Stepping into the forest of my mind

Stepping into the forest of my mind
Just as every journey begins with a first step, every story begins with the first word.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Insecure Writers Want to Know: How has your creativity in life evolved since you began writing?


            How has creativity in my life evolved since I began writing? I expect more from myself with anything I write. And I feel others expect more creativity from me once they learn I’m a writer. Whether it’s a letter [remember those?] or a response to an e-mail, a blog post or even an answer to an essay question, I feel pressure to create something pithy, something memorable, something witty.
http://victoriamarielees.blogspot.com


Creativity to me is like leaves in autumn. Some seasons are better than others. Whereas trees need successive days of sunshine and warm weather during their growing season for colors to be their most radiant in autumn, so too does my creativity require days of sunshine—or at least  calm—and the warmth of positive thoughts for my stories to become the best I can make them.

            Positive thoughts. Calm. It’s what every person needs—especially writers.  How can we become creative if we don’t believe in ourselves? How can we remain calm?

            Don’t get me wrong. Life’s not meant to be easy; at least mine isn’t. But neither should our characters’ lives be easy. Our own struggles help us to create stories with meaning.

            I remember learning in my Story Genius course that writers need to make things as bad as they can for their protagonists. Thanks, Lisa Cron. And then, she adds, make things even worse.

I have this problem about being mean to people. And our characters are people. At least they are to me. I feel sorry for anyone who’s having a bad time in life.

I know. Why am I a writer, then? It’s a good question. The answer is: I feel compelled to write. I can’t just not write. This makes life a bit more difficult for me. When my life is exploding all around me, I fight with myself that I must write. I need to accomplish something worthwhile in the writing realm; whether it’s a blog post, a eulogy, or a short story.

My battle lies clearly defined between trying to find time to write and trying to find time to maintain [or is it create?] a social media presence so that when I ever finally finish the next [hopefully better] draft of my memoir story about attending college as a mother of five children, I have the necessary connections and presence to submit it, either for critique or to publishers.

            But I need this time, in my writing life, to concentrate solely on my memoir. And I need to truly recall the events during those frustrating college years when things got harder and harder for me [the protagonist in the memoir] at college or where family life—or the guilt of not finding any “down time” to spend with the family—lodged deeply in my psyche, almost paralyzing me from moving forward with my college career.

            The best thing for authors to realize, when creating story or memoir, is when they need professional help for the book to come to fruition. I feel I’m at that stage. I’m seriously considering becoming a part of Author Accelerator where each writer has his or her own professionally trained editor offering concrete feedback to the manuscript. I need someone to help me find the “because of this, the next event happens” structure to the college memoir.

            Where or who do you look to for professional guidance in preparing your story? Please share any information here at Adventures in Writing.

Thanks for visiting. Please follow my blog if you haven’t already and connect with me online. Leave your blog link in your comment so I can be sure to do the same for you.

This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s SupportGroup. We post on the first Wednesday of every month.  To join us, or learn more about the group, click HERE.  



32 comments:

  1. I'm with you on a little calm.
    I'm getting better at making things really bad for my main character.

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    1. Bravo to you, Alex, for making things really bad for your protagonist. It's amazing how difficult that is. Let's both hope for a little calm in our writing lives.

      Thanks so much for your comment on Adventures in Writing. Have a great day!

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  2. Hi Victoria Marie - I've enjoyed experimenting a bit with my writing ... but I continue to educate myself via my blog posts and that keeps me fairly occupied ... and reading everyone's posts when I learn so much from the various styles, ideas and creative thought that comes over - cheers Hilary

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    1. Thanks, Hilary. I feel we never stop learning. And this is a good thing--especially for writers. I love reading your blog posts, Hilary. I learn so much from your experiences.

      It is always such a pleasure, Hilary, to find your comment here at Adventures in Writing. Have a great day!

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  3. I am impressed you keep writing despite life's interruptions. I'm still learning that trick.

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    1. It is not easy, Roland, believe me. Thank you for your kind words. Here's hoping we both can move forward in our writing lives.

      Thanks for your comment here at Adventures in Writing. Have a great day!

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    1. Thank you, Michelle. I truly need it. And thanks for your note here at Adventures in Writing. Have a great week!

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  5. Oh please give me some of that calm time. I struggle with finding the time to write with all my responsibilities but am working on changing that.

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    1. If only I could hand out "calm" like flowers, Natalie. But bravo to you for working on changing your schedule to allow more time for writing. All the luck, my dear.

      Thanks for your comment here at Adventures in Writing. Have a great day!

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  6. I love a calm mind too. Mine can be found as I sit in my writing chair when the sun lights it up it fills my soul. Happy IWSG day!

    Elsie

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    1. Hello and welcome to Adventures in Writing, Elsie! I'm so glad you visited us. I think everyone can use a dose of calm. I absolutely love where you find yours. I need sunshine. It's been raining too much in New Jersey this year.

