This post is an example of a warm-up. Just a few hundred words to get my mind off of one project and onto another. This is probably a familiar exercise to most writers, a kind of clearing of the queue.
Most people know I’ve been writing a lot of code lately, which means I haven’t been writing as much… well, writing.
Sometimes, when I’m thrown off track from my work, I get really upset. I’m angry at myself for doing something other than writing. I swear to the heavens that tomorrow will be different. And then it’s not. If anything, there’s even less writing than before.
This is usually the point where I start thinking about traveling. It begins with a few reminiscences concerning journeys past and then floats along till I begin planning out some trip or another (usually to an exotic place, by myself, and where the trek itself will be arduous). Sometimes I think about other writers and how they escaped their worlds and ran off to write.
These bits of fantasy are fun, but they’re not writing either. Eventually, that fact comes round to making itself known and I get a little more frustrated with myself.
I don’t have a miracle cure for these fits and starts other than sitting down and getting to the writing. If you’ve been off for awhile, the writing is going to be stiff and wooden. If you’ve been off for a long while, it make take some old fashioned typing just to get your mind wired up to your fingers in the first place.
In my case, I’ve had my hands on the keyboard non-stop so getting the words to go isn’t the problem. It’s the habit of wanting to slap a semi-colon at the end of every line that’s throwing me off:
[[Writer alloc] initWithSomeOtherWritingBrain:aBetterAuthor];
I’m pretty sure writing like this isn’t going to make anyone happy. 😉
This is the sort of problem every writer faces, especially when they’re working some other job (and nearly all do). You try to keep things moving forward on project A while work-project B keeps finding its way to the front of the queue. The only way out is forward, and even if you know it (as I do) it doesn’t make it any easier or any less frustrating.
Today though, I’m not feeling frustrated. I’m amused. I’m laughing at myself as my fingers fumble around for words that ought to be on the tip of my… [Tongue? Fingers? Perhaps I should skip this tired metaphor altogether.]
See what I mean?
This is a good thing, at least for me. Laughing at myself is the best way I know to keep from becoming too serious and drifting into the world of dismal metaphysics. That’s where I go when I’m not happy with the work. The tone gets darker and darker and the words get more jumbled up. Gobbledygook prevails.
So, I keep plugging away. Bit by bit the words get better. I stop piddling about, and words come together in ways that approximate sentences.
And this, ladies and gentlemen, is how one writes for writing.