It strikes me as odd sometimes, that for someone who loves to read books and write…anything, I watch a lot of television. One blog might say it’s a time suck, another says it can be used as a relaxation tool, and yet the one I follow most closely these days, says to use television watching to help with pacing. Who knew!
What’s my go to show for pacing, dialogue, and good story lines with a longer arc? Castle. If you’re not familiar with the show, here’s the premise: he’s a mystery writer who partners with a female homicide detective for research and authenticity in his murder mystery stories. Whether you love or hate police procedurals, you can’t beat the unique twist this brings. The character has writer’s block and distracts himself with research looking for the story within. Aren’t we all? As it progresses, he’s inspired, and you see him day-after-day, especially after long days, get behind his desk and write…something.
It was the first season re-watch of Castle that inspired today’s blog title. Scrolling across his computer screen were the words ‘Always Be Writing’. I couldn’t agree more with the thought behind it and it’s probably a quote from a famous author I can’t put my finger on just now. But no offense to the quote’s author, the scriptwriters, or the character, but I’d like to raise you one better. To the ABCs and to encourage you to always be creating. Wondering why?
Let’s say you’ve got writer’s block and yet you feel guilty for not writing, so you sit at your computer, typewriter, pad and pen, whatever, and wonder why no words are flowing from your fingertips. For me, this feeds the wolf that says, ‘Stop acting like a writer and do it, get the words down on paper. It’s the only way. Or are you really a writer? Do you have the discipline? Well, do you?’ Okay, now your hot mess and ready to throw the whole idea out the window, so you head to Facebook, and see stories recently launched. To you, it looks like it happened overnight. Even though you know in your heart it didn’t happen that quickly, but still that voice whispers.
I don’t know about you, but for me, this frustration can lead to a crazy cleaning streak. And I mean start in the attic and work my way down to the basement or vice versa. Here’s the funny part, I’m not tidy by nature. I don’t like to clean and a good spring clean means I’m thinking while doing. But get me in the kitchen baking and suddenly I’m back in business.
Baking is creating.
Cooking is creating.
Gardening is creating.
Coloring, painting, building, playing music, singing, dancing, time in nature looking at creation, the list goes on infinitely. So, while no offense to Always Be Writing, I wonder if a better rubric might be Always Be Creating. Just for fun, walk around the house singing the Alphabet Song smiling ridiculously at Ayyy, Beee, CEE, D-, and see what sparks in your imagination.
Oh, I almost forgot one. Blogging is creating.
So, whether you’re working on your NaNoWriMo project, prepping a post, beginning your WIP (work-in-progress), wherever you are in your writing, see where the following takes you:
Find a favorite TV show and watch it as a writer – dialogue, pacing, story line, arc, etc
Choose a hobby to get you out of your head to make room for your muse.
Read other writers – On Fridays, I do nothing but read. Pick a day, an hour, before going to bed, whenever you have time.
Write – write something. It doesn’t have to be Shakespeare, and thank your stars you can delete and correct at will. That poor guy was stuck with only a quill pen and ink that had to dry! Can you imagine how slow that process must have been?