Beginning writing and buying expensive things I don’t use.

Posted in Creative Writing, Kooky Projects by The Editor | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

For all intents and purposes I thoroughly enjoy writing. Obviously else I would not have written this. Recently I took it upon myself to fire up a copy of Microsoft Office 2010 beta (I love open source but Office 2010 actually makes your manuscript look, well, ‘manuscripty’ and this pleases both my eyes and my heart). I immediately discovered that writing a blog post is easy, anyone can do that although it’s harder to write a blog post that is both interesting and something a complete stranger will want to read.

Writing a book however is bloody hard.

I set about my project with absolutely no idea of what my story would be about. I fired up Word 2010, fired up my ZuneHD and queued up bunches of Aphex Twin and Autechre and began to type. On a completely off topic note it’s worth noting that at this precise moment I took a sip from a freshly brewed cup of espresso I made with the Moka pot I bought the same day. I’ve never had coffee from a Moka pot before and it’s worth mentioning that a) it’s bloody scrumptious and b) gave me the substantial jolt to kick start my creative writing juices. If you don’t own a Moka pot, I strongly suggest investing in one the second the shops open where you live tomorrow.

Words began to flow from my mind to my fingers, chapters were created and then it all came to a halt. According to the numerous creative writing websites I consulted it appeared I had gone about writing a novel completely the wrong way. Writing a novel should take the form of the snowflake effect, I discovered, and that plot and strong character development come first.

That’s all well and good but when I halted writing the story and concentrated on plot and strong character development two things happened. Firstly, I realized my initial story was absolute garbage. Secondly, I spent so much time fiddling with the plot and characters that when I got back to trying to write again I had no idea where to begin.

Now the book doth lay in limbo while I dream up ways to pick up the story from where I left off. In some ways I see it as a blessing as it’s prevented me from crafting a complete turd of a book. But I’m annoyed that doing it the right way has killed my creative juices and I don’t know where to take my story from the point it’s at now, even though I have a fleshed out plot and some juicy characters. It should come easy to me but it’s had the complete opposite effect!

To try and combat this current block, I’ve sought solace in doing it the old fashioned way. I bought myself a rather pricey Lamy Studio fountain pen and three Moleskine notebooks in order to force myself to write notes more slowly and thoughtfully, and to force myself to just get on with it due to the fact the pen and the notebooks were bloody expensive. Currently the pen has had no ink inserted in to it and the notebooks are still in their original shrink wrap.

I’m honestly at a loss. My brain has shut down completely and I’m wondering if it may be time to stop development of my novel for the foreseeable and concentrate on developing my writing skills with a collection of short stories.

Kudos to those that write. Turning my hand to this skill, talent, call it what you will, has shown me just how difficult creative writing truly is and has made me more appreciative of the books I purchase and read.

(By the way, I’m chuffed with the Macro shot of my Lamy and Moleskine’s I took for this article!)

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3 Comments to “Beginning writing and buying expensive things I don’t use.”

  • Fancy yourself a writer now do you? All that M$ flotsam and jetsam isn’t going to make you a good writer ;-)

    Nice picture, is that from an iPhone?

    –Pete

    PS, I haven’t been watching, but how are the Sens doing?

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  • Thought I would give it a go! I could write an entire angst-riddled war epic about the MCSE 70-291 exam! Hmm, there’s an idea!

    I think I have a deep rooted love of pens thanks to the stunning examples Mr. T makes. Is he still making them? I took the photo in macro mode with a little Fuji point and shoot camera. The macro mode is a bit hit and miss and can be frustrating. Then there are times when you pull off a fluke shot!

    It’s a cheeky camera that we love a lot for the rough and tumble of beach bag life but soon I would like to dip my toe in to the seedy, lurid world of DSLR…

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  • I’ve found myself in much the same boat a lot recently, the moment I try and enforce ‘proper’ writing habits my creative flow is totally disrupted and it all falls apart. I’ve decided though to put the fabulous novel I’ve been working on on hold and I’m concentrating on the challenging job of improving my basic writing skills.

    Getting rid of the bad habits I’ve developed in the years since I had teachers to force me to write properly is proving difficult…

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