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i totally want to raisin, but i've got a large test coming up, and Nov was sort of dedicated to studying... i mean, i can, technically, but it's going to require a continuous IV caffeine drip.

in other news, i have to catch up on like 18 entries for my Oct batch of i did a whole lot last night, and couldn't sleep because all these fun ideas were running through my head. an entry totally got featured not too long ago, so that made me sorta happy ::blushes and digs toe into ground:::
Nice job, COCL!

Yeah, I think I'm gonna do it. Don't know what to do to prepare for it, other than sharpen my pencils like Papa Hemingway (that woman-hating bastid). I have no premeditated characters, no dialogue, no nothin' going through my head. Blank slate.

I just really want to make the time for this, carve out a spot in my day and commit to it so it becomes habit by the end of the month.
i've been through so many muses over the years that i'm suprised they come sniffin' around anymore. i'm an abusive, neglecting writer. do muses have labor unions?

but they/he/she/it has been finding me in my car lately. i got me a note pad to write down the bait so that i have something to come back to when i'm staring at that blank page.

NaNoWriMo might be a NoGo. it's already the 3rd, and i'm more enticed by 100words. AND... that damn test that's coming up. (these sound like excuses!)
I didn't end up doing the NaNoWriMo after all, and I don't have regrets about not doing it. It felt too much like I was going to be adhering to someone else's timetable.

COCL, I do the notebook thing, too. Every purse, every jacket, I've got to have a notebook in it, or at least an index card so I can jot stuff down -- impressions, snippets of overheard conversations, signs on the side of the road... just to have some record of things that I notice.

The hardest thing of all for me has been trying to turn down the noise in my life and training myself to just show up day after day and make a firm commitment to write. Turning down the noise includes Busting, too, for better or for worse.
I haven't been on here in ages and I'd usually call myself a musician as that's what I get paid for.But recently I've been blogging alot on my
myspace page.Just about my life,alcohol,mental hopsitals,dating,relationships.I've gotten some pretty good responses from 'friends'on there ie wanting to
know the next installment ect.I guess I just wanted to share and say yeah I've discovered what is to me a whole new way of expressing myself.
I'm going through alot of family (abuse) stuff and Augusten Burroughs (the author of Running with Scissors) has been a huge comfort for me.I'd love to write a book in that sort of vein.

Just bumping.

Oh dcg123? For the getting great ideas ect in your sleep?I'd keep a portable dictophone by my bed for such occasions. smile.gif
I am planning on writting a short story about a woman, probably in her 20's, who gets an abortion. I have chosen this idea because the lack of pro-choice stories out there. It seems the only way to make a heart-warming story is using that same formula: girl gets pregnant-girl thinks about abortion but can't do it-girl goes thru pregnancy and lalalala-we all know the story(e.g. Juno). Anyway, I want to write a postive-abortion story but I am having some trouble with how to go about it since once you have an abortion it's done and I need a whole lotta middle action. Any suggestions on how I can make this into a truly postive story would be greatly appreciated!!! Actually, any ideas/thoughts period would be great!!
For the past few years I have been posting my writing on Writers Cafe and I just got an E-mail saying that all of our writing has been lost.... I don't know if that makes me happy or sad.... It's a very odd feeling
r_c; i haven't had the problem, altho on march 1 there wasn't an option to start the new month, whatever that was about.
also, is that you on the mainpage???? smile.gif
When did the writer's block thread die? I've never posted in here, but I've always been a lurker and a closet writer. The last couple years I've been writing short stories, but one has been kind of growing organically into a novel, which I'm really proud of. I've laid out a plan to finish it in one year, but I don't know what I'll do with it. I've been reading everything I can get my hands on about creative and experimental writing, and I'm currently reading the Virginia Woolf Writing Workshop (it's just ok). Anyway I was hoping I could find some other writing junkies so we discuss our methods and influences together. Hopefully we can motivate eachother in our endeavors! Anyone working on anything?
yeah, we closted writers (nice term, btw) are like farts in a windstorm. writing is such a solitary activity but it never hurts to step outside your own head and get other writer interaction.

