Something good. Something witty and engaging.
This was as much as I could come up with.
I don’t know if it’s my age, or the effects of living in the real world that has slowly killed off the creativity in me but I can’t seem to be able to write stuff as easily these days. When I was younger I used to write loads of stuff. The amount of stories I had, both finished and unfinished, clutter the pages of tons of notebooks I’ve had from childhood to young adulthood. My youthful imagination was awash with ideas. Some of them were utterly ridiculous, but who said all fiction had to be 100% realistic? Reality is rubbish anyway, most of the time.
I suppose some might say it is wrong of me to force myself to write something, especially if there is nothing whatsoever in my head. You can’t make yourself be creative if the ideas are not there. But sometimes I feel if I don’t put a pen to paper or fingers on a keyboard, I’d go insane. Not entirely batshit crazy, but mad enough. Writing is the way I deal with stuff. It’s what I love doing and what I want to do with my life if I could. I’d rather do that as my work than waste my days in a workplace, the boredom of it all tearing apart my lonely and fragile soul. I guess I can dream.
I bought another notebook the other week. I like notebooks, I have written about my liking of them before on here (I think it’s on this one anyway, go search for it). I must have loads of them at home, from various stages of my life, all full or half filled with stuff.
Why do I like notebooks? Probably because I like writing and have done for as long as I can remember. As a kid, you’d find me scribbling poems and stories in a cheap Woolworths notepad. Some of those stories would be left unfinished – OK, nearly all of them would be, but I enjoyed doing it.
These days, I still enjoy being able to empty my head of all the thoughts I am carrying onto paper. Even in this digital age with twitter and all that, I still prefer to jot my thoughts and ideas in a notebook. Whenever my brain is buzzing with an idea which won’t go away, it goes in the book. Granted, some of it will be nonsense, and some of it will have been written when I have been a bit emotional, but through all the ramble you could find something that is worthy of developing into something. In fact, a lot of my blog posts have come out of writing a paragraph in a page of one. I guess randomly writing stuff, reading it back later on and spotting stuff that could be developed is a technique that works for me. That said, there are times that I write stuff in a notebook or diary which I would rather not read ever again. Be glad none of that turns up on here or any other corner of the internet I lurk in.
Not just failed it, but epically failed it. You all knew that it was coming from my last blog post, when I wrote that I had struggled in trying to find both time and ideas for it. I suppose when I look back at it, I was a little bit hasty in signing up. I didn’t really give enough thought as to what I was going to do for it and while I know that the whole thing is about quantity over quality I still thought it would be ideal to know what it was all going to be about. Even if you wrote a load of crap you want it to be coherent crap, with some story going on.
For all this, I was glad that I did manage to get some words down, even if it was thousands of words off the target. You think that for every person who either completed their novel or did a couple of thousand but then stopped there are loads more who signed up for Nanowrimo and didn’t write a single word. The fact you tried to have a go is an achievement in itself, even if you didn’t get to the end. Certainly trying it out made me think more about writing, if not always for my near empty shell of a novel, then for my blog and twitter. I found myself writing down more stuff in my notebooks, even if it was just a sentence, or general random nonsense. At one point I may look back at some of them and see what I can use. Maybe for next year’s Nanowrimo – or maybe not.
Will I do it next year? I might do. If I did, I would definitely be more prepared for it than I was this time. I wouldn’t want to come across as taking it too seriously as it is meant to be a fun thing, but I would still want to have a good stab at it. Obviously I wouldn’t take time off work in order to write it, that would be stupid.
If you are reading this and did manage to complete your novel, then congratulations! If like me you didn’t, never mind, you still did alright.
(Sorry if this post looks like it should be on my Tumblr page).
..and you feel like apologising for it.
Seriously, I want to say sorry for the post I wrote last week. It isn’t usually my thing to write posts like that on here (I usually reserve my bouts of inadequacy and self loathing for Tumblr), but I was having one of those moments and it showed.
I had thought about deleting the post, but I then decided that it would be better keeping it as a reminder of why I use this blog in the first place. For that I have to thank the people who commented on it. Reading back what they said pretty much highlighted to me just how I came across in it. In all the time I have blogged, here and elsewhere I have never really cared if I had people reading this or not. In a lot of cases, I have blogged hoping that nobody would ever read my rants and ramblings. Yet in my last post it sounded like it did matter to me how many readers I got. If this was someone else’s post I was reading I would have regarded them as an idiot. Indeed, I regard myself as an idiot for writing such things in it.
What the comments on that post really did do for me was remind me why I blog and why many others do it. We use it as a place to sound off, to express our views, try out ideas and share things that interest us. We don’t set a time to do it, or a target (however things like post a week/day are good for encouraging you to write more), we do it when we feel like it. If someone happens to stumble upon it, read it and like it, then that’s good, but it isn’t why we write blogs. If it was, then blogging would feel more like a job than the hobby it is. Ultimately we blog and write in general, for ourselves, and we do it because we enjoy it. And if it sounds like a pile of crap, so what? It is ours and we can write what we bloody well like in it.
I very nearly lost sight of this.
So a few days ago, I decided to sign up to a site called Wikinut. Wikinut is a website that you can submit articles on any subject to and get paid for it. It had got a four star review in Web User magazine and as someone who loves writing and has long wanted to make a career out of it, I joined it. I even had an idea of what I would write about for my first couple of articles.
A few days later, I still haven’t submitted those articles.
After an initial good start planning out my articles and what I was going to mention in them, I found the actual writing of the articles themselves a bit of a problem. I could blame the fact that I kept getting distracted by numerous things (youtube, twitter, people around me, etc), but really I know I should blame myself for being so easily distracted. Not since the days I was at university have I really thrown myself into writing stuff (I know my blogs look like I’ve taken my time with them but believe me, they don’t take a great deal of effort). I have tried a few times to get back into it since then, but lack of time due to one thing or another has prevented me for carrying on with the stuff I started. There’s quite a few notebooks in my bedroom filled with story ideas that have never fully materialised.
I’m hoping that it’s just a little bit of writers’ block that is hampering my latest efforts, but after getting half a paragraph down I fear I will end up ripping it up and starting again with another subject. I probably won’t make a lot of money from it, but it’ll be good experience for me, I suppose.