Richard Wright

author of strange, dark fictions

Journal

Blogging Writing, or perhaps, Writing Blogging

February 13, 2008 by Richard Wright in Journal, Writing

Writing is, it turns out, an extraordinarily difficult thing to blog about. Not so, being published of course, which is of interest to a great many people. Not so, all the things you fit around that core part of writing. But writing itself? Just not, at the basic level, a neat topic of conversation at the practical level.

For example, this morning I was up early, took a stroll across frosty grass, then came back in for a while and hand-wrote a few hundred words of a new long story (possibly a novella, possibly more) in this journal, using this pen. The words were reasonable, and some of them will survive.

Tools

After the day job, I came back and edited some. What can I say? I did obscene, brutal things to an alarming amount of passive voice, perhaps drowning it out entirely (I can but hope, though I may doubt). I placed tender pillows over the sleeping faces of many of my precious adverbs, and watched them pass peacefully on. I’ll miss them, for all of their faults, but they had to go.

And now I am satisfied, and can retire for the night a little happier than when I woke up. Good things are coming, I feel. Good things indeed.

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4 Comments

  1. Dan LaurikietisFebruary 14, 2008 at 8:36 am

    I’m utterly terrible at editing my own work.

    I used to think it was because I’m so very precious about every little thing I write, but the simple fact is I don’t have the skill to look objectively at my work and grammar has never been my strong point.

    Also, I agree entirely that a brisk stroll is the best thing to kick start the creative mind. In fact I think I’m going to go for one now!

  2. MarkFebruary 14, 2008 at 11:58 am

    Nicely put.

    I think the hardest part of ‘blogging’ or even talking about the writing process is where you discuss writing a lenghty section that you just know will not survive into the third draft (if it survives the second), but which you have to write so that everything else in the story clicks into place in your mind.

    I had a cracking day yesterday, almost 2k words, it flowed and I think a lot of it will survive. It feels great because that doesn’t happen to me often, but to anyone reading it, their reaction would surely be “ha, call yourself a writer, you should be doing 2k words every day!”

  3. Richard WrightFebruary 14, 2008 at 6:38 pmAuthor

    Mark – I know what you mean. Hard enough to motivate yourself to burn through those sections you know are going to be largely edited out later without having to verbalise it. Good to hear you hitting the odd groove though mate (you’re doing just fine for a fella with a bouncing boy knocking around, and I’m looking forward to finding out how fatherhood alters your written tone – because I bet it does).

    Dan – I doubt your judgement is so poor, as both a teacher and actor. You probably read with more sophistication than you think – or maybe you need to think of it as hearing your writing back, dramatising it for yourself? Just a thought.

  4. JackieApril 28, 2008 at 10:21 pm

    I love editing my work after I’ve let it sit for a while. I can imagine how good you felt with a more “polished” piece.

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