Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Writing About Writing

Writing, otherwise known as sitting completely motionless in front of your monitor with a puzzled look on your face for hours at a time. I used to notice the graphics on a website more than I tend to actually notice what it says. I was more interested in the artwork. I was curious as to how they made all those intricate designs and fancy fonts. Yeah, I know it's weird that I stared at the font, but still didn't really register what it was saying.

Now, things have changed a bit. As I keep working at trying to create an online presence (sounds like a nerdy ghost). I am finally beginning to become aware of just how important the words are on the web. I think I am slowly winning the war against my eye candy addiction. I guess it's time to learn how to write!

I am not sure exactly how many "You can be a writer too!" manuals I have downloaded, but it's a lot. I am definitely a collector. Which is funny, because the first thing that all of those guru type e-books say is "Stop buying this shit and just start writing!". I am trying to gain at least a little control over this downloading e-book manuals issue, but I may need a piratebay intervention.

Writing can be hard because amateur writers seem to be divided into two groups, those that think they are great writers just waiting to be discovered, and those that think they suck at it. It's a lot like karaoke. I fall into the latter category. Every once in while can come up with something that works, but usually once I take a look at something I've written, a day later, I make a face and throw it away.

Does this happen to famous writers? Do they sometimes re-read a piece they did and say "WTF was I thinking!?", and hit the delete button? It would be comforting to know that they did, at least once in a while.

I think that I think about it too much. Do you remember in the movie "The Last Samurai", the scene where Cruise is sword fighting with the warrior, and getting his ass kicked? he was just about to give up, and that kid leans over and tells him "too many minds". I think it's a bit like that sometimes. When I am focused, it seems to just flow out. I don't have a set plan mind you, but I am focused on the topic I want to write about. If not, or if I have been given an assignment to write something, it's like pulling teeth.

I found a way to take my mind off thinking about what I am supposed to be thinking about so much. It's a goofy program called Write or Die. It's almost a game. You set a time limit, and your words goal, and start writing. But, if you should fall short of your goal, or stop for too long, the nasty thing will punish you. First, it will first start playing irritating music to get you back on track, and then finally it will start eating your words. You can't stop, or you pay the price.

This thing comes in a PC version, and an iPone app. It's only $10 for the full version, but I believe there is a free or online version too. Write or Die has been out for several years, so per the norm, I am sure everyone already knows about it. On the odd chance that you hadn't heard of it, give it a shot. It's a fun way to keep from procrastinating so much.