Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. - II Timothy 2:15

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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Writer's Block

Isn't that the way of things?
When I started this blog, I had a million things swimming around in my head that I wanted to write about. Now I can't find a single thing to write about. It seems silly to have a blog if you don't know what to share, but it also seems silly to go through *all* (not true. This thing was amazingly easy to start) the work of setting one up and dropping it after the first post. At any rate, this mental effort is killing me. I'm so enthused that the moment I start a blog, I'm incapable of writing it. Well, I might as well fill up the space with something... 
Things I've learned today: 1. That staring at the blinking cursor is not a substitute for writing, but if you want to look like you're writing, it suffices. 2. That 'Ian' is the Scottish substitute for 'John'. (I actually learned this yesterday, but it hasn't been twenty-four hours yet, so it's still in). 3. That I could have beaten my brother at Trivial Pursuit last night if I'd remembered more of the geography lessons I took back in grade school and 4. That the buzzer on the washing machine does not stop going off if you ignore it. 
Writer's block is something that never fails to show up at the worst times and always seems to take down everything in its path. I still find it hard to believe that a person who works on eight novels simultaneously can be susceptible to an all out case of this annoying phenomenon, though 'tis true that I have pretty much dropped work on three that I keep only to turn to in dire circumstances. 
I've heard that some people don't believe there is such a thing as writer's block. If so, I'd like them to come over and explain what exactly it is that causes this mania for staring at a blinking cursor. Perhaps they'd call it a "lack of inspiration" -- which I also have at the moment. 
Whenever I feel like this, the most dangerous thing for me to do is go back and look at the stuff I've already written. I want to erase the whole thing and start over. Something I do enough as it is. I have one novel that has had more backward motion than forward because every time I get to the good part, I start over and rewrite the beginning. This has driven one of my sisters crazy for years. I've given her the same beginning, rehashed with a few changes each time, so many times she probably has it memorized. By now, when I ask her if she wants to read it, she always suspiciously wants to know whether or not I've gotten any further or if I'm going to put her through the same rewarmed sequence again. I guess my tactics are getting a bit antique... 
My remedy for writer's block is about as uncreative as the (what do you call this anyway? It's not a disease, though, at times it feels like one...) problem (?) itself. I let the novels moulder and read books until I get my inspiration back. For a really bad case, it takes a really large amount of books. Which is fine, because I have more unread books on my shelf than I know what to do with. 
'Till next time...which might be a while; I've got to think of something more interesting to write about than this. 
-- Jamie  

Thursday, April 28, 2011

First Blog, First Post

Ok, so I ask myself: What does one do when one tosses an idea around for a while? For me, the answer usually is: Go for it! And out of such a reply comes this blog...
First, about myself. (This seems rather awkward, since I know exactly WHO is going to be reading this blog at the moment, and they all know me. But on the odd chance that someone new comes along, I want to be prepared.)
-- I am a Christian. I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and I don't take that relationship lightly. I love getting insights out of Scripture and thus, many future posts will probably be taken up with that subject. I seem to have more weaknesses than strengths, but God is patient and faithful (which is a very good thing).
-- I love writing. If you read this in your head correctly, you will understand exactly how much, but just in case, I'll clarify. If I couldn't write, I'd most likely go crazy or succumb to a perpetual migraine. You can't possibly carry the lives of countless characters in your head and never be able to get their stories down on paper without suffering some sort of mental disorder, I always say. (I've actually never said that, since I just thought of it this minute, but it does have a nice ring to it, so in it stays.) Of course, I haven't shared that writing with many people (I have a peculiar insecurity about that sort of thing), but, in the future, I'll probably unload here. At any rate, due to my love of the craft, many future posts will probably be taken up with the subject.
-- I love to read. Fiction is my favorite, but I'll read biographies if forced, fantasy if very forced, and science-fiction not at all. The other classifications fall into different categories. I prefer historical fiction and Christian fiction, but I delve into YA fiction to some extent. I tend to be very critical when I read, which turns into, I suppose, some rather narrow-minded reviews of books that I didn't really care for. I am a sort of compulsive reviewer. But, I have learned over the years what sets a good writer apart from a bad one, and I'm (unfortunately) quite unable to restrain myself from speaking my piece on the subject. If I think something was bad, I make sure everyone knows just how bad I considered it. On the other hand, if I absolutely love a book, I will praise it to the skies and tell a zillion friends to read it. In conclusion, due to my compulsion for reviewing, I will most likely devote many future posts to my current additions along that line.
-- I have eight siblings and two parents. They're pretty awesome and we're all sarcastic (we can't help it; it came from my dad). Since you can't survive in my family without sarcasm and an ability to give it as well as you get (or better, if you put your mind to it), it is a permanently residing factor in all of us. My mom is also homeschooling all of us, which is an incredible task for her, but really nice for us. Snow days? What are those?
Other than that, I love my favorite music albums, my two American Girl dolls (even though all they do now is sit on my shelf...), pens, denim skirts, journals, biology, history, and Sharpie markers. I hate math, colds (one of which I have right now. Urg.), cheap chapstick, music practicing, blunt crayons and the color purple, and we'll see what becomes of this blog-thing. It is my hope, anyway, that it will have a long and illustrious future. Due to my procrastive nature, I suppose some kind of major effort on my part is going to have to be expended to make that happen.
'Till next time,
-- Jamie