how productive of you to have a timeline! any time my keyboard spends more time with my fingers than my forehead is a good writing day...
I know what you mean - it's difficult to make myself write everyday. Sometimes if I'm stuck I do writing exercises, or just stream-of-consciousness writing, which believe it or not, sometimes gives me something I can use. Last night I made a character chart, even though I felt totally uninspired. Another great motivation is I just bought myself a really beautiful journal that is only for my story-writing, as opposed to my old spiral which is full of school assignments, etc. I am reading Mrs. Dalloway right now and finding it inspirational, but it's taking me a longer time to get through it. Every sentence is so loaded to me that I have to ponder it for a moment before moving on. Beautiful prose!

I'm trying not to read any advice on how to get published, etc., because I wouldn't want that to change the vision in my mind of what I want my work to be. Besides this is just for fun - I don't worry about that (yet?).
anna k
Most of my writing is blog posts, but I'm trying to write more about growing up being thought of as learning disabled, and how it affected me. Today it would be called Asperger's Syndrome, but it was called "high-functioning mild autism," so I had to see an OT, be in resource rooms, and treated like I was slow or mentally retarded. I was a shy and introverted kid, and went through years of being teased by my peers and patronized by school officials, which led me to being on medication and in therapy in my teens. I enjoy writing about it, but it can feel boring of writing things that I already know so much about.
r_c, what is lynda barry's book about? (i suppose i could check out amazon, but link is so... far.. away... catlady... lazy... and drunk...)

i agree on the 100words, it helps you stay consistent. however, it has succeeded in stunting me so that i am only able to produce 100 word-vignettes, and nothing of length, which is what i really need to work on. and the glitches on that site are getting more frequent and annoying.

oliv- what's your book peripherally about? you don't have to spill if you don't want to.
I want to read What It Is, too! Unfortunately I don't have the money right now, and it's not at the library, so I'll have to wait. I will be getting more creative writing books tomorrow, and I'm finishing up Virginia Woolf Writing Workshop right now.

Anna K, your writing on Asperger's Syndrome sounds really interesting. I'm taking a Theories of Learning class right now, and was thinking of writing my paper on something in that realm.

Crazyoldcatlady, I have to admit I am very shy about my writing. Not only that, but what I'm working on now seems hard to summarize with just a few cohesive statements, because I think the writing is well....abstract and weird. Like, I tell my mom everything because we're very close, but I never even tell her what my stories are about, because so much of my writing is extracted from real-life situations, especially family, and I don't want her to recognize that! There are no thinly veiled people (except myself, maybe! is that narcissistic?), just situations. Also I'm afraid I will tell people what's it's about, and people will be like, oh my god what a steaming pile of shit. I am going to try and write a short summary of it, and make it sound really good and not like dogshit, but I will have to do post it later because I just got my August BUST issue, so....I gotta go read! But will post it later this week.
One of my guilty self-indulgences is to flip through my writer's/inspiration notebook and think about how cool it is/I am. It's an unlined black Moleskin, classic. There's just something about flipping those pages...

Now if only I could use all of that inspiration to write something! I came up with a vague idea for a longer short story or perhaps even a novel and wrote a page and a half of it. I have a whole bunch more to write stocked in my head but for whatever reason I've just stopped. usually my motivation is lost because I don't know where the story is going but that isn't really the case here, so I don't know what's up! It's so frustrating!

I think part of it is that I sent what I had written already to my editing board (aka boyfriend) and he hasn't gotten back to me. I had some focus questions for him to discuss with me and I'm afraid to write a whole bunch more that's just following the same mistakes as I had with the first bit. (There's also the confidence part: aw man I can't even get people I know to read my writing so what's the point?!)
I'm feeling a little shy about posting the summary of my book.....when I look over the summary it just seems silly, although I really like where it's going and plan to keep working on it. I was supposed to post a summary a while back, but got kind of sidetracked. I don't think that i can realistically expect to finish this book in one year: I am about to start 5 classes, I start studying for the GRE in January, want to join the campus ACLU in fall, and need to start some kind of volunteer work because i want to apply for masters programs in social work. So writing a book should really not be a priority right now! But I will continue writing when I can, because it's my way of coping. I just have to do it in my spare time (if i have any left!). If anyone would like to know what I'm writing, I can send a summary or excerpt via PM, that would be less scary for me! Then you can critique it or ask questions, give suggestions, or whatever. And if somebody would like to share what they're writing, I would love to read it. We could be critique-buddies! That would be fun.

