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View Full Version : A dream I had last night. About writing.



Kurlumbenus
03-06-2008, 11:56 PM
There's quite a bit to these forums, it seems. I believe I'll explore around for a bit. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed by the prospect of writing again, to be perfectly honest.

I even had a dream about it last night.

I'm standing here, on this broad plateau made from limitless possibility, clutching a pen and notebook to my chest like a life preserver. Everything around me seems promising but is shadowed - dark and mysterious, with moving squiggly bits. Dream logic tells me that to get a move on I need to write something. Anything will do, it's a start I need, something to propel me from the rut I'm in.

But I don't know what to write, or what not to write. Prose? Poetry? Short fiction? A novel? Nonfiction? It all appeals to me, but I don't know which way to go because I'm not sure that I have any long-term goals related to writing.

I want to BE writing - I crave that release of dopamine that creative effort brings - but there's nothing I want out of it. I don't want to be a famous writer, I don't want to make any money (though it'd be nice). I don't have anything to say to anyone. All those things - future possibilities - don't matter at the moment. All I want to do is be engaged in the act of writing.

And then the fear settles. What if I've forgotten how? What if all of the support I'd gotten - from friends, from family, from teachers and professors - what if it was all lies? Or what if they simply had no taste? What if I could never write, if I had no voice to lose, if I was always this unskilled, but only now do I see it?

And the shadows in my dreamscape grow deeper, more threatening. Still, I spin my wheels, grind my gears, look nervously at the encroaching shadows and whimper a bit. Who am I, with the hubris to think I can write? What have I done? What do I know? Nothing. I have nothing, am nothing, and am paralyzed by absolute possibility.

Angelinity
03-07-2008, 12:06 AM
here's a thought: words. strung together in straight lines from left to right across the page .

set the tip of your pen (if that's your preferred writing implement) onto the paper (if that's your preferred medium).

then move that pen around, set it free.

not so hard, is it?

...so what have you got so far?

oneblindmouse
03-07-2008, 12:11 AM
But I don't know what to write, or what not to write. Prose? Poetry? Short fiction? A novel? Nonfiction? It all appeals to me, but I don't know which way to go because I'm not sure that I have any long-term goals related to writing.

I want to BE writing - I crave that release of dopamine that creative effort brings - but there's nothing I want out of it. I don't want to be a famous writer, I don't want to make any money (though it'd be nice). I don't have anything to say to anyone. .. All I want to do is be engaged in the act of writing.

...Who am I, with the hubris to think I can write? What have I done? What do I know? Nothing. I have nothing, am nothing, and am paralyzed by absolute possibility.

Welcome, Kurl! I, too, have the same feelings of fear, inadecuacy, who-do-I-think-I-am-to-think-I-can-write? etc. So, you're not alone! But the best we can do is just go ahead, write what comes, and see where it all takes us. We don't have to BE famous writers, we don't have to MAKE mega bucks. Life is precious, so don't hold back. Play with writing and I'm sure you'll find a path that brings you joy.

Kurlumbenus
03-07-2008, 12:22 AM
...so what have you got so far?

Well, I wrote a forum post about not knowing how to remember how to write. Also, I wrote this line right here. That's about it so far.

Angelinity
03-07-2008, 12:38 AM
ah-hah ;)

and... what's next?

JoNightshade
03-07-2008, 12:44 AM
At least you have very poetic dreams. I dreamed about my work in progress a couple of nights ago. I was my main character (a middle aged male teacher) AND a white rat. At the same time.

ReneC
03-07-2008, 12:58 AM
I was in a similar situation. I hadn't written for years and craved it, but didn't know what to write. I found a few incomplete stories I had written years ago and instead of trying to come up with something new I started working on them. The writing started to get easier. Then I started writing a little fan fiction, just for fun. Star Wars, then Dungeons & Dragons, and I found myself coming up with some pretty creative stuff. Now that I found this site, I find inspiration comes easily and I'm writing new stories for the monthly challenges. Without even realizing it, I've been writing for months and feeling great about it. Now I'm working on my first novel, a task I always found incredibly daunting but that I'm now comfortable with for the first time ever.

I hope you find your muse. Open yourself up to inspiration, and in the meantime, just write about anything you want. A dream, a TV show, a newspaper article that makes you angry or sad. Just write.

Kurlumbenus
03-07-2008, 01:00 AM
ah-hah ;)

and... what's next?

...cake?



I hope you find your muse. Open yourself up to inspiration, and in the meantime, just write about anything you want. A dream, a TV show, a newspaper article that makes you angry or sad. Just write.

I think my insecurities stem from the positive feedback I used to get, back when I wrote daily. What if I don't have it anymore? What if I peaked early? What if years of inactivity have quenched my writer's passion? What if I don't want to write, but just want to want to write?

What if...?

StephanieFox
03-07-2008, 01:02 AM
What if all of the support I'd gotten - from friends, from family, from teachers and professors - what if it was all lies?

So? So what? Who cares? This dream sounds like an elaborate method for procrastination. Time to go write.

Kurlumbenus
03-07-2008, 01:38 AM
Time to go write.

Yeah, but what do you do if you want to write EVERYTHING all at once? Throw darts at Polti's 36 dramatic situations until something sticks?

Actually, that doesn't sound like too bad an idea.

Hillary
03-07-2008, 01:50 AM
I used to do a writing exercise called "I remember." You write the words "I remember" and then keep writing about something you remember until you run out of thoughts. But you can't let your pen stop moving, so whenever you have a break in thought, you write "I remember, I remember, I remember" until some memory comes to you. Set yourself a time and write non-stop for that time, even if is means just writing "I remember" seven thousand times.

:)

HeronW
03-07-2008, 02:25 AM
Start with stick figures, easy, like the hangman drawings: round head line for body, 4 more for arms and legs, make more, have them hit or dance or wrestle each other, whatever, then write about why they do this, who they are, what they want...

mikeland
03-07-2008, 03:20 AM
You need to jump start yourself. Some suggestions:

I like the suggestion about using some exercises and prompts. There are a lot of those to be found at AW.

Start small. I'm loving flash fiction. Check out the March FAD threads for prompts.

If you're nervous about feedback, set a moratorium. Don't show anything to anyone for six months (or however long you want). When the time is up, decide whether to lift or renew the moratorium.

Set a daily word limit. Pledge to write 200 words a day. It doesn't matter what they are. Journal entry. Outline for novel. Part of a story. Random rantings. Stick to it for a week or two, then up your count. You've got to ease yourself back in and that takes commitment.

Hope these help.

BTW, last night, I dreamed that I was trying to explain the revision of my WIP to an elephant. Interpret that one.