February 26, 2020 at 2:48 pm #107409Anonymous
Looking to connect with writers my age or older. Anyone out there?February 26, 2020 at 4:19 pm #107414
Eh, well I haven’t been very dutiful about checking in for a while, but I’m 23; I get you about struggling to find peers of a similar age here. Don’t worry, they’re out there. What sort of writing do you do?
Non nobis Domine, sed nomini, Tuo da gloriam.February 26, 2020 at 5:03 pm #107417Anonymous
@the-inkspiller I write fiction. I’m writing a series that’s unfortunately seven books strong and it’s the only story I intend to seriously pursue and finish. I’ve been at it for awhile and it means a lot to me. I’m not sure what the genre is cause it starts off with the tone of horror but evens out to more of an action urban fantasy kind of thing. What sort of writing do you do?February 26, 2020 at 5:50 pm #107422
@phoenix, So it’s funny you mention that – I’ve been told to diversify and practice with a lot of different ideas and prompts, but only one story has ever really captivated me, which happens to be the one that I’m working on at the moment (and finally making progress in for the first time in almost 8 months). Though it’s been through many revisions and reboots with a rough final goal of three books, I’ve been working on it for the past fiveish years.
Its genre is historical fantasy, I guess – though it strays frequently into horror as well. I’ve found it less urgent to define its genre and more useful to simply figure out how a good story should go.
It’s set in early 15th century Bohemia (Czech Republic today) following the conquests of a fictitious Bohemian countess in her pursuit of power amidst the backdrop of religious civil war (Hussite Wars), and the (mis)adventures of her personal retinue in her service: her headstrong, impulsive squire and heir apparent, Erhard; his involuntary best friend / bodyguard, Fritz; Fritz’s combative and willful girlfriend/fiance, the chambermaid Angelin; and Myrrha, a troubled young sorceress of mysterious origins on a personal quest for peace.
I’m curious – what exactly are you looking for in reaching out to other writers of your age and older? Don’t take the tone judgmentally – I’m of an inclination to help other writers, but I myself don’t always know how best to do that.
Non nobis Domine, sed nomini, Tuo da gloriam.February 26, 2020 at 6:18 pm #107424Anonymous
@the-inkspiller Huh, that’s kinda neat that you’re doing the same thing—focusing on one story, I mean. i agree with you on the genre being less important thing.
There’s a couple reasons, one being that older writers tend to have a bit more responsibility they have to deal with outside of writing, and so they have less time to write. I’d like to find someone who knows that kind of struggle in order to help myself figure it out and because seeing people with loads of time is lowkey discouraging.February 26, 2020 at 6:25 pm #107427
@phoenix, I know exactly what you mean, and I know people of my age who have still less time than I do – and I still fail at matching their productivity (though the past week has been an abnormally sustained break from that discouraging pattern).
Furthermore, for me as a man – I’ve often felt guilty about wanting to pursue my writing more intensively because of the expectation / need to mature into a breadwinner and a provider for an as-of-yet-purely-hypothetical spouse and children. Even now – today in particular – I’m feeling the strain of guilt, knowing that I’ve spent my whole day hyper-focused into my writing to the detriment of time I likely should have invested in studying for my obstetrics exam next week (I’m in nursing school).
Non nobis Domine, sed nomini, Tuo da gloriam.February 26, 2020 at 6:25 pm #107428
All that to say – if you’re interested in continuing to talk about it, I think there’s plenty we can learn from one another.
Non nobis Domine, sed nomini, Tuo da gloriam.February 26, 2020 at 6:53 pm #107429Anonymous
@the-inkspiller sure, id like to talk more. Do you want to do that through here, or somewhere else?February 26, 2020 at 7:22 pm #107434
@phoenix, through here works just fine for me, unless you had other ideas. What do you want to talk about first?
And do you want to do it more like quick, one-off responses to smaller questions, or provide more extensive answers to whatever questions we have?
Non nobis Domine, sed nomini, Tuo da gloriam.February 26, 2020 at 9:00 pm #107438Anonymous
@the-inkspiller answer however you want. As for what to talk about, how about finding time to write?February 26, 2020 at 10:20 pm #107444The Fledgling Artist@the-fledgling-artist
I’m 20, but I don’t have much writerly experience, so I still feel like a child in regards to my level of skill and knowledge. Haha.
Like Inkspiller said, we’re out there, it’s just difficult to find us sometimes.
I wish you the best on your epic quest to connect with more writerly peers. *salutes*
"Though I'm not yet who I will be, I'm no longer who I was."February 26, 2020 at 10:54 pm #107446Sarah Inkdragon@sarah-inkdragon
I’m 17 currently, if we’re counting my age in the standard Roman calendar. In cat years, I’m about 85 years old. 😉
"A hard heart is no infallible protection against a soft head."