I bought a really beautiful journal and I've been decorating it with pictures: Charles Bukowski and Paul Bowles, Fellini's 8 1/2, Doeothy Parker, Desperately Seeking Susan, anything that inspires me to write. And I'm pasting quotes by great writers on the pages so hopefully they will rub off on me!

Right now I am reading Francine Prose's book "Reading like a Writer," and it's amazing. I love her books - she wrote the film Household Saints and also "The lives of the muses - nine artists and the women who inspire them." I'm also reading the screenplay, Synadoche, New York by Charlie Kaufman, another one of my favorite writers: i love the surrealistic nature of his scripts.
olivarria- I just read Reading Like a Writer. I got it from the library and devoured it in about a day. It's really great.
oliv- it's totally understandable to hold your work up close to your chest, sotospeak. no worries. you said you would be busy soon, but have you ever considered like a local writer's group, or workshop, or other sort of feedback loop?
anna k
I read Reading Like a Writer too! It was a good way to get excerpts of classic and contemporary literature all in one book.
Yes I have considered joining a writer's workshop or a writer's group, via I have always had a fantasy of starting my own modern-day "Algonquin Circle" a la Dorothy Parker.

I have a lot of things I want/need to do so I need to sit down and prioritize how I'm going to spend my time, because I'm coming to the realization that I can't do everything (you'd think this would be obvious to me, but it's not!). I have 5 classes starting soon and that is my #1 priority of course. I am trying to get my thyroid/PCOS under control and lose weight, so I need time to exercise. Also to start volunteering and join the ACLU or school social work club, because I'm in a new city and dying of loneliness - I need to make new friends! I think I should maybe get a time-management book to learn how to fit things in that i want to do. I just have to decide what's most important tin my life.

But back to the subject, in Austin TX there is a Henry O writing workshop, and online ZoeTrope workshops as well. Now I am not really reading literature of any kind....I have been reading more about French culture, cheesy books like "How to be Impossibly French" and "Joie de Vivre," also I've been obsessed with French cinema lately. I'm also reading many nutrition books because I'm preoccupied with my health. I haven't written much for 2 weeks because I was in kind of a slump and feeling depressed, but I'm bouncing back! I just really need to get off my ass and write.
Hi, all. I just joined up. I'm finally able to spend some time writing that dang book I've been talking about writing. Anyone else in here do memoir type stuff?
no memoir type stuff, but i can say i've used 10+% of somebody or some experience here or there in my writing. what writer doesn't??? wink.gif
I have taped this on a bunch of stuff in my house recently: "Our passion is our task. And the rest is the madness of art." (Henry James) For some reason I'm finding it quite motivating.

And yes, I do a lot of memoir type stuff. I'm trying to organize my thoughts on how I want South of South to be arranged, so I can actually really get started on it.
from Bitch magazine, Anna Clark, The Ambition Condition: Women, Writing, and the Problem of Success: “If women scholars and advocates who aspire to a public voice shy away or sit back and wait to be discovered, we’ll continue to live in this echo chamber where the same three male pundits make the rounds on the Sunday-morning talk shows and the same 10 guys keep publishing op-eds.” 
. . . we must change the game so that when women writers publicly pish-tosh their ambitions as being pipe dreams, they no longer have reason to believe that they are. 

anarch, THANK YOU for linking to such a great article. I have a persistent lack of confidence regarding my own writing... it's not even that I doubt my skill so much, but I feel the need to hide or apologize for my work even when it has been published and praised. I have a hard time seeking help with my writing because that would involve revealing my desire to be a writer, which I'm afraid would garner ridicule. I've recently realized that a lot of this has to do with my family and upbringing, but it's also related to the cultural conditions described in the article.

