Southern Snark aka Writer’s Revenge


Quotidiandose does not own this image - all rights reserved to artist

Quotidiandose does not own this image – all rights reserved to artist

No one really likes to write, they like to have written.

Being a writer has to come out of a true passion because sometimes the act of writing is in fact like opening a vein and bleeding onto the page.  Or it can be like banging your head against a cinder block wall and then finger painting in the bloody mess.  Or it can result in hours upon hours of . . . unusable prose.

The sense of accomplishment comes from the “have written” position where you have a great scene,  a great essay,  or whatever piece it is that the words were strung together in such a way that it tugs on the heartstrings,  evokes the passion,  or makes the reader ponder.  THAT is when we get the feelgoods.

I’ve shared my list of projects before on my blog.  Long lists of in progress,  shelved, set aside, partially finished, finished but needs revision, and those ‘I have a vague idea of what to do with this but  not definite, so I’ll just file it away’ pieces.

As any writer, I have spent countless hours at my craft. I’ve compared it before to piano lessons that the beginning student doesn’t give a concert performance. You have to practice. I can remember doing scales and arpeggios. Writing exercises such as flash fiction or free writing are akin to practicing those scales and arpeggios.  Practicing scales teaches the piano player proper fingering techniques, when to use the pinky and when to cross over another finger. (Simple explanation but it’s a real thing!) Practice writing does the same thing for the writer.  If you are using pen and paper,  it teaches us to limber up,  to flex the writing muscles,  and how to hold the pen so our hand doesn’t cramp.  If you are using a keyboard,  it improves the typing skill and speed.  It also loosens the mental cobwebs so  the ol’ creative engine can run.

When I first started seriously writing, my typing speed was around 65 words per minute with minimal errors.  I have to admit, my error ratio is probably much higher but my typing speed has increased to around 125 words per minute. Thank goodness for spellcheck,  that’s all I can say.

Writing is hard work.  It’s aggravating when every third person comes up to you and says,  ‘I’ve been thinking about writing a novel. If I ever get some free time, I think I’ll do that.’  Let me translate for you. What the writer hears: “OH. You’ve written a book.  Yeah, I could do that too if I wasn’t so busy.  I don’t have time to just sit on my butt and play on the computer. When I get some free time when I don’t have to work a real job,  I might tackle that book I’ve thought about because you know, everyone has a book in them, right?”

Don’t believe me?  Ask a writer friend.  Or better yet, can I get some feedback from my writer friends? What do you feel when people say that to you?

Let me break it down for you.

“I’ve been thinking about writing a novel” translates=  OH, you are getting the spotlight for having completed a novel.  I would like the spotlight. I could do that it’s not that hard.

“Yeah I could do that too, if I wasn’t so busy.”  Translates= I have a real job that requires 30 to 40 hours of my time every week.  A real job where I work and get paid. Writing isn’t a real job,  it’s just playing because writing doesn’t take any real effort. [insert plastered on fake smile to cover the smirk from being dissed here because every writer knows just exactly how much work it truly is.] I don’t have time to just play.

I posted slides on social media as the release date drew near for my debut novel.  Yes,  I was rather proud of myself for achieving a goal that I have worked towards for years. Notice I said my debut novel,  I plan to write many more.   Immediately two glory hogs popped up to say,  they could write a book if they weren’t so busy.

Hello?  I work  a professional job,  manage my household (Ignore that stack of dirty dishes!),  have two daughters, do volunteer work through a counseling based course.  I don’t sit around and eat bonbons.  I don’t have time to play.  Like all writers, I make the time for what I am passionate about.

In one sense,  it’s really no big deal.  But in another, it is infuriating when  you get that smug response from the person who is really talking down to you. The southern lady in me wants to say: “well bless your heart.” (Anyone who doesn’t speak southern hospitality  it means: well aren’t you a special kind of stupid.) The Missourian in me wants to say: “Show me – either put up or shut up about writing.”  The part of me that starts singing the “manumanum” song when they go into their diatribe while plotting a way to utilize them in the next death scene, is amused at their ignorance.