- C. S. LewisFebruary 27, 2020 at 1:32 pm #107470Jessi Rae@jessi-rae
I’m 18, and have been writing or telling stories (more like narratives than actual stories–I apparently didn’t realize conflict was a thing *sheepish grin*) since I could talk, but don’t have much writerly experience. So, however that works… XP (For the record, I know how that works–it’s me succumbing to perfectionism and Shiny New Idea Syndrome, and lacking the motivation to buckle down on one draft for very long. *coughs* Anyways.)
"How did I escape? With difficulty. How did I plan this moment? With pleasure."February 27, 2020 at 2:22 pm #107476
Finding Time to Write:
The reality is that time is not found, but redistributed, though obviously some portions of the day are not as negotiable as others, and some weeks are less flexible than others. When it comes to finding time to write, there are a few things to consider:
1) When is your mind most active and you are best able to concentrate?
For you this might be the morning, it might be at night, it might be over your lunch break at school or work, etc. Your body and mind follow their own rhythm of wax and wane, industry and sluggishness, and being attuned to when you are best able to accomplish your tasks for the day will make it easier to complete those in a time-efficient manner, thus freeing up more time to dispense elsewhere. Not all work is the same, not all work requires the same kinds of mental energies: for example, if you work a 12 hour shift in a metal warehouse cutting material for bulk orders, your work there is not going to require you to be at your most creative; thus you should plan your schedule of eating and resting around that period.
My personal preference has been to get up early in the morning, by 6am (or earlier if my completely banjaxed circadian rhythms decide to get me up before my alarms) and write for 1-2 hours before the rest of my day intrudes in earnest. This time can be easily frittered away by a time consuming breakfast or the distractions of the internet, so it’s important to be conscientious about how you use limited chunks of time. Prayer is particularly helpful here for keeping your mind on track; pray to God to bless your writing and to guide you to use your God-given time well, for His glory and nor merely our amusement.
Larger non-negotiable blocks of time will obviously infringe on available free time for more negotiable activities like writing, so we will have to look at being more efficient in the blocks of time we do have.
2) Drafting, Pantsing, and Note-Taking
I don’t know whether you are a ‘drafter’ or a ‘pantser’: for sake of clarity, I’ll briefly describe their stereotypical definitions here. Pantsers are those who tend to deliberately eschew more than perfunctory plans for their works, preferring instead to “write by the seat of their pants”. Drafters (or outliners) instead generally plan out their stories ahead of time, more or less meticulously in greater or lesser detail, and then patiently write out the story from their notes.
I used to be a consummate pantser through high school and early into college, both in my fiction and in my academic writings. As I dealt with writing longer research papers and became more ambitious for my fiction (and more aware of my inadequacies there) I realized that this strategy tended to lead me to disorganized papers, nonsensical stories – and more frustratingly – long periods of staring at a half-filled page trying to figure out where to go next on the spot. So I switched to drafting, which thus far has produced better results, particularly after I learned to apply the wisdom in 1) – not all work requires the same kind of energy. While pre-planning scenes and outlining does require creative energy, they do not require that same effervescent spontaneity that we tend to associate with a beautifully crafted scene which expertly weaves in motifs and themes in a threat of stylish prose and punchy one-liners; moreover, as I’ll explore in the next point, planning does not require large chunks of time to be set aside for it…
3) Daydreaming and Being the Voices in Your Head
Along this writing journey, I’ve discovered two rather useful, though quite unassuming tools, and that is daydreaming and talking to yourself. Having spent a lot of time thinking and writing about a character who is involuntarily psychic, and dealing with my own neurological idiosyncrasies, I’ve found that humans (at least this one) are not very effective at holding mental conversations. If you’re tech-savvy, think of your computer’s RAM (Random Access Memory); this is the amount of “stuff” it can hold onto moment to moment and actually work with instantly. However, the moment you move on from that, it drops that stuff, often without saving it; if you want it back, you’ll generally have to start over if you didn’t save it to your hard drive. In the same way, your thoughts, imagination, daydreaming are all working in RAM, but if they’re not saved to memory, it’s hard to work with them. In another way, your daydreaming can also be managed as a background process; while you’re performing more repetitive work, like driving, washing dishes, cleaning your room, operating a power saw, etc., you can often free up your mind to wander in dream land. Just don’t cut your fingers off by accident.
Talking to yourself is the method I’ve used for ‘saving’ those daydreamed plans to memory. The brain is designed to generate memories by developing associations between the thought, the imagined image / text / idea, and sensory experiences at the time of the memory. Talking to yourself stimulates the sensory side of memory creation and helps you not only remember your great ideas until you can actually write them down, but also helps in the actual process of planning by cementing an idea in your conscious experience long enough for you to examine it from all angles – as well as in the more obvious area of acting out conversations between characters to get a sense for tone, body language, mood, and wording.
By daydreaming, self-conversing, and taking more-or-less informative notes of these encounters with the self, you can relegate the fundamental bulk of outlining to scattered moments throughout the day and throughout the week, so that when you do come to the keyboard to type up some narrative, you have a plan that you’ve been hammering out all week.
So that’s how I find time to write.
Non nobis Domine, sed nomini, Tuo da gloriam.February 27, 2020 at 7:21 pm #107498Anonymous
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