This paragraph really sums it up:
"Anyone who’s stepped into a literary community—readings, performances, writing workshops, MFA programs—will testify to the disclaimers that issue regularly from the mouths of women writers in particular. “This is just something I thought I’d try,” and “I’m not really a poet, but…” are words regularly uttered even by those who made drastic life changes in order to carve out time to write. I prepared for months for a major fiction contest in college, for instance, which I entered five years in a row, claiming to others each time that I just “threw something together.” Later, I applied to a single MFA fiction program, and told no one until I got in. I just didn’t want anyone to know what I wanted most. Perhaps I was preparing for failure: If I said openly that I not only wanted to be a writer but that I worked hard at it, my ambitions could be judged against external rewards—and easily dismissed when I missed out on them.
" [emphasis mine]
anna k
I didn't feel so confident about my writing this morning. I wrote a review of a movie to submit to, where I've been published before, but felt like my writing didn't match to more professional reviews on and the Village Voice. I felt like my writing was amateur, and I kept trying to make it better, feeling like I had lost some talent or creativity. I like what I wrote, but I felt like it wasn't as good as others.

I'm also not interested in writing fiction or poetry, finding more strengths with memoir writing and writing reviews, and would feel like that was less creative than writing fictional work. I just prefer writing about other people's lives and work, or writing about my own memories and experiences.
It's funny, but my writing is the one thing about myself I feel I can actually count on. I may fuck everything else in my life up, but my words never fail me. I am 100% confident in my words. I can trust them. I may tweek, I may poke them a little to make them funnier or sharper or more whatever, but I know that with words I can largely do no wrong. As long as I am honest, so are they.
i stradle two worlds, my adult day job and the compulsion to write a book.

i don't know what it would be about. yet.

the best i can do is a month at a time over at, so i suppose that's one small step in the right direction.

i love words.
purplestain, I'm glad you liked that article!

Here's an excerpt by Mario Puzo on writing and shooting The Godfather that might be of interest to aspiring writers.

I just watched Once (recently recommended in the Reel Life thread). It's about musicians, but the larger point is about the importance of just putting your creativity out there and daring people to take you seriously. IMDB says, "The title refers to the many very talented artists that John Carney knew who put off their career by saying "once" they get this and that sorted out, but never succeed because they've put it off too long."

anna k, I'd bet the salon and VV writers have felt exactly as you described, themselves, at some point in their careers (probably a few points, really).
QUOTE(anarch @ Dec 9 2008, 01:42 AM) *
It's about musicians, but the larger point is about the importance of just putting your creativity out there and daring people to take you seriously. IMDB says, "The title refers to the many very talented artists that John Carney knew who put off their career by saying "once" they get this and that sorted out, but never succeed because they've put it off too long."

wow. i totally agree that creativity and success (however you define it) is part ambition, part confidence, and part talent. my ex was one of those in the abovementioned about waiting for things to be just right. i was like, "dude, you just got to take a risk." but, i'm more of a risk taker.

cocl, just write when it comes to you. i don't believe you can force or rush a process. i usually do my best writing at 1am - 4am. even since i was a kid, i wrote better at night when things are quiet. i also think of writing as being similar to jazz. just create without any form or structure. no goal. just write. although, that usually is how i write. then, i go through and edit like a motherfucker.
QUOTE(stargazer @ Dec 9 2008, 02:44 PM) *
i also think of writing as being similar to jazz. just create without any form or structure. no goal. just write. although, that usually is how i write. then, i go through and edit like a motherfucker.

I do that too, often, just trusting that whatever comes out, somewhere in there are arrangements of words and ideas that are worth working with. Usually there are.

I don't think I've ever posted Writers Weekly here. It's a good free ezine on the practical aspects of writing and getting published, and making sure you get paid fairly for your work. I've been subscribed to them for a couple of years. Haven't gotten anything published from it, but that's due to my own not-getting-writing-done issues.
yeah, i'm all about the freewriting, star; it can get me started alright. it's just i don't know what pervasive theme or topic i'd be able to carry over the course of an entire book. i'm a lazy motherfucker.

for all you memoir writers out there, here's an interesting link. sorry it's from reader's digest. blink.gif

thanks for the link, anarch. both of 'em. the first is definitely something to chew over.
Did anyone try the NaNoWriMo this year? I 'failed' miserably with a few thousand words under my belt...but if I didn't have the guilt of NaNoWriMo hovering over me, I would have probably not written at all.

