A Moment of Honesty - Rox Delaney

I've wondered for several days just what to write about today. Should I try to conform to the topic this month and choose a picture? Or should I admit that I don't--can't!--do writing exercises? I decided to come clean. I'm the odd person out. Writing exercises have never helped me write. Believe me, I've tried, and I've failed. :(

None of this means that taking a picture and imagining a story to reflect it in some way is a bad thing. Not at all! Sometimes it can help crash through a block. Sometimes it can be the beginning of a wonderful novel-length story. Sometimes it's just the thing needed to put fingers to keyboard--an incentive to get the brain and fingers working together.

Whatever way you find to get yourself writing, to get those "juices flowing," do it. There is no wrong way, and each of us must search for our personal favorite. What works for someone else may work for you. It also may not. And if the old tried and true isn't working, it's time to look for something new to try. We each have our own way of getting to that final, finished manuscript and hopefully enjoying most of the journey along the way.

May your journey on whatever path you choose be a delightful one!


Starla Kaye said...

Honesty is a good thing, and, like you said, each of us should do what works for us.

I don't do writing exercises from how-to books and sometimes I'm not big on them at meetings. I used to enjoy the challenge of the Mission Possibles, but I've even got slack on that lately.

I do, however, enjoy the challenge of coming up with something from looking at a photo. I'm such a visual person and use all kinds of photos to refer to while writing, at least for certain stories.

After going to England, Scotland, Ireland and France, I have many, many personal photos to look at for pleasure or to get me in a mood or whatever. While writing my medievals I often glance over at the digital photo frame in my office and look at the castles, etc. Of course, I also wish I was back in each of those beautiful places again.

Joan Vincent said...

This is a good reminder that while writers share many traits we are all so different and work in different ways. Diversity is good! You write wonderful stories,Rox.
I've never looked at short stories (no matter how short) as exercises but I guess they really are. My story prompts are houses or scenery we see while traveling. The landscape between La Junta and Walsenburg inspired me to write a RomanBreton hill fort story. Seeing any old tumble down house or farm I can't help but come up with a story about the people who built it. But doing that doesn't make me a better writer just a writer.

Reese Mobley said...

I admire people that can do them, but writing exercises make me panic and break out in hives. I know they help some people break through a block but not me.

Saying I'm a slow writer is an understatement. It scares me to be judged on something that isn't finished or perfect. I have to rewrite a chapter a dozen times before I'll even read it to my critique partners. I'm that insecure about my writing.

So when the first of the month rolled around, I worried about what I was going to blog about this time, but then I decided to challenge myself. I'm trying to step out of my comfort zone--not an easy thing for me to do, as you well know. Even now I reread my blog and see all the mistakes and things I'd wished I'd changed. All I can do is grimace and say oh well. Short stories are not a huge strength for me. Never have been.

Maybe we next month we can post more excerpts from a wip or in your case, something polished and published.

Roxann Delaney said...

Starla, I'm visual, too, so I don't have a clue why I can't take a picture and do something with it. It's like some sort of mental block, similar to how I feel when faced with science questions. Ha!

Those who can, do. Those who can't may spend time scratching their head and gnawing the eraser on the end of the pencil.

Roxann Delaney said...

Joan, I've always had problems writing short anything. Today's post was probably one of my shortest, and it really didn't go anywhere. I should've waited until this morning to try it.

The gist of it is that we all have our own process. Being honest again, I could sprout wings and fly before I could explain mine.

Roxann Delaney said...

Reese, I haven't had to deal with hives, but keeping a bottle of Pepto Bismol handy usually helps.

We're taught how to write in school, starting with learning letters to make words and moving on through using those words to share a thought, opinion, or idea. But we're never really taught how to come up with an idea. I think that's because everyone's thought process is different. I couldn't use your process anymore than you could use mine to write a book. In the end, we come up with much the same, no matter from what direction we've come.

I haven't had the pleasure of reading anything you've written for a long time, but when I have, I've always come away with a big smile on my face and a happy sigh when I have. Whatever you do, it works.

Reese Mobley said...

Right back atcha'

Penny Rader said...

Isn't it funny what works for some people and not others? It'd be boring if we were all the same. Not sure why I like writing exercises so much. I guess maybe it's because it gives me something to work with. :D

I sometimes worry that I'm not as creative as all of you because I often need, well, a boost of sorts. I'll see a pic and/or a writing exercise and it'll make a scene for a story (sometimes even the story I'm working on) pop into my head.

Becky A said...

I must fall somewhere inbetween Roxann and Penny. Some writing exercises strike an immediate spark, while others leave me brain dead. I have no clue what the difference is unless it is simply my frame of mind at the time.

The stories that have come from the pictures have been awesome. However, when I look at the pics, I draw a complete blank. Being a visual person too, it just doesn't make sense.

Oh well, such is life.
Thanks for the honesty, Roxann.

Nina Sipes said...

I was very happy to see your post! I too ran into a wall. I didn't expect that, but, that wall was mighty hard too.

Funny, I too have wondered if I have talent worth spit, if it will hang in there, if it will even stay long enough to finish anything, if anyone else will want to read it...and the list goes on. According to a conference tape I was listening to, all of those are common fears--even of writers who have finished many novels. I wonder how many of us have the similar ones. I suspect you've enough talent for whatever you want to do--and then some more.