A year or so ago, I read a writing exercise idea on a blog that changed the way I view watching TV. The blogger in question would make notes of, then dissect the episode she was watching. She’d figure out which plot points worked, which didn’t, where the dialogue fell flat, where it rocked, and how she would have improved the episode. By doing this, she swore she learned better writing techniques. (I’m sorry I can’t find the link to this article now.)
I’ve never taken an episode apart like that, but I haven’t really viewed anything on the telly in the same way either. This thing about learning better writing from TV has remained in the back of my mind, so my viewing has become more critical.
I had a conversation about writing with my cousin, as we often do. Afterwards, I kept thinking how great it would have been if I’d known which mistakes to avoid when I just started writing.
Yes, I could have googled something stupid, like how to write a novel. Today, the ‘duh’ is weighty enough to crush me. I’m realising though, many noob writers don’t seem to do the googling. And I’m going to go out on a limb here and say it seems the pantsers are the most guilty party.
The answer came through the random comment from a friend. You need time off to refill the well.
The ironies upon ironies I’m faced with now are shocking. Not only have many friends and loved ones made similar statements, but didn’t I write a post with the same friggen message? The answer is yes. Yes, I did.
If you have no idea what I mean, I went off on a tangent about the glass, and the argument over it being half empty or half full. Here’s a spoiler, I don’t support either of those opinions. It’s still one of my most popular posts over on the Couch, and still one of my personal favourites too.
Here’s an interesting turn of events. I don’t know what to blog about.
At first, I couldn’t understand what the hell this caused this sluggishness. Sure, blogging is difficult sometimes. I’ve been doing this for six years and I know ideas dry up at some point. That’s why the blog changed its direction even before I moved here from the Couch. Still, I was on a roll a while back, so this drought is both unexpected and seriously annoying.
Now, my generation is a weird one. In South Africa, our grandmothers were still typically part of the movement that women shouldn’t work. Most of them were home-makers for that reason. Our mothers, contrarily, were a part of the group that stood up to the notion that women could only stay at home and raise the kids. They became working mothers, building a future for us where we could work too.
Some days, it’s difficult to get inspired. I’m having one of those days. I talked about this problem on Friday too, so you’ll know about my predicament if you’ve been around the blog.
The recap version? Today, I have no idea what to blog about and I don’t have the drive to put in any real effort. #yayhonesty This is me winging it.
A quick Google search on ‘how to find inspiration’ offers some basic results. Take a walk, read a book, listen to music. You get the general idea.
Everything is quiet again. Back to normal. It’s been a month since our visitors left (I can’t even) and, with the vacation posts out of the way, I can’t ignore the elephant in the room anymore. Too many people have been asking.
A while ago, a friend suggested that I write something on this topic. Yea, I’ve been trying. Do I have a nice, glowy outcome planned for this post? No. Not at all. #idontknowwhatimdoing
All I know is that this is something I struggle with immensely, especially when I’m obsessing. As in now.
Being in the moment is difficult enough in our day-to-day lives. I mean, we’re bombarded with things to consume from all angles. We can access anything from our phones, which means from anywhere we have wifi reception. So checking Twitter while at a coffee date with a friend is totally doable, and also kind of the norm.
At this stage, I’m unable to think straight, but I’ve had some questions from friends and family and I want to answer them.
Question 1 – How’s it going, Yolandie? *nervous laughter* Added to the fact that I’m revising like a madwoman, it’s been an icky week on the sleep scale. AKA, I’m not getting any. Life as a mom, eh? This means I’m not as sharp as I want to be writing-wise, but hey, surviving. Someone should hashtag that.
It’s a well-known fact (at least if you’ve hung around the blog) that I really admire my editor, Nerine Dorman. She’s taught me so much about writing that I barely recognise my old work these days, and I’m hopefully still improving.
A while back, I grabbed a compilation four of her stories on Amazon. No, I’m not a stalker! *creeps back into my dark corner* I got it for research. Really, to learn. Obviously, I learned something, or I wouldn’t be writing this. 😀 So, this entire post may read like a big quest to gain brownie points, which is why I’ve been putting it off for so long.
The truth is I want to howl at the moon over this novel.