It's a great motivator, but I can't say that it's ever going to get me to finish anything substantial. My excuse is that other writing I do that pays the electric bill. Somehow more inspiring.
One Two Fiver - a writer's warmup (via, which also includes a link to 100 Useful Web Tools for Writers)
Anyone written for

If so, what are the pro's/con's?

I think I want to break up with my writing group. There have been scheduling problems and it's getting my panties in a twist. I don't think I need the aggravation. What I need is more like-minded people.
how formal is your writing group? is it structured? is it like a class (pay for it) ?
It started off as a class (paid, structured) and then we branched off on our own (unpaid, no structure). I think it's going to fizzle out just because no one can get their shit together to meet up, so maybe I won't need to do the breaking up after all. If I'm going to be in a group, I want there to be more ass kicking.
Seems like we could just have a writing group right here. What kind of stuffs did your group do?

I'll show you mine if you show me yours. blink.gif
This 11 yr-old writer made me feel like a slacker.
pppsssht. amateur.


reminds me of this 14 yo girl like 10 years ago who was publishing vampire novels. she had a spread in people mag, and i was wikked jealous. until i read an excerpt.

eta: amelia atwater-rhodes.
Awww, why you gotta post that kinda stuff?? Now I'm a slacker, too.

Plus, her name is 'Adora'. If I ever meet a princess, I'm dragging her to a courthouse and renaming her 'Adora'. It just must be.

Actually, I've been busting buns lately to flesh out a Harry Potter costume section on my site, in which I write for nearly 8 hours each day. This leaves little time for works of fiction, but at least I'm productive, right?

Check for spelling errors if you like:

So I'm considering freelancing. Any thoughts on how to start? I just miss writing...
The 11yr old Blogger Tavi makes me feel like such a lazy blogger. ugh...and I'm 25!

What to do when you work a normal day job, but also want to pay attention to your blog?!?

I've started writing my posts at work, and saving them through Google Documents, but it just doesn't seem like enough.

Betsey J.

I wish this thread got more play. I really do. So many of us have a deft hand with the word.

I've always hated writers' groups. I've tried several times, but it always seems to be nothing but theft & back-biting. And there is always that one asshole who contributes nothing but his/her grandiose musings on being the next DFW.

Ooh, hello thread!

I'm not a writer at all, but I'm starting a creative writing course in a couple of weeks and am oh-so-very excited. It's a 3-month evening course through one of the London colleges, with a mixture of classes and group work.

I am feeling quite apprehensive about the group thingummy, especially with your comments AP! Has anyone had any good experiences?

P.S. Who's DFW?
I think I've had writer's block for two and a half years now. Well, it started as writer's block anyway, now maybe it is just avoidance? I always resolve to start a writing practice, but it hasn't gotten far. Lack of confidence? Laziness? what is at the root of this? I used to write constantly. Lyrics and poetry mostly. I can't believe I haven't even kept a journal for over two years. I was really making progress, and then....a few bumps in other areas of my life, and I started a "serious relationship" that took my attention. now I am constantly trying to find that balance again.
anna k
I was feeling down last night, and to combat it, I wrote a movie review, to write something creative and not just be bored. It really helped a lot to do something constructive.

DFW I assume is David Foster Wallace, a famous writer who unfortunately committed suicide last year.

I went to a writer's meetup last month, and it felt good to hear other writers talk about their work, but writing is such an invididual and private activity, not the same as acting or music, which can be more performance-based and interactive.


for me, writing was finally starting to spill over into that performance and interactive level. I was kind of using writing and lyrical poetry as an entry into the world of vocal instrumentation. I don't feel confident as a singer, although I plan to one day save up for voice therapy and singing lessons. it was great for a while, but now I am just not confident or something.
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