      Thanks for your comment here at Adventures in Writing. Have a great day!

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  7. I don't like being mean to people, either, but I do believe in having bad things happen to my characters and then getting them through it and giving the a HEA. :)

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    1. I'm all for happy endings, Chrys. Because life doesn't always work that way, I desperately need to read a story that does. That's a good way to think about your characters. It's not so much that you are mean to them, Vic, [I need to understand]. It's more that bad things happen to them, and my job as the writer is to get them to the Happy Ever After part of the story. Thanks, Chrys!

      And thanks for sharing your insight here at Adventures in Writing. Have a great day!

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    1. Thanks for your kind words, Anna. I truly appreciate them. And thanks for your comment here at Adventures in Writing. Have a great day!

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  9. I find it hard to be mean to my main character but it's true. The suspense and tension is real. I like your idea of having an editor help. I have had lots of success with mine :) Happy IWSG Hop Day :)

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    1. Suspense and tension is what makes a good story. That much I realize.

      Bravo to you, Erika. Who's your editor, if you don't mind my asking? Writers need professional eyes on their pages. At least I know I do.

      Thanks for your note here at Adventures in Writing. Have a great Fall!

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  10. I hear you: when people learn that I'm a writer, suddenly I'm the go-to person to write debate speeches, etc. Like I don't have enough on my plate without doing stuff like that for free... Sigh. A little peace and calm can go a long way to recharge writers :-)

    Ronel visiting on IWSG day Lessons in Writing from Sewing

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    1. You are so right, Ronel. Yes! It seems everyone is looking for help writing anything. And they want that help for free. I understand that it's good to "give back." And I do, make no mistake, but how am I supposed to make a living as a writer if I give away all my time? Family obligations are one thing, but geeze!

      I need to remember your words, Ronel. Peace and calm DO go a long way to recharge my writing batteries. Thanks for sharing your insight here at Adventures in Writing. Enjoy your day!

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  11. I love writing villains in my stories and making them really, really bad. I blame The villain for being hard on my lovable, kind main character. Not me. hee hee. I'm in the midst of writing a memoir and my writer's group is helpful. Do you know any local writers who would be available to help each other with brainstorming and ideas to improve the ms? Wishing you well with your memoir writing. I think it's harder than writing a murder mystery!!
    http://victoriamarielees.blogspot.com

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    1. Aren't villains terrible? I never thought about it this way, letting the villain take the fall for being mean to our protagonists. Thanks for the tip!

      I believe finding the actual memoir story is harder than any fiction writing, JQ. Thanks so much for your kind words and helpful tips here at Adventures in Writing. Enjoy your day!

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  12. Good to meet you Victoria! Blessings

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    1. Hello and welcome to Adventures in Writing, Ann! I'm so glad you stopped by. It is a pleasure to meet you, too. May you receive many blessings as well. Thanks again for your note at Adventures in Writing.

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  13. I love the symbolism you use with autumn, Victoria. Just writing this blog like that, in a compelling manner, drawing parallels, is what makes you a good writer. I just spit on the pages, compared to you. :-) And, I don’t ever use professional help. I just wrote my memoir without guidance and will take it from there. I feel that if I overthink or try to follow the rules too much, it’ll take away my voice and maybe even my desire to work on this project.

    Like you, my life on the road has been “exploding”, so I haven’t touched my memoir in over four months. I’m ready to battle it again, later this month, when I make arrangements to sit still somewhere for a few weeks. Translation work, driving and sightseeing have prevented me from memoir focus.

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Liesbet. They truly mean the world to me.

      You really have a fascinating life, Liesbet, and a wonderful story to tell. I can't wait to hop over to your blog to see where you've been "sightseeing." It's always a pleasure seeing you here at Adventures in Writing, Liesbet. Enjoy your week wherever you are!

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  14. Positive thoughts and calm...I feel I'm forever in desperate need of both! Good luck on your memoir, I know mine is still sitting there waiting to be worked on...waiting patiently for that calm!

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    1. Hello and welcome to Adventures in Writing! Most writers are in need of calm and positive thoughts, Melanie. Thanks for your good wishes. I really need them.

      Good luck with your memoir as well, and thanks for your note here at Adventures in Writing. Have a great Fall!

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  15. I hired an editor for my last book. You're more than welcome to check her out. http://sioneaeschliman.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thank you so much for this, Raimey! I will certainly check her out when I'm ready. I truly appreciate your sharing your insight here at Adventures in Writing. Enjoy your week!

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  16. The Author Accelerator program sounds really interesting. I can see how getting an outside perspective could be really helpful, especially when it comes to a memoir which the author is so close to because it's about their own life.

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    1. This is true. But regardless of genre, sometimes writers are too close to their story writing and can't see what's missing. Hence, an editor, developmental or otherwise, is a good option for finding what's missing from the manuscript.

      Thanks for your comment here at Adventures in Writing. Have a great day!

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