Archive for November, 2009

The write solution to troubled times.

November 29, 2009

One of the biggest myths about writers is that they are recluses, who sit behind a computer, never letting the problems of the world enter their private space.  The reality is that writers are out in the world with everyone else, and all the problems that come with it.

 

The Movie “The Princess Bride” has a line in it that I always thought was true to a point.  “Life is pain, highness.  Anyone who says different is trying to sell you something.”  I did mention that it was to a point.  How we handle the situation will determine whether it will end good or bad.

 

I know, while we are going through the painful times in our lives, it’s very hard to imagine anything but more pain coming of it, but there is always an end to it.  The best thing to keep in mind, it’s through the most painful times in our lives that we find ourselves becoming stronger.

 

There are two things that help me through the hardest times; the friends that I have, and the ideas I get for writing.  This is where writers are different.  Yes, we feel pain, sadness, anger, and sorrow, but we can turn it around by writing about our feelings, and the stories that have come out of it.  In a way, we can vent our frustration, without taking it out on someone else, causing them pain.

 

I know I already mentioned Nora Ephron’s saying, “Everything is copy.”  This is one of those times it bears repeating.  Time may heal all wounds, but it still leaves scars, and the best way of reducing those scars is to write about it.  There is no such thing as an “off limit” subject, and if you are worried about offending a friend, or relative, don’t.  Just change the names.  The purpose is to write through your problems, and air out your feelings so you can move forward in the healing process.

 

The best part of writing it down, and working through your pain, is that you can share it with someone else who may be going through the same thing.   Of course, while you are writing through your pain, don’t forget that you have friends who are always there to help you, and are just a phone call, or e-mail away.  It’s good to write about the troubled times of your life, but it’s a bad idea to shut yourself away from them; you can find comfort in your friends, and stories in your writing.  Use them both to help you heal.

 

Enjoy,

Allen

What to do with hard to open trash bags

November 25, 2009

Don’t you just hate it when you’re trying to open a trash bag, and it just won’t open?  Well, here’s a simple solution that never fails.  Wash your hands.

 

The reason it becomes hard to open the trash bag is that during the course of the day, oil from the fingers builds up.  The oil is especially slippery when it rubs against the plastic.  When you wash your hands, it removes the oil from your skin, making it tacky enough to open the bag without slipping.

 

This has worked with all the trash bags I’ve tested,   even the hard to open bags.

 

Enjoy,

Allen

If you have any questions that need a creative solution, let me know in the comments.

Nanowrimo day 7

November 8, 2009

Today was day seven of the nanowrimo, and I just barely squeaked by, hitting my word total of 11,709 words.  First off, let me just say that, with my schedule, if I can write a novel in a month, anyone can.

Last year, I made it up to 7,000 words, and then got completely distracted.  Being able to make it up to 11,000 words for me is quite a feat.  Now I know the myths.  “People who write novels have no life.”  and “Only certain types to be able to write.”  I say myths because that is exactly what they are.  I’ve made it this far, and I have a very hectic schedule.

To answer the second question, you don’t have to be a literary genius to write 50,000 words in a month.  Your first draft is going to be garbage, accept it.  Nanowrimo is not about writing a sell-able novel in a month; it’s about putting 50,000 words on “paper”.  If you want to know what that breaks down to on a daily basis, it’s about 1667 words a day.

Now that may seem like a tall order, it’s not so hard as it may seem, if you don’t edit, stop to correct, or give up.  In my experiment last month, to see if I could do it, I took a writer’s prompt, and just wrote without stopping, for two hours, and came up with 1700 words.

It can be done, you just have to motivate yourself.  Besides the great feeling that I can do it, I have a reward system for reaching my daily word goal.

As most people know, I love watching movies, but they can be a terrible distraction from writing.  I made up my mind that until I reach my word goal, I can’t watch a movie.  I even go so far as to pick out a movie, put a post-it on it with the word count, and put it right in front of me.  It’s kind of the same as putting a carrot in front of a horse to get it to move.

The reward you choose doesn’t have to be big, it just has to motivate you to do something.

If you have a dream to do something, but don’t think you can meet the daily requirements to get there, try a reward system, that will motivate you to get busy and make your dream come true.

This is what my first week in nanowrimo has taught me.