What if writers started responding with “You know,  I could have been a nurse but I don’t want to change bed pans.  I could have been an accountant,  but  I couldn’t get the debits and credits to work it out with the secret withdrawals.  Debits threatened to  expose secrets,  so he had to die. It was a formulaic death.”

I don’t think the glory hog that laid out the myriad of reasons why she hadn’t written her own book yet appreciated my response. “Well,  if you are serious about wanting to write, you should pursue it. I know this ritual that you can do.  All you need is some quilting pins, an effigy doll,  a blank journal, and a small animal to sacrifice.”  Nope,  she was not amused.

Ah well.  You never know what’s going to come out of the mind or mouth of a writer.

Write on my friends,  write on.

Ellie

10 Reasons Why ‘Creativity’ Is Delayed


Quotidiandose does not own the rights to this image.

Quotidiandose does not own the rights to this image.

Meremec River; Eureka, MO

  1. Weather is an interesting beast.  Torrential rainfall, thunder, lightning, power outages –  yeah I thought it best to turn my computer off while hiding out in the dragon cave, er basement.
  2. I haven’t  figured out  how to  make a post while driving, and I’ve been driving a lot for job related reasons.
  3. Unexpected family issues that demand  attention right now!
  4. Scheduling conflicts between job demands, family demands, and life demands have  overtaken the waking hours and by the time I have time to sit and write I fall asleep  almost instantaneously.
  5. Homework has a deadline – blog posts do not.
  6. Too many irons in  the fire!  OK, I’m working on this one.  I’ve laid down a few,  and  as soon as someone notices they try to get me to help them with their goals.  NO,  I laid them down for a reason.  No, I’m not your gopher, your free labor, or your indentured servant.
  7. Rural internet sucks. I had absolutely no connection this morning when I had time to write. Writing can be done offline – posting requires an internet connection.
  8. I got sucked into a black hole called Rollercoaster Tycoon.  It had been ages since I’d even thought about it. My daughter challenged me to beat her score for Dynamic Dunes.  I HAD to accept the challenge.  You understand right?  Right??
  9. Food preparation and menu planning.  DAGNABIT – I get  an idea, and  these people want to  be fed AGAIN.  One of the down sides of  not using those convenience foods is that it requires me to actually prepare a  meal.  You know chop vegetables, stand at the stove and stir so it doesn’t burn.  I am an excellent cook by the way.   I can’t tarnish my record. I’m not switching to those tasteless salt laden  convenience foods now – I’m rather addicted to the   fresh wholesome foods.
  10. My kids are home for the summer.   Yeah, so?  So, this means that  by the time I finish the  paid job there is a  lot of distraction and demands on my time and attention.  I’m only human, and a mom.  I can’t ignore my spawn, er children.

Yeah, that’s my story and I’m sticking with it.  I have been doing a lot of handwriting and as time allows I translate into typed.   It may seem like double work, but  I view my handwritten notes as a first draft and the typed material as first edits.

Since I haven’t been able to afford those four clones I mentioned some time last year,  then I have to do the other parts as well.  You know  the cooking cleaning, . . . well at least the cooking.  Life goes on, and sometimes you just have to slow down and enjoy the people in your life.  My kids are  home for the summer – that is the main reason.  I am choosing to spend time with my girls while they are  living at home.  The oldest is back after her first year of college. The youngest will be a senior next year. Working around jobs, and scheduling for all of us I want to  actually have time with them before they are off on their own.

I love  you all,   every one of my readers but  no one  outranks my kids!  We all have our priorities in life.  Mine is my family.  What’s yours?

I haven’t quit writing, and the blog  post on creativity should be up tomorrow – weather permitting and internet connection allowing.  I am taking a more leisurely approach to just about everything over the summer months.

Write on my friends, write on!