Cleaning Up The Stage

Cleaning up the store before opening the doors to customers. Preparing the canvas before placing the first paint filled brush stroke. Sweeping the stage before rehearsal begins. Prepping your work space before you type at the typewriter for that important article or first draft of a new novel.

Not all writers do this process, but it does help…at least that’s how I noticed a shift in my work whenever I cleaned up the stage.

I was always a tidy child and teenager. I did as I was ordered and told to do in keeping my room clean or maintaining some form of space to keep organized. Even if it meant that my mother with her bipolar with residual schizophrenia on top of that which the littlest thing would upset her of whatever I did ‘wrong’ to her whims. I grew accustom to maintaining my room as perfect as possible. Reason being for the most part, I danced in my bedroom all the time. I understood early on my own observations while taking ballet class in 1985, that the cleanliness of the studio and stage was important. It kept accidents from happening. There is nothing worse in the world than tripping over the smallest object when dancing.

I took that basic training of cleaning up the stage to heart and still do it today, but with a twist.

I discovered in my early 20s that I had a niche in recognizing a pattern of thought whenever I finished cleaning dishes, laundry and sweeping the floors or cleaning anything else in one day. Once the chores were done for that day, my mind was free to focus on my writing for the rest of the week. I would have 5 or 6 days devoted to writing even if it was only note taking and study of my works. I would finish one to three chapters in that week span. Then the cycle of come Sunday or Monday I would clean house once more to prep for the next work week of writing.

Why would I go to such lengths to clean house in one day, even if all I needed to do was 2 to 3 loads of laundry? Imagine for a moment you want to write a whole chapter. The story is flowing out of you, but your mind is bogged down at the forefront of – ‘There is a load of dishes in the sink’ – ‘there is a load of laundry that needs to be washed’ – As you notice there is something keeping you from your work, you stop and go finish that other thing, for my case chores. If I find that this is happening inside my mind and I know physically there are chores to be done, and I continue to ignore those chores, I get depressed for the next few days cause I’m being lazy to myself and neglectful to my writing.

Writing is the reward for when I’m done with basic household needs. I look at this way, if you can not maintain your household of the basic clutter around you (basic chores as I described before) then how can your mind be calm and at peace to help you focus on your creative work in front of you? As much as a cluttered mind can not focus, neither can a cluttered house, stage, etc. When you have not kept to a basic once a week schedule of maintaining the house needs (your needs, mind you) then the creative work before you will and can suffer as a result.

On a Sunday or Monday I’ll see the dishes need to be done. I’ll see if one or two loads of laundry to be done. I’ll notice there are dust bunnies on the floor and sweep all the floors and clean the cat box. Then come Tuesday onward I’ll have nothing better to do than write a new chapter(s) until the next Sunday or Monday rolls around. Then the cycle starts all over again.

Don’t get me wrong here. There are authors out there of all kinds that just focus on the writing and keep going all the while neglecting the household needs to keep them sane, healthy and happy. Especially the healthy part. If you have a partner in your life that can help with the chores to keep you on task at writing, then ask them to help you with the house chores from time to time. It will help you lessen the load.

These are all crucial processes before you begin any body of creative work, before setting a dinner party or office meeting or before you fill your car with vacation essentials for that road trip adventure. If the stage is not cleaned and ready, how can you focus on the task at hand that will then keep you mentally fit and healthy?


Manuscripts breath life for themselves


I apologize for not updating my blog since late October or November. I had gone through a few things emotionally with my mother’s death and cleaning up my mental state and having to let go of a few things.

As you can see in the photo above, I have been working on book 3. As you can see, I breezed through to chapter five faster than I thought it would happen even with all the notes I have. But, yeah know, being sick with a cold twice really is the pits. Your brain doesn’t want to work and yet you yearn to writing the next chapter. If there’s one thing writers/authors can’t afford is sick days. We need our minds to push out our manuscripts at any cost.

Book 3 Soul’s Little Lie: Echos of the Lost is going to be quite a lot larger than the first two I think, however, I’m starting to think that I’ll have to take book 1 and 2 and put them into book 3 in chronological order of the story. Book 1 would be in the middle and book 2 would be right after that or so and kinda close to the end of it all. In other words, ‘book 1’ isn’t finish after all.

It’s not a bad thing. It just means that this novel(s) was wanting to be written differently. There’s no harm in that, I’ll just have to make sure I arrange the manuscripts correctly in a more constructive way with a few added paragraphs to connect a few areas. If all else fails, I’ll just have the professional editors take care of this rearrangement of the story. At least I have a very good idea how this will all be constructed. This form of editing won’t take too long I don’t think.

