6 Feb 2015

On Writing - filters off

I'm discovering that it's hard to write every day. Especially after work or a day running around after a toddler. I'm really tired and the words just don't come so easily.

 Normally when I write up a blog post, it's been planned for awhile - mostly just in my head. I'll have had an idea or been inspired by something or intrigued by a concept. This will percolate in my head - I kind of brainstorm it internally  when I have a quiet moment, usually when I'm in the shower or on the train - or cooking. Lots of smaller ideas and thoughts kind of coalesce together to form a narrative. I then let this sit in my head some more until I've almost gotten all the words and everything I want to say in my head verbatim. Then I blog it. Often I go back and edit and re-write sections but mostly it comes out on the the computer straight from my head. With this every day writing, I don't have the chance to do that.

It's not so much that the ideas don't come - it's more the time to expand on them, to do that internal brainstorming to connect the ideas with smaller thoughts and musings - that just isn't happening. Sometimes it takes me months to get a blogpost together in my head - but then sometimes just days. It seems to me to be quite an ineffective way of writing regularly really, the need to stick to and expound on one subject. How do columnists and regular journalists do it?

I guess it's also because I like to stick to one concept or idea per post and let the narrative flow from there. I've never really skipped around to cover a couple (or more) unrelated topics in one place. Mostly I guess because I feel that blog posts should be short and so jumping around isn't great for a reader or a writer - it's hard to stop on a subject once you get started and for your audience it's maybe a bit of an anti climax - stopping before you really got started.

But maybe I'm doing my writing practice and my media (blogging) a disservice. By sticking to just one way of writing and one style am I limiting my growth as a writer (if I can call myself that). Is this daily blogging the opportunity to try new things and challenge and stretch myself more when I write?

When I decided to do this project, to try to write daily, I did it very much from the perspective of what interested me and not as a way to increase monthly page views. I think the #nofilter topic is interesting and if I pushed at things and put links in the right places, I could really work those up. But that wasn't what this is about. Writing purely for an audience and to feed my ego just isn't healthy and it's not a good idea to just get hung up on the stats. It makes me wary of not being able to happen on a hot topic that's got social media buzzing and also pathetically envious when someone else does. And I'm pretty sure those people whose blog posts suddenly get crazy views didn't write them to drive traffic, they wrote from the heart.

I need to focus on this month as an exercise that will grow my confidence and self belief as a writer to have the confidence to work on my novel more and stop procrastinating. I hope it will also help me to get better at writing on the hoof, on the fly and produce ideas faster. They don't have to be quality ideas but eventually, like monkeys, typewriters and shakespeare, one of those ideas is going to further my novel.

Oddly enough this blog post has actually gone against what I intended - to try to write on 2-3 shorter topics. Instead this has come straight out of my head unedited as a fairly steady narrative. So what that says about my writing I'm not sure. I guess I find it very hard to stray from the arbitrary writing rules my subconscious is adhering to.

For those of you wondering where the #nofilter moment is today - well this blog post literally is it. No filters, straight off the top of my head, this is what I'm thinking about right now at almost 10pm at night whilst I semi watch the opening Six Nations game. And I feel oddly soothed by having this massive braindump (fnar). I guess writing is more cathartic than I thought it was. Anyway, thats one week of blogging done. Which is cool.

Thank you and goodnight,

Stupidgirl has left the building

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