Terminological Inexactitude Syndrome or Real Writer Syndrome

Hello everyone,

I am adding a link to take you to Kristen Lamb’s blog so you can read and enjoy her wonderful post which talks about this little known syndrome. 

This post is very funny but has a lot of truth in it too. I hope you enjoy!

 

http://authorkristenlamb.com/2018/04/diagnosing-real-writer/

Real Life is Overrated

It has been a while since I’ve posted. I have been mired in real life. Real life by itself is overrated.

 
Have you ever made huge changes in your life going into the new phase at full speed to the detriment of everything else? When all of your energy and focus swings into the new endeavor? Well that’s where I have been.

 
I am swinging back into a better balance of things again and hope to stay here a while.

 
I had to push all of my writing aside for a while and was too busy to notice how much I have missed it. I have done this a few times in the past. Sometimes thinking I was quitting this whole writing thing. But every time this happens I realize that I need to write. I can’t not write! At least this time I wasn’t foolish enough to think I was really quitting. This time I knew I would be back; I just didn’t know when. I think this is growth!

 
Writing helps me put things in perspective. It helps me work through problems and emotions before they become toxic. Creative writing is a wonderful way for me to escape reality and feel as if there is some control in life. And often, the creative writing ends up being helpful without my intending it to be.

 
I have been reading the wonderful blogs that I follow. Your blogs have been very inspiring and I am very grateful to have found your words.

 
For the most part the only writing I have been doing is in my journal or emails.

 
Lately my imagination has been prodding me to get back to it. I’m a little rusty but I think I have the energy and will to shine it up and see what I find.

Motivation Folder

I am always on the lookout for motivating and inspiring quotes, tips and advice.

I find reading about how other writers work inspiring. I love essays about writing and the writing life. Stories about perseverance keep me going too. Good tips about the mechanics of writing are helpful.

I subscribe to a couple of writing magazines and find that I’ll mark the pages of articles that I want to go back and read again. If it’s a whole article then I’ll dog-ear the page. I’ve also gotten into the habit of keeping a highlighter with me while I read the magazine and will highlight whatever I want to look at again later.

Sometimes it’s a whole article and sometimes it’s a paragraph, a sentence or a quote that I love. It may be a web address or marketing information. Then I end up putting the magazines in a pile telling myself that I’ll get back to them soon. The next thing I know, I have a few unsightly piles of old magazines taking up space and collecting dust. Does anyone else do this?

I’m trying to stay ahead of this. After all, I don’t want to turn into a hoarder! I try to go through those magazines a few times a year. I turn to the marked pages looking to see what I found so fascinating. I also make it a point not to look at anything else in each issue; otherwise I get sidetracked and never accomplish anything!

I glance at whatever I marked quickly. If I don’t get hooked right away then I decide that I don’t need it. When I do find something worth keeping I tear that page or pages out and recycle the rest of the magazine. It’s amazing how much I can get through this way. No more piles of saved magazines!

I put these saved gems into a folder that I can glance through at any time.

What I find great about doing this is when I find myself unmotivated then I can just pull out my motivation folder and after reading a few pages I feel the inspired to get writing again.

Does anyone else have a motivation folder?

Thoughts About Writing

I know I’ve been too quiet here on the blog and I won’t list all of reasons why but I do apologize.

I’ve been giving a lot of thought as to why I write and while I was on vacation (one of the reasons I haven’t posted due to technical issues!) I surprised myself by not writing much at all. Usually when I have huge amounts of time I dive in and completely lose myself in writing.

This time I didn’t and I think I’ve figured out why; at least in this instance. Partly because I got to look at all of this:

Calm evening

Calm evening

Chipmunk

Chipmunk

My view

My view

Evening cattails

Evening cattails

I write mostly to prioritize my life, to make sense of the world around me and to escape from every day life.

While on this incredibly relaxing vacation I didn’t need to prioritize, make sense of anything or escape from anything. On this vacation I only wanted to be right where I was and  I was content with that. A rare feeling for me.

