Monthly Archives: September 2013
If anyone has ever taken a Pilates class, you know that it is the quietest workout you can do. The lights are dim, the music is soft and the movements are slow. It was in class that I got the following opening line:
“It was in Pilates class that Sheila realized what she had to do. She would have to kill him.”
I left class and the thought stayed with me. Who is Sheila? What is her life like? Who is she thinking of killing and why? I don’t know where this character came from. I have a novel in progress and three short stories and none of them involve a Sheila.
Soemtimes the best plot points or character flaws are revealed in the shower or during the afternoon commute. Now I can add pilates class to that mix. I go back to class tomorrow. Maybe I will find out what else Sheila has been up to.
To my writer friends, have you ever been hit with inspiration while doing a mundane tasks?
I pulled out my novel to continue making revisions and remembered that I have two different versions. I originally wrote the story in first person. Based on advice from a former editor, I have several chapters written in third person. So, I had to stop and ask myself: What Person Am I?
The majority of the things I write are in first person. Like 99%. I am most comfortable with this point of view. Two of my favorite authors, Jodi Picoult and Eric Jerome Dickey, use this point of view. I read everything they write and study their forms.
But I enjoy the third person point of view as well. I just don’t feel like it is my strength. It feels like forcing a right-handed person (me) to only write with their left. Sure you can read it but it’s not as pretty.
Do you have a preference? What’s your favorite point of view? First person or third person?
I’ve been exercising for eight months and I have a consistent routine. If I have to miss a session because of a conflict (work, family, illness, etc.) I obsess over what I am missing.
I wish I could say the same about my writing. I know I should write something daily. I have a novel to edit, several short stories in various stages on completion and this blog. But when I fail to take advantage of writing time, I can easily shrug it off with the promise to write tomorrow. I’ve been waiting on tomorrow for almost a year now.
I’ve been doing some soul-searching (again). Really trying to get to source of my inability to completely pursue a dream I know that I want. I’ve been writing since grade school. I would like to make it my career. All I have to do is put pen to paper, edit, revise and edit some more. I need to send my work out into the world.
What is stopping me you may ask. (Nosy, that.) I keep coming back to one world. Fear. But it’s not fear of failure that is paralyzing. It is fear of success.
As humans, we operate on a set routine. We take comfort in the familiar. Venturing off a planned and previously executed course is uncomfortable. The “unknown” and whatnot. Yet people take that step toward their goals everyday. They push past the discomfort and leap without fear. That’s what I have to do. Exercise some mental toughness and do something different.
My body has gotten stronger due to my work in the gym. Now I have to summon the mental toughness to blast through the fear and write. Today is a good start.