Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Things and nothings

IF - Stitch

This has been an odd week in its "unstructuredness". I haven't updated recently because I don't think I have much of anything to update. I've been cooking and cleaning and running errands and none of those things are of any interest to anyone, I imagine. In my spare time, I've been working on a few small watercolor paintings - just goofy stuff, and trying to write - something I usually refrain from doing outside the confines of NaNoWriMo in November. I've gotten the idea that maybe an actual novel would be as interesting to write as the one-month rush versions I have completed in the past. I've got a few ideas down. I have also started working my way through a book I picked up before we left: Fiction Writer's Workshop. The book has over 180 exercises and, though I tend to lack discipline, I am trying to slowly get all the exercises in the first chapter knocked out before I move along to the second.

I used to use my strange work schedule as an excuse to not write and not draw and paint. With that excuse gone, I'm finding out what I knew all along - the reason I don't write and paint is because it is difficult and playing computer games and wasting time on Facebook is easy. When I sit down with a fresh piece of watercolor paper and just begin doodling out ideas, I absolutely love the way it makes me feel. I feel blissfully concentrated... I lose track of time. I fall in love with the slip of ink on paper. I shiver at the scratching of the metal nib on the coarse grains. The puddles of watercolor make me grin as they bleed into each other, prodded this way and that by damp bristles. Then the picture is done, and I put it on the wall so I can look at it a hundred times a day while figuring out what I want to change next time. Writing is similar but, because I have done it far less, not quite as powerfully enjoyable. The problem I have is this - I love to paint and I love to write... and I hate to start either one. Something about staring at the blank page and thinking I have nothing to put on it terrifies me. So I sit and stare... and then go play more Scrabulous.


Cathy Gatland said...

Thats all very familiar - wasting time when there are much more satisfying things to do like playing with paint - just have to show up at the page... easier said than done!

parks said...

play me in scrabulous! (er, not to encourage you not being creative, but i'm bored at work today) :-)

Jen said...

You took the words right out of my mouth! When I knew I'd be taking a year off from work to come to Brussels, I had all sorts of grand ideas of how I'd spend my time. Granted, I've only been settled here for four months now, but so far the only things on that list which I've accomplished are language study and this blog! Guess I'd better get to work! :-)

SquidViscous said...

One of the things that has helped me get started writing is to not try to start at the beginning and write the whole piece in order. Write whatever part is easiest first so that you get something on paper, and then worry about filling in the rest. If you have a vague idea for something you'd like to write, but can't think of the words to use, describe the idea as best you can and move on. You'll think of better words sometime later.

Fabian Trunz said...

As the great and sadly late Douglas Adams once said: "I hate writing, I love having written", I think most of us great future novelists have that problem :P

I've been absent for a long time, so thought I should say a small hello. No, I'm not dead yet, there's life in the old horse still!

Oh, and by the way: Apparently Hasbro is suing Facebook for copyright infringement because Scrabulous is a blatant copy of their intellectual property "Scrabble", of which I'm sure you've heard :P Get all your gaming in while you still can!