Saturday, February 8, 2014

Random Writing Thoughts on a Saturday Afternoon...



I’m not entirely sure what this blog post will be about. It’s just a Saturday afternoon where I’m sick with the flu snuggled on the couch and I feel like writing.

 

I’ve been thinking a lot about my writing journey and where I’m at.  And I’m at that part in life where everything is aligning itself. It’s an interesting thing to watch. I love being able to look back and see *why* things happened and where I am and how I’ve gotten here.

 

I’ve decided that writing is 90% mental. It really is. Sure, you need to learn the craft and perfect it—and there are sooooo many elements to writing a great book—but once you have the craft part down, I think the actual creating part (creating something that can move someone… or completely immerse someone… ) you have to have your head in the right place.

 

I’ve struggled with some health issues as of late, but things are completely resolved now and I feel better than I have in a decade! I can’t believe this is what “normal” people feel like. It’s such a relief to know that I’m alive and here and well and I will be from now on.  I’ve also resolved some relationship issues that I spoke about in a past post. And that feels amazing.

 

So for the first time in forever, my head is clear. And I’m writing better than I have… ever. Things are finally clicking. I struggled all last summer with a project that just wasn’t flowing. But since the New Year, it’s like all the stars have aligned and there isn’t a better feeling than knowing that you’re creating something that feels right on every level.

 

In the past, I’ve struggled with putting emotion into my stories. I’m not sure why… I think there was a block there—or maybe I just had some growing to do. I’ve always known that my weakness was being plot driven, and not letting the character drive the story forward. So I think that when one embraces their weakness, and focuses on making that a strength, that’s when they really soar.

 

There are so many things about this writing gig that makes it feel like a race. Being ahead of the trend. Getting your ideas out before someone comes up with something similar and beats you to it. Etc. And yes, this does exist to a point, but at the same time, your work isn’t going to be where it needs to be if you’re focusing on this. So the 90% mental part comes from not only having your head clear, but from emotionally being in the right place. Blocking out everything else and focusing solely on the work.

 

And I think I’m finally there. I’ve finally reached the point where I’m not concerned about what other people are writing and how it might affect my journey.  I’m only concerned about improving my weaknesses and creating the best possible work that I’m capable of.
 

I can see why it takes years to truly create something beautiful. Because it’s not just about the craft. It’s about what’s going on inside of us. And when we ourselves are balanced, it’s going to show on the page. At least that’s how it’s been for me.


 

Red. Head. Out. :)

36 comments:

  1. Glad you have finally reached 'normal' with how you feel.
    That something extra, that passion, can't be taught. We have to find it on our own.
    Now that your head is clear, you've found it.
    Write and enjoy, Morgan!

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  2. I enjoyed this post so much. I found it to be incredibly true.

    Hope your flu doesn't last long.

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  3. So you feel better, but you have the flu?
    Do you ever catch a break?
    Feel ultra better, and get over this! :-)

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    1. LOL! It is pretty funny. Even sick on the couch, I feel better than I have in YEARS. I'll take it! :) :) :)

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  4. Yes. It's not a race... with other people. I'm so glad you're feeling better! I'll bet you're wired cuz you were so enthusiastic before. :D

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  5. Nice post - and as for your relationship dilemma: All you can do is keep the lines of communication open and let the other person know you're willing to talk.

    Now, as to trends...I wish I was ahead of them for a change instead of three steps behind!

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  6. Normal would be nice feeling wise, getting there at my sea. Yuck to the flu too, had that this year, not fun. And yeah just have to do your thing and write away at your wing.

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  7. Glad you're feeling better Morgan. There will always be ideas out there, just ensure yours gets out there as well instead of dwelling on others. You're happy and that's what truly matters. That you're also comfortable in your writing skin is a great bonus.

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  8. Morgan, I'm sorry you have the flu, but I'm so glad the other health issues are better.

    I see us writers as characters in a story…we're growing, we're changing, and sometimes our greatest moments come after trials. Here's to happy endings :)

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  9. Glad you're feeling better and are ready to conquer! Good luck with everything, and hope you kill that flu bug quickly. :/

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  10. Ah, don't I know exactly how you feel. I also struggle with putting the emotion in and making my characters more 'real'! So glad you've figured it out and everything is lining up for you. Happy writing, friend!!!

