Words, Weights, Whatever

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

***Joel is back tonight!***

Writing efforts are beginning to pay off though at a slow pace. As any writer knows, trying to start again after a significant amount of time is like trying to start a car that’s been parked for over a year. While it’s not been a year since I last wrote (I stopped around December 2004), it felt like it. The Muse still feels sluggish: I get daggers when I try to rouse her from her slumber.

But I finally did rouse her. I’ve been working on the same project for the last couple of weeks. Designated PD, the story is a first for me: a love story. It’s set in modern times and draws upon my experiences in both the role-playing and Asian communities. R. has contributed greatly since one of the main characters is a medical student. (For those of you who don’t know, my spouse is a physician.)

I’m taking several different approaches to this project. Unlike my fantasies, for examples, I don’t have a completed outline for PD. Instead, I’ve noted several choice scenes and arranged them in a rough order.

I’m intensely working on the main characters. He is so radically different from myself or my experiences (what’s it like to be shorter than six feet and slim, example) that it took me a while to determine his primary failings…er…flaws. And I still don’t fully understand his character.

But the writing efforts are paying off. For the past week I’ve been writing off and on fairly steady. I was most consistent —you guessed it—during the holiday weekend. I hate to admit it, but it was a good thing (for me) that R. was on-call during that time. But the motivation was me: I planted my butt and set up my laptop at the coffeeshop in the late afternoons on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. I know most folks would have been bored but they’re not writers.

Speaking of boredom, I found a major problem while writing: distraction. This is nothing new; anyone who knows me how easily I am distracted. But this time it was my own fault.

Many years ago I joined Forward Motion, a website dedicated to writers. One of the services (freely, I might add) offered on their website is a chat room.

Ah, I see y’all rising up in realization at the situation. Yeah, my distraction is spending way too much time chatting about writing (and other myriad topics. Writers can talk about anything) instead of doing the craft itself. So I’ve been slowly weaning myself from chat, first by setting boundaries (i.e., sending a message stating, “I’m writing now!”) to blocking the chat window from view. My ultimate goal is not to join the chat room before I finish my allotted writing for the day, but that’s in the future. Writing’s a lonely business and my fellow writers are interesting people.

I tried to hit the gym. And watch what I ate. I really did. I was actually successful with the latter: I ordered salad with every meal. Aren’t you happy for me?

Sorry to be gone so long. Well, actually, I’m not. Vacations are meant to be relaxing and that’s exactly what I did over the past few days.

R. was on-call (poor baby) all three days. Actually, way longer but that’s another story. I spent the so-called lonely evenings with the cast of my latest novel, PD (see Words above). They, and my fellow writers via virtual reality (aka chat room) kept me quite entertained Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. R. did come home in the evenings but was too exhausted to do anything.

I did enjoy other activities besides writing. I conversed for some time with the crew at a couple of my favorite restaurants. I checked out the cars at the Carfaire. And I attended the anniversary of my friend’s “free love” party. Overall, a very quiet holiday.


  • You're writing again! Woohoo!

    By Blogger TECH, at 8:44 AM  

  • Nice going on the book writing again Joel! (even with all the distractions) I'm sure now you will be right back in the swing of things!

    By Anonymous keith, at 2:20 PM  

  • I hear you on the chat thing, Joel. I can't write and chat... so first I stopped chatting... and now I've stopped writing. Wait a second... hmmm. There must be a happy medium. Good luck. Glad to hear you're getting back in the groove.

    By Blogger kate, at 6:27 PM  

  • Words - great!! I know how the words can pop in the old head but not want to end up on the page. Except the do want out but we 'have to be in the mood', are busy blogging/researching/etc.

    It is interesting that you are working on a love story rather than fantasy. At times I would find myself writing about something and go : "Where did this come from? It isn't fantasy or science fiction." At times like that I would remember a writer saying "Trust your muse".

    BTW my fingers and muse are getting itchy. is fiction writing contagious? :)

    By Blogger Leon, at 11:40 PM  

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