Welcome to the I C Publishing Summer Blog Tour on navigating our writing paths from start to finish. I was delighted when my friend and Senior Partner at NLP Canada Training Linda Ferguson invited me to be part of this Summer Blog Tour. Linda’s passion and skills help people open up fresh perceptions so that they can recognize new strengths in themselves and become better at supporting strength and collaboration in others.
And now, without further ado: here is my contribution to the tour.
How do you start your (writing) projects?
I start by reading. I read a lot anyway, but when a particular project is front of mind, I allow most of my reading to be directed toward what might be useful for that project. History, social sciences, fiction: it doesn’t really matter, I just fill my brain. Once I start to feel like I’m getting filled up, I then start to let it all spill out. Framed by the project, thoughts and ideas start to form, and those thoughts begin to make it onto paper. They land on the page in the shape of what could be called word clouds, as I write things down wherever there is space on the page or card.
And I start analog. I always begin with pen and paper. Yes, I am one of those who still uses a fountain pen.
How do you continue your writing projects?
I let my projects take their own time. When it is time to write, I get to work and write, but I let things move at their own pace. I obey Micheal Ondaatje in this: he wrote in In the Skin of A Lion “Meander if you want to get to town." My projects begin with a central kernel and move out towards the edges, and I write and assemble the pieces of writing like pieces of a puzzle, allowing what I know to be the through line of the plot or idea to govern sequence, what stays and what goes and what gets added to ensure clarity and cohesion.
How do you finish your project?
To begin with endings, I go do something else. The something else can be as simple as making lunch. I give myself some time and space in order to freshen my own eyes and clear my head a bit so that I can better see into what I’ve written. Then I try to be as merciless as I can be with my words: trimming, rewriting, adding and finally crafting what’s on the page or in the machine into the what my imagination saw when the reading started to encourage the first kernel to grow.
Include one challenge or additional tip that our collective communities could help with or benefit from.
I think of all the tips I could give after twenty plus years of making art this one is the one that has served me the best and the most consistently: go for a walk. If you find yourself stuck, staring at a cursor: walk to the coffee shop or grocery store. If you need to sort out a plot point or make sense of facts that are connected but don’t seem to hang together: walk to and through the neighborhood park. Allow the movement and change of scenery give your head and body a break and a distraction. I have found that things sort themselves out when I am moving through a different mental and physical space.
Passing the Pen
And now, I am delighted to introduce you to the next contributor who will be sharing her experiences, challenges, and tips, on navigating the writing path from start to finish. Check out her link, and watch for her blog post on Wed, July 9th.
Adrianna Prosser is one third of The Smashing Trio, a promotional trio who love to host unique events with unavoidably good times. She is also a playwright of historical adaptations of Canadian history and of "Everything But the Cat..." a bereavement piece on tour right now: www.everythingbutthecat.net - her mental health blog invites guest bloggers to share their struggles and triumphs in hopes of creating a community online and off where stigma is a thing of the past. Find out more about this fiery redhead at www.adrianna-prosser.com and follow her at @adriannap. Her blog is here.
Check out the links and watch for her post next week.
And I’ll see you all back here next week after a week full of National Holidays and ever more important football ( soccer ) matches (for those us who care about these things).