I observed the beautiful world around me and all of the happenings of Nature. I walked and rode my bike. And later in the week, I read for long lengths of time which is another rare luxury.

I was feeling a bit guilty but then just let it go and enjoyed those days.

Have you experienced this? And does it surprise you as much as it surprised me?

Writing Spaces

I love to read about how and where writers write. And there has been tons written about the special places that authors write. In fact, some authors can only write in their particular place. I wouldn’t want to be locked into one routine or place.

I think writers need a place that makes it easy to slip into that writing frame of mind. And I think that certain routines can help as well. There is a sense of routine in sitting down with a familiar pen or computer. There is definitely something to familiarity which helps switch into writing mode more quickly. 

But I’ve also noticed that once I’m in my writing mode, where I am doesn’t matter. Once I’m absorbed in putting words on paper or typing them into my computer, I lose all sense of where I am. The world of the words is all that exists at that moment.

I know I need either quiet or a steady background noise that doesn’t pull me out of my thoughts.

I’m very lucky to have a room for myself. I’ve painted it in a color I love and filled it with things that trigger my imagination. I have my writing books. I have my desk.

If I’m having a hard time writing, sometimes a change of scenery can be helpful. Some days it’s as simple as shifting from my desk to the living room.

I love to write outside. I find being outside energizing and inspiring. I go camping a lot and love to sit in a comfortable spot surrounded by trees and nature. And if it’s too cold or wet then at least being by a window will do.

Where do you write? What would be your ideal writing space?

Exploring First Drafts

My first drafts always start out like wildfire. I usually have a lot of scenes from the beginning of a story. I almost always know how the story will end. Then depending on how long a story is, I know many scenes in between.

Filling in the spaces between those scenes can be hard but also the most fun because those are the places where the story often takes off on its own. If I can stay out of my own way and just follow where it takes me, I get to discover the story much like the reader does when the story is done.

If I try to force a story to go in a certain direction I’ve discovered that it usually comes to a screeching halt. Then the words come out flat, the characters become stiff and the story gets boring.

Sometimes I just have to pretend that I’m a kid playing make-believe and let my imagination go crazy. I try to get into the mindset that I used to fall into so easily as a kid. I remember when I was in elementary school being able to play for hours using nothing more than a couple of toys and my imagination. Entire worlds, characters and events happened in those hours, effortlessly.

I think as adults we get stuck in our own censorship. We constantly stop and think about whether what we are writing is believable or well-written. If we can ignore those thoughts while pouring out that first draft, then we can always go back and fix things later. That’s what revision is for.

Most of the time, when we just ‘go with the flow’ as they say, in the end, there is very little that needs to be fixed.

Do you like writing first drafts? Do you find it easy or difficult? What do you do to keep it going?

 

Balancing a Writing Life

How do most writers balance their lives? This has been a constantly changing and evolving issue for me.

 Ideally I would love to be able to write when I want to and then fit in everything else around that.

 Realistically I have the real world to deal with. Day to day things as mundane as a roof over my head, food to eat and enough money to maintain myself have to take a priority. Daily living takes up a lot of time and energy.

 Then there are the other people in our lives. They have to be a priority as well. We need others to live healthy lives. There are obligations to relationships that need to be taken care of.

 Throw in other interests and some fun time and life gets complicated and busy.

 I know some people are good at making a strict schedule and sticking to it. I’m not that kind of person. I need flexibility and freedom. I don’t want every minute of my life planned. Where is the fun and freedom of just going with it? But before I know it I find that my time, energy and focus get stretched too far and wide. Then my writing gets pushed to the side for later.

 I’m getting better at prioritizing but sometimes life throws things at you that can’t be avoided. Frustration enters. Resentment enters. I’m getting better at recognizing those feelings as signs that I need to get my priorities straight. Sometimes I have to just ride it out.

 So, how do other writers balance their lives? Is there a happy medium? What advice can other writers offer here?