Wednesday, August 1, 2012

IWSG for August, 2012



It's the first Wednesday of the month and you know what the means, right? What do you mean you don't know what that means?

Why, it means it's time for another post in the Insecure Writer's Support Group series. The brainchild of uber-author and ninja captain, Alex J.Cavanaugh, it's a time for folks to share just what, about being a writer or writing, makes them insecure and what steps they can do/are doing to quell that insecurity.

So, here goes....

Back when I decided that I'd like to get a bit more serious about my writing, I ran across some people on my social media outlets (Google Plus, Twitter, Goodreads, etc.) who seemed a bit.....how do I say this.......overly enthusiastic. Not that there's anything wrong with having passion for writing. In fact,I strictly believe that passion is one of the main ingredients in becoming a successful writer. At first look, though, some seemed a bit on the 'off' side.

These people would say such things such as....

"Oh wow, I was trying to sleep but I just couldn't. My characters were screaming at me about the predicament that I had put them in, so I just had to get up and write!!"


"My characters talk to me all the time!!"

"Woe is me....my muse has left for parts unknown and I'm at such a loss. I just can't write today! Le swoon..."


"Ugh! I've only read 1,000 books this year! I'm 500 short of where I wanted to be!"


Things like that. Now, again, don't get me wrong. There isn't anything wrong with the above examples and, yes, I'm exaggerating just a bit here, but the more stuff like that I saw from more people, the more I began thinking....

"My characters don't really 'talk' to me."


"I'm supposed to have a muse?"

"Am I really cut out for this sort of thing?"


"Can I do something like this?"

Make no mistake I do enjoy writing. I've always loved telling stories and have always had a very active imagination but, some of this stuff had me doubting my resolve. Then, a funny thing began to happen. The more I wrote, the more I began to realize something that never occurred to me at the beginning....

....it was all a part of their process. It made perfect sense.

Their process.


It's how they got motivated. It was what helped them along. I then began to understand that I, too, would find my own process. What would motivate me. What would help send me on my way to literary stardom or, at the very least, satisfying writing.

While I still am finding my process, it's slowly becoming more clear to me with every passing story I write, every blog entry, every posting on Google Plus and Twitter. Yes, I count social media as 'writing' because...well....you are writing. It may not be perfect structure and there may not be a 'story', per se', but you're still putting words down in an order that (you hope) will make sense. To me, those are all steps in the process and helping to find my 'writing voice'.

 Finding your voice is important and when I really find mine, I think I'll be just fine.




22 comments:

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

The elusive voice. It's like trying to remember when each of my sons' voices cracked. They did, but I can't swear exactly when. It happened, and it'll happen for you, Mark. It may have already. I know that's vague and not much help, but sometimes if you stop looking for something, it sneaks up on you. Happy IWSG.

Mark Means said...

Thanks for your thoughts, Joylene, I appreciate them. I'm sure you're right and it got me back to thinking when my own voice cracked :) Great analogy!

I'm sure it will happen, just gotta keep plugging away.

M.J. Fifield said...

I agree with that Joylene said. As soon as I stop trying to find my voice, it always pops up. Usually while I'm at the day job, but we make it work. =)

Happy writing...

Cherie Colyer said...

You'll find the process that works for you. And your voice may vary from story to story. Have fun writing!!

Mark Means said...

Very good point, M.J. and, yeah, that's usually the way these things work :)

Thanks for the comment!

Mark Means said...

Thanks Cherie and I'm sure you're right :)

Melissa said...

My characters don't outright talk to me --as in TO me, arguing with me-- but they do have minds (and voices) of their own. So do my scenes sometimes.

Seriously, I didn't *get* all this stuff when I first started writing either (other than waking in the middle of the night and just HAVING to write), and some of it I still don't. I think it has to do with how we perceive the process and what we call certain things. Once you get a handle on the craft, your focus changes. You're not so worried about the rules, the details, and your characters and your muse take more freedoms with your mind. LOL

IWSG #179 (At least until Alex culls the list again. :P)

Stephen Tremp said...

Hmmm...I don't think my comment posted. Anyway, I know a lot of these people. When I wake up in the middle of the night I watch TV, not write. I save that for coffee and the early am and won on the evening.

Mark Means said...

I think you're right, Melissa, and I look forward to the day when I can not be worried, so much, about the rules :)

Thanks for the comment.

Mark Means said...

Well, I rarely wake up in the middle of night...probably because I stay up so late in the first place. But, yeah, I probably wouldn't write (too groggy) unless something about writing was the reason I woke up :)

Clear as mud, I know.

Thanks for the comment :)

sydneyaaliyah said...

Hey Mark. I admit, I have been guilt of saying a couple of these things, not the wake up to write one because I love my sleep, too. But, everyone reacts to it different and everyone's process is different. You will find what works for you.
What I am discovering is that it can be different for each project as well. Just stay open to it all.

Mark Means said...

Hi Sydney,

Yes, it's definitely a matter of personal preferences and I just need to keep looking for what mine are. Not to say that anyone else's is wrong or strange, it was just a bit foreign to me when I first started :)

Best of luck and thanks for the comment.

Gene Pool Diva said...

My characters are argumentative, reclusive and often stubborn. Good thing I like difficult people.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I still don't understand the whole muse thing either. And my characters have never talked to me. Ever.
You're right - it's all about what works for you.

Mark Means said...

Sounds like a tough way to write a story but, if it works.....it works :)

Mark Means said...

Glad to hear I'm not alone, thanks Alex!

Lexa Cain said...

I don't romanticize the writing process either. My characters don't talk to me, I just make them do what's necessary for the story. My "muse" deserting me is more like I just can't think up something original and fresh, dagnabbit! I don't quite understand the social media hysteria either. Who cares if you have 50 or 500 "likes" on your facebook page? That doesn't mean anyone's gonna buy anything.

Mark Means said...

That's a good way to describe it...romanticizing...not that there's anything wrong with that. If it works for them, by all means, run with it. I guess I'm more 'mundane' in some aspects of my writing.

You're absolutely right in that social media status doesn't, necessarily, equate with sales.

Thanks for the comment, Lexa.

Katja Weinert said...

True, even at my most inspired I wouldn't say my characters talk to me. There are times they seem real and try to break out of the plot I've set, but they don't take my hand and help me write 2000 words a day.
Katja @ YA's the Word

Mark Means said...

I definitely think that characters can begin setting their own tone as the story progresses, but, yeah, they're not really telling me what to do :)

Thanks for your comment, Katja :)

Marsha Sigman said...

The voices in my head keep me company...

I couldn't resist. I think I posted a comment earlier on an old entry???
It's definitely all about what works for you when it comes to writing.

Mark Means said...

Hehe, no -this- is the old entry...your earlier one was on my most recent. I don't mind either way, though, and always appreciate comments.

Thanks! :)

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