there are days that i sit here at the keyboard, and just stare at the monitor. not even the monitor. i look at the postcard on the wall, the cat at my feet, the bamboo plant by the window, the stereo display - pretty much anywhere. it's not as if i think i'm going to be delivered some sort of inspiration on the stereo display. but i can always hope.
the challenge of crafting ideas of events into stories is sometimes a gift, and sometimes the most frustrating thing going. i try to make little things from my day entertaining. when my day has been uneventful, i hunt for an idea, one that can be spun out into some sort of essay. occasionally, the headlines present something too juicy to pass on. but the headlines lately have been too much. kidnapping, murder, war, priests being arrested, fires or floods, mass beachings, the stock market - i just have to step back from all of that.
for a while, i did collab assignments. it was useful, and fun. some of the prompts seemed tailor made for me. the stories just fell out of my head. i'm not sure when or how that changed, but i found that the collabs became too much work. i kept falling behind, and didn't like what i wrote when i did write. so i stopped. my apologies to those who run the collabs - but here's hoping you've found new and wonderful contributors.
and for some months, i kept a paper journal. it was meant as input for here. i was compulsive about carrying the notebook with me at all times, and writing everything down. but that became a burden as well. i mean, it was useful, but i felt compelled to use it, which defeated the purpose.
so for a while i've just been writing whatever comes into my head. or, sort of writing anything. i keep a little scrap document on my computer desktop, and jot titles or ideas there. i suppose that's not all that different from a paper journal, but it seems that way. more malleable, and more direct.
i have taken on one new challenge. you might have noticed the 100 Words button over on the side. it's a nifty project - 100 words, every day, for a month. i thought it would be easy to toss off a few words here and there. but it's harder than i thought. consequently, it's more satisfying. i pick some image or thought, and try to hammer out a coherent image in 100 words, no more or less. when i write regular entries, i rarely edit. with this, tho, i have to go back and edit, tweak, polish, really work at it. at least it's not a novel or script; don't think i could take that much editing. this, tho - polish up one little nugget once a day. takes maybe 5 or 10 minutes, and voila. i like that it's pushing me to work in a new way, with pretty instantaneous results. and i'm planning on getting the entire month done.
should you go to check it out, i'm listed as beth_c. at this point, you can only see my profile, as batches aren't made public until they're complete. i'd recommend trying random entries. fascinating what surfaces on a random search.
anyway, where did i start with this? oh, yeah. writing. seems to be an organic process, and i've been lucky enough to find a way that i can still get words down and out. it doesn't always come quickly; i've had to step away from here a few times. but it's a good feeling to find the next way and come back here.