Posts Tagged ‘self-publishing’

Bus  Sporadic conversations. People talking on cell phones or to each other all around me. The chorus of voices mixing with the rattling of the bus to create the background music. The cast is that of people zoning out and some attempting to catch a quick nap, others jostling to find a better seat (if there is a place to sit at all). My own place on many days facing sideways, clinging to my laptop and praying it doesn’t slide from my grip and to the ground as the driver slams on the brakes.

Druggies. Thugs. Mothers attempting to corral their children as they navigate the unsteady ground. Sweaty shirt clinging to my back. And the smells. Oh the smells…the odor that has the ability to permeate through layers of clothing and take up an extended residence in my olfactory system. The odor that hints at the practical petri dish the surfaces on the bus have become. The invisible microbes that I can nearly feel on my skin every time I’m forced to take a handhold. Such that as I type even now I wonder what I’m transferring from my fingers with every keystroke.

Thousands upon thousands of people making the same trip into the city. Shipped in from the suburbs to sustain the void that the city would become without her daily fill of populace. An infusion by morning to counterbalance the evening bleed of workers that keep her alive, if only for another day.

And during the commute to attend my job is where I truly work, where I write about life and living, fantasies of worlds I can scarcely contain in my mind and fight for the time to assign them their text. Worlds I would fill my time with if I had the opportunity. But I take a fragment of my time instead. Writing through the chaos of noise, smells, jostling and the abrupt end of a thought not finished as I scramble to exit when the doors groan open. Whipping out my phone to complete the thought I had only just begun to formulate.

Such are the glories of my daily commute and the vast majority of the time I spend writing. I feel I’ve become so accustomed to writing on the bus that it is now where I feel I will always generate my best work. Writing at home, I feel the draw of a hundred different distractions but on the bus there is the absence of internet, absence of the feeling that there is something else I should be doing. I have such a compulsion and urgency to produce these words that the games or even the music that use to consume my focus, lose my interest within seconds.

I look at the people around me, on their phones, gaming, wasting such precious, uninterrupted (some might say) time that could be used for such creating. I feel I have a secret that if people understood, there would be dozens of laptop keys clicking away as if at a university library, not the public metro system.

In celebration of the completion of the first two (almost three) chapters of my novel, I’ve decided to resurface in the online world and write another of these posts. I’ve realized that, as my focus and interests shift, my writing tends to follow. The reason I am now writing about writing. Where is it you write? Where is it you craft the words you’ve been given?

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Well the day has come; the one that I knew was inevitable when I started this little project (and I know it’s probably far too soon since I only just got started). I feel like I led you on. Like a summertime fling or a half finished project in the garage (not that I know much about either, ever only dating one woman and having no garage to speak of).

I’m going to cut back on posting to about once a month (to clear my head and my ever-expanding word document of ideas) and in the interim I will be completing a novella I started a couple weeks ago. I expected this but didn’t know what would institute this little hiatus—it actually originated from a 300-page book entitled, On Writing.

I’m sure most or at least many budding writers have ingested this book and have their own opinions on what the writer has to say. Far from this post being a book review, I will only say that the book by Stephen King was an inspiration and motivation for me to seriously taking a crack at the fictional world I’ve only just begun to develop.

For those curious on what it’s about (I’m not going to say yet) I plan on giving more details about the work and hope to have a synopsis ready either next month or the month after—I have found that it’s a bit difficult to write a synopsis when the final project is yet to be finished. I have a rough outline and know that it will only be a short work but something I’ve been trying to apply from Mr. King is to let the characters guide the story. Outlines may be a useful tool but they have the potential to strain the plot and constrain character development.

Something else I learned about the book (I guess I lied a bit when I said this wasn’t going to be a book review) was that it’s important to just write the book/story/excerpt with as little editing as possible through the first draft. My issue, the reason that it takes me so long to write anything, is that I like to revise constantly. I enjoy going back over my work, many times in its entirety, picking at the story here and there. The issue with this is that it takes FOREVER to finish a chapter. Just write, keep the train of thought and make a point of resisting the urge to edit until at least a large section has been completed; preferably an entire chapter (or blog post).

Well that’s it. To make it official I will be changing my “goal” to once a month. I do look forward to these little interludes, but even more, I look forward to presenting you with a longer work to enjoy (that is, if I ever figure out all this self-publishing stuff).