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  11. I think that timing is everything. And I also believe that we should listen to our gut instinct... it's usually spot on!
    Having said that, I must confess that this writing business is hard... but oh so enjoyable... and I'm having the time of my life...!
    Thanks for sharing these Saturday musings...
    Writer In Transit

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  12. Sorry you have the flu but I'm ...happy you feel good. That seems like a weird thing to say. It's nice with things start to align.

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  13. Hey Morgana,

    It's great when it all seems to come together like that, isn't it? This post made me happy. Happy for you and happy for me that I'm not alone in this game...that these feelings of being stuck will pass.

    I've questioned the whys of things...not been my most favorite time lately...but each adversity does indeed strengthen us. When we feel weakest and don't succumb to the emotions of it all, but instead, embrace our vulnerability, we are actually transforming it into a strength. We are in the fire being refined.

    Bless you on all your endeavors, and so happy for some insight!

    M.L. Swift, Writer

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  14. As usual, you have hit the nail on the head, my friend. This is why I've taken this past year or so off and have been out of the loop as of late, for most of these same reasons. It's really hard to open your mind to full capacity when you have all of this other "stuff" floating around. It's like adjusting the antenna on your TV "back in the day", always looking for that perfect position to get the best reception, but having to settle for that bit of static floating around your screen interfering with everything, or in this case, your mind. It sounds like your static is gone and you've gone from analog mode to digital High Definition! ;) I'm glad you overcame your obstacles. It's not easy, but that doesn't mean it has to be impossible, either.

    You keep going, and don't stop, ever.

    - Mike

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  15. You really must have felt terrible in the recent past if you can have the flu and feel "better" and clear-headed! I work so many days with just 3 hours sleep that when I sleep 12 hours straight and wake up, I go: "So this is what it feels to be clear-headed!"

    You're right: our only competitor is ourselves. We grow when we climb just a little higher than the day before. May the days ahead be healing ones.

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  16. I'm glad you're feeling like you're in a better place. I feel like I'm getting to a worse place sometimes :( I'm trying really hard to just focus on the work though, finish this story and make it the best it can be. I really admire you Morgan! I think you're awesome and you're going places. I can't wait to be able to read your work.

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  17. ...isn't it funny how those posts which are not planned out beforehand, can often lead to some of the most inspiring honesty? Passages that are likely to be bookmarked by one's peers.

    Well done, Morgan ;)

    El

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  18. I'm so glad you've found your clarity of mind, but sorry about the flu...I know how much that sucks. I love your conclusions, which I need to remind myself at times. It's not a race. It is so 90% mental, which is why I psych myself out of writing and doing what needs to be done an (embarrassingly) large percentage of the time. Keep up the great work! :)

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  19. Writing is such a psychologically driven activity. I understand what you mean about mental blocks affecting your writing. Enjoy your new groove!

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  20. Great to hear you are feeling better - you know - flu aside lol

    I feel the opposite of you right now. It's like I've forgotten how to create a good story, and emotion? Pah. I hope this is just a phase!!

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  21. Hey,

    I'm calling 2014 the Year of the Red. Head.

    From good people come great things - and you are a *wonderful* person and friend, so I'm rooting for you - and I know your dreams will come true :)

    You're a *

    :)

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  22. I'm so glad you're feeling healthy (flu aside!) and are in a good writing place. You rock Morgan!!! HUGS!

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  23. You have no idea how much I relate to this post. While I haven't been the sick one in my family, I've been the caregiver for many difficult years. Health-wise, we're doing pretty well these days, but are still recovering from the financial repercussions of that critically sick period. Anyway, yes, those stresses take a toll on the mental side of writing. When I started writing seriously a few years ago, it actually brought me mental healing more than anything else ever had (as well as introducing a whole new set of neuroses!). But I totally get what you mean about things aligning and being able to finally process everything and watch it emerge together in something you write. You're awesome, Morgan. Great thoughts for a Saturday afternoon--or any day! :-)

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  24. I'm so glad you're feeling much better thank you have in the past! I know how much of a difference that makes. (Dealing with chronic illness here.) It's definitely difficult to write when you're completely off balance from a health stand point--not that you can't...

