Tag Archive | Writer

Twenty-six Days Twenty-six Nights

Twenty-six days. Twenty-six nights.

When I closed my laptop last night I had reached 50,122 words which means I was successful in the challenge to write 50,000 words in the 30 days. ( story needs maybe another 10-15,000 words to complete the story-line)


Much about what I experienced this past month will forever be embedded in my memory, life lessons, writing tips, inspiration from the coolest sources, and the support of devoted friendships. What started out to be one story line showed yet another additional side-line as my story seemed to begin to write itself. Often veering into uncharted territory for me.

Finding support and inspiration during this adventure was something I never needed to look for, in the most wonderful ways the support was always right when and where I needed it. I have had the absolute delight in many discoveries through this process, and discovering the hidden talents in those in my world has been the priceless gifts that I take away from  the last 27 days.

From the daily support by devoted friends, family, writers, musicians, and complete strangers  new friends, all telling me I could do this, and that I was not alone I became even more empowered. I don’t think I would have been successful without.

  One particular friend who doesn’t need me to name names here  I still want to especially thank. This  friend has been my cheering squad,  doing research, helping me to manage my continuity, and at times my muse. This creative, clever and  generous person even created a gift of a place for me to Storyboard, naming it Toni’s Co-Op Storyboard. (invitations  to other writers will follow soon) 

On another morning I went to said Toni’s Co-Op and  I found this:

Graphics for my book cover…..An amazing gift of friendship & priceless support.

Don’t you think?

The Charles Bukowski poem below I always have liked and often find great solace  in when I am at the literary crossroads. But…. after these past few weeks I say now I know exactly what Mr Bulkowski was saying.

Living it far different than reading it.

I share.

” So You Want to Be a Writer “

By Charles Bukowski

If it doesn’t come bursting out of you

in spite of everything,
don’t do it.
unless it comes unasked out of your
heart and your mind and your mouth
and your gut,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit for hours
staring at your computer screen
or hunched over your
searching for words,
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it for money or
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it because you want
women in your bed,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit there and
rewrite it again and again,
don’t do it.
if it’s hard work just thinking about doing it,
don’t do it.
if you’re trying to write like somebody
forget about it.
if you have to wait for it to roar out of
then wait patiently.
if it never does roar out of you,
do something else.

if you first have to read it to your wife
or your girlfriend or your boyfriend
or your parents or to anybody at all,
you’re not ready.

don’t be like so many writers,
don’t be like so many thousands of
people who call themselves writers,
don’t be dull and boring and
pretentious, don’t be consumed with self-
the libraries of the world have
yawned themselves to
over your kind.
don’t add to that.
don’t do it.

unless it comes out of
your soul like a rocket,
unless being still would
drive you to madness or
suicide or murder,
don’t do it.
unless the sun inside you is
burning your gut,
don’t do it.
when it is truly time,
and if you have been chosen,
it will do it by
itself and it will keep on doing it
until you die or it dies in you.
there is no other way.

…and there never was.

One final & very personal note from me about writers.

Since going on record regarding my NANO project, and despite that I have written and published for almost 15 yrs. all of a sudden I am being bombarded with questions by well-meaning folk. Things I never was asked of before, nor wold I ever ask of someone else. It occurred to me that these folks just might have never thought about how their questions might be received by me. Often I find these to be unwelcome and awkward questions.

I love these people, please don’t misunderstand. In fact, I love them and their friendships more than I dislike the questions.BUT….since I am thinking they just have no idea how I feel if I don’t tell them. Remembering we teach people how to treat us. 

So, please allow me to say now. 

Top Ten Tips For Surviving a Relationship with a Writer

  1. Never ever ask when the book will be published.
  2. DO NOT ask a writer if they wish they had written a best seller.
  3. Never say you’re thinking of writing a book. Never ever say you’d also write a book if only you had time. 
  4. Don’t call the police if you happen to see a writer’s browsing history. The average writer is not planning to poison you,  hire a hitman, or move to Afghanistan. It’s simply research. 
  5. Leave a writer alone when the writer is actually writing. You have no idea how difficult it is to enter into the zone. 
  6. Don’t pick unfair fights with a writer, writers do get their revenge in print. 
  7. If you do pick a fight, make it memorable. The writer is always looking for material. 
  8. If your writer wanders off at a party, don’t panic. Writers love to inspect the host’s bookshelves and medicine cabinets. 
  9. Buy your writer notebooks and cute pens as gifts. Do not buy flowers. Chocolate is also acceptable.
  10. Leave your writer alone when a REJECTION LETTER arrives. After the deadly silence, screaming, crying, moaning, and muttering have subsided, offer your write a cup of coffee or tea. And a cupcake, preferably chocolate. * And a huge hug. 