In other news, my three beta readers have read the 2nd book. They couldn’t put it down, but they also gave me a great amount of notes to fix up a few areas. This manuscript wasn’t that bad in lack of errors. A lot less than the first one by far. And they told me that the ending was a bit short, rushed and airy. This is what made me think that I should connect the first 2 manuscripts closer together for the 3rd one. I’m willing to do it if I must.

For those who might want to read an excerpt of the second manuscript, I’m sorry I can’t afford to do that right now as it hasn’t been fully edited and I’m more interested in wanting to send the first manuscript out, but if it comes to it, which it looks like it must, I’ll just have to rearrange manuscript 1 and 2 into the 3rd and then send it off. No, I’m not confused, this first time novel is a complete learning experience and never ever are any two manuscripts ever written the same.

Oh, more last thing, as for fan art of book 4, I haven’t touched those five art pieces in a year at least. I have three left and I fear I may have messed up the third one a bit and may have to start over. And, I’ve gotten down a fair amount of notes for book 4 and I can’t wait to get started on that one out of all the others. Been wanting to work on book 4 for nearly five years now. It’s driving me crazy, but I’m being very patient about it. I can’t jump from one book to the next haphazardly like some authors can do. I’m still learning and I don’t want to screw this up.

As always, you can find me on Facebook and Twitter if you ever want to talk to me about writing. Takes for tuning into my blog tonight. I’ll try to keep to a once a month blog as much as I can. Thanks and take care.

Writer’s Block a sad, lonely experience

I have 5 new novels in my mind. As an enjoyment or past time, I come up with titles as the basic story forms in my mind. I then type down the title and make a new computer file. Well, then, all goes quiet…for awhile.

The writer’s block than hits, hard. I get distracted with internet goofiness. I start feeling depressed. I start making mental excuses, but I know typing up the first few paragraphs is how you start running. You don’t just sprint out there suddenly expecting to keep your breath as you zoom past the other ‘thoughts’. You have to start out slow, jog a bit to keep your pace. But then you see the other thoughts catching up towards you and you begin to panic. You then see the pretty colors and sounds that distract you from the work ahead. You feel bogged down but with a false sense of glee. Then the procrastination hits. You look to the distance and you see the ‘runners’ (your other thoughts) disappear into the dust. You sigh heavily and go back to your distraction instead.

Then, suddenly, you glance over. You see the thoughts that ran past you, are now behind you! You gather your supplies. Your fingers hit the keyboard to open the file. You read what you wrote and then you start from where you left off. Now you are off and running. You realize you are on your way. You don’t look back at the ‘thoughts’ trying to catch you. You focus…you type…Oh My GOD…the story is getting good! You can’t stop. You’ve made one lap around the track! You’ve made a second lap! Then…the writer’s block starts all over again cause the lagging behind ‘thoughts’ waited for you at the starting line. They pounce on you like a dog pile. You think it’s over. You sircome to the heaviness of the cycle all over again.

This is how it is for me. Over and over again, but I’ve caught onto this odd behavior. This is how it ‘happens’ to me –

1) Story pops into my mind

2) Title pops into my mind

3) Write title down by making new file folder on laptop

4) Take a few days to a month away to ‘cure’ the meat of the new story

5) Do research online, in personal library and from real life bits

6) Write a few paragraphs

7) Get online, watch YouTube videos for a few days to a week

8) Go to my day job, new story festers in my mind, but I can’t write it down until I’m on break (ARGGGHHH!!!)

9) Come home, look through new written notes, add them to current computer file notes

10) Start cycle all over again

Here are the titles of future works I’m working on. They are in order of how they come to be in  my  mind.

(The ** are those I have written a little into already)

Mythia (hahahaha…finished first draft 370 pages, nearly 200k word count, but it’s crap, really it is)

Soul’s Little Lie (edited all 5 drafts myself, but waiting for editing from professional)

Broken Roses **

Dreams of Lotus

Metal Staircase

The Island **

$300 Shoes

Eastener **

Devil’s Play

To Love Thy Inner God

Darker Side of Fandom

I Am Haunted

Goodnight, Mother **

So, as you can see I have a lot on my plate. There are so many stories to choose from I don’t know where to start first. To help me sort out the chaos I’ve made a list for myself on my days off from regular work and for when I come home from regular job.

1)Write one chapter or 5 pages of any new novel

2) Transfer a sketch to finished paper

3) Read a chapter or more of the books you already bought

4) Take a 15 minute break every two hours of working

This is going to be new for me to kick my weary self into working on my novels. I need to discipline myself to get what I want out of my life. No more mopping around in emoland. No more waiting for it to the work for me! Time to kick my own ass into gear if I want these books to be in full form in my hands and in my personal library and most of all, to share with the world!

I hope my tips helped you out. If lists like this are already used in my day job, why can’t they work for me in my future publications? These lists are not bogging me down. They are to lift me up so I can have fun at what I love to do – Tell stories of the craziness in my mind!

Take care!

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