was enough and she started a new routine. She got up at 4 am and wrote for two hours every morning, seven days a week, until she finally finished her book. By 6 am, she was ready to prepare for her work day.

She saw the look of horror on my face and quickly explained that, for her, it was the best time of the day because there was no distraction. Nothing going on. No phone calls, no email, nothing.  In that time, her mind was fresh and her characters talked to her and began revealing their story to her.  There was no struggle getting the words down.  After a while, she would wake up automatically, right at 4 am, looking forward to her time with her characters.

So, I resolved to give it a whirl.  I mean, what could it hurt, right?  It’s not like I’m doing anything but sleeping that time of the morning.  Last Monday, I awoke at 5 am — no need to get up as early as 4am because my workday starts later than hers — got out my computer, and in the darkness, started to write.  The first morning yielded about 300 words, the next 600, the 3rd day I wrote more than 800 words!  It has been seven days now and I have added an astounding 3500 words and 9 pages to my novel!  The last two mornings, I have awakened at 4:43 — same time both mornings — before my alarm goes off at 5am.

When I arise, I get the cats fed, my hot tea ready and turn on the computer.  By 5:20, I am writing.  This new routine is amazing and deeply gratifying.  Of course, I need to readjust my day a little and I usually take about an hour nap late in the afternoon, but the point is that I am fresh and ready to write in the early hours of the morning, every morning.  And my novel is progressing.

Wonderful what a little willingness to make a change and create a new routine can do.  I am forever grateful for the advice I received from my friend.  We are celebrating another birthday this evening after the band plays their gig and I look forward to telling her just how much of a positive impact this new routine has made for me!

-AH

(Also posted on my blog at http://andreahunter313.com)

Subplot Frustrations

I’ve been working on my novel this week. Yay!!  It feels really great to be writing and getting so much done.  However, it can be very frustrating writing 2 or 3 plot lines that must somehow coincide and be resolved at the end of the story.  This frustration likely stems from me fighting with myself.  But it is still very real.

I start writing about the main characters and forget that I have a couple of subplots going that are important to the story. Then I feel like I am back-tracking when I focus on writing the subplots. I know they are necessary to further the story and create a more rich novel. But I feel like I will never move forward. This feeling is ridiculous, of course, because each word written furthers the storyline. Nevertheless, I feel that way.

So, I thought about writing each plot line separately, then weaving them together. Not wanting to spend too much time on it if it is a crazy idea, I still thought it might be worth a try. Well, let me tell you, as soon as I started that tack, I knew I shouldn’t. There’s way too much to remember and trying to weave them together after the fact would be even more frustrating. These plot lines happen concurrently, so writing them separately is foolish.

I will just have to realize that, as frustrating as it might be, I am not losing ground when I return to a chapter or scene and add in subplot storyline. Either that, or I will have to learn to write the plotlines concurrently. Truth is, this experience of writing my first novel is a major learning experience. And, overall, I am having so much fun doing it.

-AH

Initially published on my concurrent blog site at andreahunter313.wordpress.com

Thursday Thoughts

Sometimes I think I will never have another idea for another novel or story or poem once I finish this project.  I understand this is a common thought among new writers. But a lack of ideas is not possible for writers or any creative artist, unless you wallow in your doubts and fears.

Have you ever noticed that when you are writing your mind begins to explore and more ideas follow?  Creativity is like you body, it needs exercise.  Unfortunately, I can go for long periods of time without writing anything, so I really notice that when I do get back on track, the ideas just begin to flow, and I write more and more.  For me, the trick is creating time to write.  I get so caught up in other life stuff that I don’t get to it every day.  I need to stop allowing that and make a promise to myself to carve out writing time, no matter what.  I know writers who work on their projects late at night or early in the morning (I do that on occasion) and they are prolific writers.  Then I see tweets from other writers who worry about the same thing as I do — will they ever have another idea?

Well, I think the amount of ideas you have is directly related to the amount of writing you do.  These prolific writers never seem to run out of ideas.  Creativity need exercise.  Case in point — this blog post.  I started with a kernel of an idea about 8 minutes ago, thinking I would finish this by tomorrow (Friday)  and now I am up to 272 words. I wrote almost 1200 words yesterday in a couple of hours. So, exercise pays off.

Now I do have to keep up with household and life things, but the lessons of creating time to create are well-learned.  In addition to the creative muscle getting stronger and more prolific, those endorphins kick in too and create happiness within.  Just like physical exercise. Hmmm. Could be on to something here?

More writing equals more creativity.  Let creativity overflow!

-AH

Note: This post also appears on my other blog site: https://andreahunter313.wordpress.com

Uncharted Territory

I have submitted my query letter to a major national publication for an article I wrote about a small group here on Kaua‛i that helps physically- and mentally-challenged people experience surfing. Wow…I can’t believe I’m actually doing this. It’s time, I suppose to  dip my toes into the deep waters of a national publication and see what happens.  One day, I hope to be published regularly in national publications, so I have to start somewhere, right?  Of course, I am looking into other publications as well, but I wanted to.  May as well take the leap.  The worst they can do is reject my submission.

This is part of the dream I am living: working at home with my husband and writing my novel along with some poetry, articles, and essays from time to time.  I am a writer!  Excitement and dread filled my whole being as I clicked on the send button for that query.  Yes, it was that deep for me.  Aspiring to meet my goals, though, so satisfying!

After I have submitted queries (or whatever) to the other magazines I have in mind, I will go back to outlining the middle of my novel.  That’s a different issue…I seem to be stuck at the beginning of the middle. I need to get my characters through the maze in a convincing, realistic manner.  I feel like the stuff I am thinking about is too contrived, so I keep scrapping and starting new. Well, I suppose that is normal, right? It’s difficult to be satisfied with your own work.  At least it is for me, it’s part of my writing life.

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This post is also published on my other blog https://andreahunter313.wordpress.com.  One of these days I will stick to one or the other. 🙂