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  25. I'm glad you're feeling better and have resolved the relationship issues.

    I used to have a hard time depicting emotions (either realistically or at all) in my writing. I think I was afraid it would seem corny, overwrought, cliché, not my real style. Also, it probably had a lot to do with how my brain is wired. Understanding nonverbal communication and expressing emotions don't come naturally to me; they're skills I've had to learn over the years. Now I'd never dream of writing a scene where someone, say, reacts very matter-of-factly or unemotionally to something devastating like the news of a death or being separated from a child.

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  26. As I sit here typing this I've been hit by a nasty cold for the past week and a half. Is there anything worse than being forced to stay at home all day long but unable to write? What a cruel joke. Hope you feel better soon.

    It took us a while before we learned the lesson of not caring what others think or if our books are on date to reach a current trend, but now that we're there the creative process just works so much better. The question no longer becomes "will the masses like this?" or "has this been done before?" but "will the people who enjoy our writing like this?" and "has anyone done this better than us?"

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  27. Glad you're feeling better and have found a place of balance. Keep on keeping on. . .

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  28. Go you! I love your statement that "writing is 90% mental." Love, love, love, love. All too often, I stop myself before I start writing because of my doubts. I am going to plaster those words all over my life.

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  29. I can't imagine why you'd be struggling with health issues with the air in the valley on red all the time and it being more polluted than Los Angeles (with the inversion). Sheesh. Just get yourself a gas mask and you'll be fine! Either that or move to Elysium. Don't get that reference? It's a movie with Matt Damon and Jodi Foster that came out last year. It was about an essentially dead Earth stripped of its resources where all the poor people lived, and all the rich people lived on Elysium (which was this huge space station that orbits Earth). Up in Elysium they have amazing health care, clean air, basically the best that money can buy. So the next question is: but Elysium is science-fiction, Mike. How can I live there? *hand on hip Have you ever looked at Park City? It's totally above the polluted stinking mass that is Salt Lake City and all the rich people live there breathing in the clean air and looking down from the mountain asking each other..."What on Earth is all that smog?" Answer: "That's where the 'poors' live."

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  30. Well, writing sometimes makes me go 90% mental...but I doubt that's what you meant;) I hear you though, I found that I have to let the writing do what it will and get myself out of the way to let it happen...if that makes any sense. But it works for me:)

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  31. Beautiful post, and so very true. We're constantly changing (and hopefully growing!) on the inside. :)

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  32. I'm so happy to hear that you're doing better and things are falling into place! And I completely agree with the 90% mental aspect--so true! I was thinking along the same lines last night as I tried to drag out a few words and it was like fumbling through mud. Now if only there were a switch to get my head in the game :)

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  33. I'm sorry you all are down with the flu, but I'm glad things in your life are getting better.

    Regarding character emotions... Have you ever looked into the courses offered by Margie Lawson? (There's one called 'Empowering Characters' Emotions.') She has a way of explaining things, using examples, that really helps. If you can't take her class in person, you can download it a read it on your own. I love her edits system, too.

    Things have been rough at home (kid troubles), but I'm trying to keep my attitude from suffering. I have no choice, now that I've set a date. 0_0

    Anyhow, I'm celebrating with you! Woot! :D

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  34. Well all need days of rest, even if we have to catch the flu to have them. I hope you were able to get lots of rest and enjoy it in spite of being sick.
    Very true what you said about writing. I understand why we need the basic elements to write, but it annoys me when people get so caught up in them they forget, you can get creativity from them and creativity is what makes a story.
    Your health issues, if I may ask, what were they? (I have some of my own. I've been to the doctor and have tried so many things and nothing works. So, I've been asking, even if they are different issues. At least there might be things I can try.)

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  35. Hi Morgan .. I'm so pleased you're feeling better and the issues you've been dealing with have been resolved ... long may that bright spark in the brain continue on enjoy life! Flu is a pain - but as I'm so late .. I expect you'll be over it ... if the snow and weather this side of the pond would improve we'd all be happier! Roll on Spring and Summer - yet not toooo fast as I've loads to do ..

    Cheers Hilary

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