Failures and New Starts

I have been trying to write. I dabbled with different exercises and techniques to get me to stick to writing. None has worked so far.

There was the 52 week writing exercise, which lasted for one short story (not a very good one).

Before that there was daily writing prompts. That didn’t work, either.

During all this, I also attempted to write in my personal journal once a day. That worked off and on.

Yesterday morning I had another brilliant idea. I would create a Google Form called “Discovery for Writing” and in it I would make myself answer a list of questions about a writing project before I even began the project.

Building this form led me to research various things about writing such as PLOT, CHARACTERIZATION, and POINT OF VIEW. I was pleasantly surprised at the wealth of information out there that was easily accessible to me without having to sign up for a university course. (I am not sure why I was surprised… in this day and age of the free Internets).

I wrote a Pledge yesterday. That was actually part of an exercise I am doing by following James Scott Bell’s book on Plot and Structure. I stumbled across Bell’s informative book by a long series of article jumps that I won’t bore you with here (I was looking to learn more about PLOT, my greatest weakness).

As part of the new exercise, I’m going to to document each step of my learning and writing here–I’m going to try to post something about what I’ve done each day so I can hold myself accountable.

Today:

  • Joined a couple of online writing groups.
    • Critiqued someone’s work
    • Posted some of my own work
  • Finished Chapter 1 exercises from Bell’s book.

See you all tomorrow, then!

The Pledge

Today I resolve to taking writing seriously.

To keep going and never stop.

To learn everything I can and make it as a writer.

52 Week Writing Challenge

So here I go again… trying another writing challenge. I just can’t seem to find one that sticks.

The challenge came from the writer, Ray Bradbury. I have to admit that I have never actually read any of his work. His name was always vaguely familiar to me until I found his 52 week writing challenge.

Today is Sunday. I am going to start with my first story of this week with the goal of finishing it by the upcoming Saturday. Wish me luck…

Raging Conversations

A couple of days ago, I learned that raging conversations is a thing. I also realised that it is a thing I definitely do. And it’s something I really don’t want to keep doing.

In that article, they write about how replaying negative conversations in our heads is really just hurting ourselves. That’s when it occurred to me; other people may say hurtful things out of anger, but if I replay it over and over again in my head, I’m helping the other person cause maximum damage. Why do that?

So this is the beginning of the journey to stop raging conversations and negative thought loops. I looked into meditation and mindfulness exercises to see if it could be of help. I found there was a depressing amount of practical information on how someone can stop the negative replay of raging conversations.

There were some practical exercises about how to bring oneself out of negative thought loops with YOURSELF, but what can we do when another person is involved? How do you calm down enough to stop hearing them with a negative filter on?

Imagine you’re in yet another angry argument with your spouse. Then somehow you get the mental fortitude to say, “stop, I need to meditate and calm down before we go any further.” How would that go if the other person is angry as well and they are unwilling to back down? In an argument with someone else, you can do everything right on your part and still it’ll end up horrendous if the other party does not relent.

Well. This is a record of my experiment. I will attempt a calming exercise the next time I am in a heated argument with my husband and we’ll see how well that goes.

The Vessel

A space ship that has literally everything. It would allow me to go virtually anywhere.

The Unrequited Love Poem

Okay. So this is not a poem. The writing prompt project asked me to write about how I feel when someone doesn’t love me back.

I can pin point this to an exact moment. Grade ten, I was 15. I was in love with Kris, my best friend. I met Kris in middle school and we became friends one day when we walked home together.

It took me one year to realise I had a crush on him. It took me another year to get up the courage to tell him.

Kris had stayed home one day because he was sick. I think he was really just cutting class. Lia Kim and I had been talking about how much I liked him.

So we went to see him. And we were in his kitchen when I told him. I couldn’t even look at him when I said it.

Kris was so calm. He didn’t miss a beat. He said it was better if we stayed friends because we had such a good thing going as friends.

It killed me. I felt like I suddenly could no longer face the world. I don’t know what I had expected him to say. Perhaps I was hopeful? I had so many fantasies of how a life with Kris would be like if we were both in love with each other–but in that one instant, all that hope was gone.

Then came the self doubts. Why didn’t he want to be with me? He had told me he thought I was amazing once. He looked me straight in the eye and said it, so why didn’t he want to be with me?

It took me a whole semester to recover. I kept to myself and stopped eating lunch with everyone. I literally could not face anybody.

At that time, I didn’t understand how attraction worked. I thought that if two friends thought of each other as amazing, then naturally they should be together, right? I was clueless about chemistry. I don’t think I even felt a sexual attraction for anyone at that point. I had girlish crushes, but anyone who’s felt sexual attraction for another person would agree that a crush and sexual attraction are not the same thing.

Kris really liked this girl, Jocelyn. Back before I spilled my guts and got shot down, I always asked him why he liked her. His answer was always, “she’s got big boobs.”

To me, Jocelyn was a superficial fob who wouldn’t really be friends with us if she wasn’t so foreign. She wasn’t funny, kind, or amazing (all traits Kris had attributed to me at one point). Why did having large breasts suddenly top all of those things?

Now that I’m a woman in my thirties, I understand completely why Jocelyn’s breasts won out over any other connection for a 15 year old boy. I wish this was something I could have learned much earlier in order to save the months of hurt and isolation I put myself through. Still, I’m glad I learnt my lesson, anyway.

Unrequited love. If unchecked, it becomes an obsession.

Outside the Window

It is cloudy outside right now with tiny patches of blue sky. It is 2 pm in the afternoon in Kordabup, Western Australia. Not thirty minutes ago, the sky was relatively clear and the sun had been out. It’s much more windy in this small corner of the world than most places I have lived. In the last couple of weeks, we’ve had days where we started will brilliant sunshine, only to be met with massive downpour of hail in the mid afternoon. Then the day might end on a clear starry night.

The weather is unpredictable here. It matches the daily happenings around this place; there is no strict routine. There is always something new and different each day out here on the farm. Yet there is a sense of peace being out here.

In this tiny, remote corner of the world, we’re sheltered from all political strife. I truly feel like an Untouchable now.


This is the first of a series I am doing of daily writing prompts. I decided to start this today so it’ll help me stay in the habit of writing once a day.