It has never been my intention when I sit down to write a blog post to give out advice to anyone who comes across these words. I don't know a whole lot about fiction writing, and what little I do know is intensely personal and probably only helpful to me. I know about writing research papers, response papers, poetry explications, annotated bibliographies, and any other kind of paper that involves a works cited page, but that's not what this blog is about.
I don't plan my posts out in advance. Sometimes I'll get a thought stuck in my head and say to myself, "maybe I'll blog about that tomorrow." Most of the time I either end up writing 2 blog posts in a day, or I'll write something completely different the next day. This not-planning may be a detriment, but at this point in the game, I'm not a professional writer. I'm not really networking, I'm just trying to make virtual connections to people who have the same interests as I. And it's fun. I check my blogger dashboard thingie every morning while I eat breakfast. It's my new ritual, and I really enjoy it.
A lot of the blogs I and many of you follow give out a lot of advice, and that's wonderful, because those people are way ahead of me in the game. They've written MSS, queries, researched agents, played the waiting game--that's the kind of advice that's actually helpful. They're the people you turn to when you need some reassurance that this business really CAN pan out.
I'm just here to write some random thoughts and indulge a purely selfish need to entice others to read what I have to say. I try to make it worthwhile, try to make it funny, and try to make it widely appealing. Hopefully I'm doing a decent job of that...
Anyways, the point of this ridiculously long preamble to introduce some writing advice that we all could use. This comes from a great book I used in my first creative writing class called Writing in Flow, by Susan K. Perry (Ph.D.) It's all about cutting out a special time to work on your writing and how to make the most of that time.
So here are some thoughts from this book:
How Flow Occurs
Theory states that you enter flow state when the following requirements are in place:
1.Your activity has clear goals and gives you some sort of feedback.
2. You have the sense that your personal skills are well suited to the challenges of the activity, giving you a sense of potential control.
3. You are intensely focused on what you're doing.
4. You lose awareness of yourself, perhaps feeling part of something larger.
5. Your sense of time is altered, with time seeming to slow, stop, or become irrelevant
6. The experience becomes self-rewarding.
So how often can you say that you're in flow for any activity, not just writing? Personally, the only time I can really relate to this idea is when I'm reading a great book. I'm that person who becomes deaf and blind, much to my husband's irritation. I've only come close to this state a few times when writing, but it's something I strive for every time I open my MS, and something I hope that we can all someday accomplish.
I'm meeting my brother for dinner at 5, so I have 4 1/2 hours to try to write as much as possible. I'm shooting for an additional 2,000 words, which means I won't be able to keep taking email, blogger, and facebook breaks...
Flow, I'm coming for you!