And Tip # !! ~ looking for a gift for the writer(s) in your world? Maybe think about how welcome the above ten tips, hand-written in your own script, on nice sheet of stationary, would be to your writer..

Night Writer

I’ve come to find out that I’m doing things at night when I should be asleep. Things that I’m kind of amazed to find in the mornings. It’s not like I don’t remember what I’ve done exactly, just that I’m not aware of the full realm of what I’m doing at the time.

For instance writing. I find that I’m writing much about things I’d maybe not have shared had I been myself. I’m not looking for excuses, frankly there is nothing I even have to feel bad about. I hope. What I’m finding though is that sometimes I’ll start a piece with a very clear goal in mind, a vert distinct tale I want to tell. I’ll be passionate about the piece as I’m writing, getting carried away with the text of my feelings. Before I know it I look at the monitor and there are a hundreds of zzzzzz’s across the page.  I read further before the zz’s  and there is some very distinct feelings being shared about topics I’d normally keep private. I think it’s absolutely hysterical that it always seems to be the letter Z that my fingers fall asleep on.

That’s not too bad, right?

I could live with that. No biggie, just drag and highlight, hit delete. No biggie. And it’s quite noticeable even to these lethargic eyes of mine that  I can even get by with any spelling or grammar errors thanks to spell checker. So there are ways my fanny is covered when I’m spending my sleepless hours night writing.

What gets me in trouble are the sentences and paragraphs that I ramble on while discreetly nodding off over my laptop.

I’ll begin with a good idea, know what it is I want to say. Even know that there will be a learning curve to what I am trying to express during the hours of my exposition. I’ll even be able to write for several hours without ever feeling one bit of drowsiness.  But then it happens. I wake up after catching myself starting to drop my chin onto my chest. Finding line after line of Zzzzzzzzzzzz’s.

And the embarrassing parts. The rambling on’s about nothing that resembles what I was writing about, and not even that anything that makes any sense. I’ve taken the time to read a few lines, or what I can read. It’s Night Writing and looks like someone else has taken over my fingers. With a story of their own to tell.

I’m working through a writing program called “Writing Life Stories” by Bill Roorbach. I belive what is happening during those minutes or hours (I’ve no clue of how much time is passing) of Night Writing is that the last lesson is still planted firmly in my mind. Sometimes I will have dome the work that day, and sometimes all I was able to do was that day’s reading assignments. My Night Writing is an obvious extension of that day’s lesson.

Rambling on about “scaffolding” and ‘generic disclaimers” comes from what I’m learning in this writing course. It’s obvious since this terminology is not mine and is the Instructors. I find that I will have started a piece with a goal towards expressing a day spent with my grandson, and when I come back from the Night Writing I read the words of a rambling student regarding the scaffolding of any story written, let alone mine.

It’s obvious the lessons are sticking, but this Night Writing could be dangerous. Rambling on with a keyboard during an altered awake period is like writing drunk ( I actually would not know) Things that are not always in my consciousness are definitely there in my unconsciousness and while my brain would normally show some restraint with my finger tips, during Night Writing this censorship is not in place. And because so anything could come out.

It’s a good thing I have yet to post one of these Night Writer examples. a good thing that publishing has not taken place until I’m conscious of what I am doing. Thankfully I am able to edit and censor what should not be shared, and what is junk.

I’ve heard stories of people with chronic insomnia like myself who have done some pretty strange things during the time they should be asleep. I’ve read and researched this phenomenon that can take place, of actions drawn out while the body and mind should be asleep together. Not working against one another.  There are all kinds of weird and even some real dangerous actions taken by people who are not sound asleep in a safe environment. With the three stages of sleep it’s easy to see why this can happen, yet that does not make me feel any lighter. Or any better. It’s still a creepy feeling to wake up and find words you don’t remember writing. It’s a very weird sensation and despite knowing that it was me that wrote everything there I still find myself looking around for some culprit who worked their way into my writing. And into my night.

But alas there is no one else around and I have to face up to that it is I that is doing this alter ego writing. And I find other stories, other memories out of the times of Night Writing. So maybe it’s okay, and maybe since I’m able to articulate some of that which is in my subconscious this is a healthy thing.

Maybe there is some good reasons and outcomes for those times of Night Writing,   I’m learning even more about myself and the life around me.

tjhelser 2012