Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Updates! Updates! Read All About'm!

Project P is coming along well, although the past week (and the long holiday weekend) weren't as productive as I'd hoped. Between having some type of stomach bug and the complicated part of the Project P I find myself working on, my word count has been sluggish to progress. However, I am on schedule.

The "opening" part (Act 1?) is finished. It turned out a lot longer than I initially anticipated, but it was fun and easy to write so I don't care. It does, however, mean this book is probably going to be a lot longer than I'd originally planned. If my 60K by June 30th schedule does not see the end of the story, then I will add on another 30K more by July 31st "to end or bust."

I have been saying that I am entering "the good part" of the story, but in reality it is proving the most difficult. I'm only two chapters in, and my resolve has already been tested thrice by other stories trying to tempt me away. Almost the entire rest of the book takes place on Manhattan, and each step my MC takes must be carefully calculated down to the block. I have never been to New York, let alone Manhattan. What do I know of teeming metropolis islands, let alone the intimate details of one like Manhattan?!? O.O But with map and guidebooks in hand (and Wikipedia and Google Images & Maps on my Taskbar), I sojourn on. Thank God for technology, or this book wouldn't have a prayer.

At this exact moment, my MC is entering the King's Castle to receive her instructions - and learn that everything is as bad as she feared.


How is your current writing project progressing?

Friday, May 25, 2012

Practice Productive Procrastination

I'm still busy toiling away on Project P, and while I plan to give you an update on my progress this three-day weekend (don't hold your breath, though), for now I offer you another piece from Steal Like An Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon (you can find him and his awesome book here). This book has been nothing but an inspiration and comfort to me, and I highly recommend it to everyone.

Today's excerpt falls under Rule 5: Side Projects and Hobbies are Important:

Practice Productive Procrastination.

Take time to be bored. One time I heard a coworker say, "When I get busy, I get stupid." Ain't that the truth. Creative people need time to just sit around and do nothing. I get some of my best ideas when I'm bored, which is why I never take my shirts to the cleaners. I love ironing my shirts - it's so boring, I almost always get good ideas. If you're out of ideas, wash the dishes. Take a really long walk. Stare at a spot on the wall for as long as you can. As the artist Maira Kalman says, "Avoiding work is the way to focus my mind."

Take time to mess around. Get lost. Wander. You never know where it's going to lead you.

My "boring creative time" is in the shower, the ride to/from work (I don't do the driving), and the hour it takes for me to fall asleep. What's yours?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Nothing Is Original

I am elbow-deep in Project P right now, but I hate to leave you, my wonderful readership, in silence! Therefore, I offer you this piece from Steal Like An Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon. If you have never heard of him, or read this book, you have now and I highly recommend not only the amazing read but the author himself (check him out on his website here). His book has been inspirational to me, and I'm only on #2!

To inspire you today, I offer a comforting excerpt from the book, entitled Nothing Is Original:

The writer Jonathan Lethem has said that when people call something "original," nine out of ten times they just don't know the references or the original sources involved.

What a good artist understands is that nothing comes from nowhere. All creative work builds on what came before. Nothing is completely original.

It's right there in the Bible: "There is nothing new under the sun." (Ecclesiastes 1:9)

Some people find this idea depressing, but it fills me with hope. As the French writer André Gide put it, "Everything that needs to be said has already been said. But, since no one was listening, everything must be said again."

If we're free from the burden of trying to be completely original, we can stop trying to make something out of nothing, and we can embrace influence instead of running away from it.

"What is originality? Undetected plagiarism."
- William Ralph Inge

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Library Haul Hiatus

Dear Readers,

So I can focus what little energy I have on writing Project P, I am taking a short hiatus from my weekly Library Haul installments. I will, however, try to blog as often as I can with updates on my writing progress, thoughts on writing in general, and perhaps the occasional book review (who knows).

Until then, yours in writing,