Random Wednesday: What I hate about writing.

What do I hate about writing? That’s easy.

I hate writing.

CHILL THE FUCK OUT FOR A SECOND! THERE IS A TOTALLY LOGICAL EXPLANATION!

Ask yourself, do you like to exercise?

Yes. Everyone enjoys some level of activity once in a while. After I’ve been behind a desk for a few hours, I like to get up and walk around. Lately I’ve been taking all the baby gates down around the house and chasing after my toddler for fun in the evenings. I assure you he doesn’t stop moving and it’s tiring for both of us, mostly me. Every so often I also like to swim and do yoga with my daughter or see if I can muscle my husband off the bed just because I’m in a jerkish mood and I’ve randomly decided the middle is my claimed resting area.

Now, do you like cardio?

No. No person in their right damn mind likes cardio. If you say you do, you’re lying. It’s an activity that isn’t fun in any way shape or form but if you are trying to become healthier or maintain a level of health, cardio is one way to say, “I….:breaths heavy:…fucking….:wipes sweat off face:….did it.” And then you take your pony tail holder out and your greasy wet hair stays in a pony tail shaped form. Cardio is also something you can’t do just once. You have to exercise regularly for there to be a benefit. Anyone can tell you, if you want to live a healthy lifestyle – you have to do cardio!

Writing can feel exactly the same way. It’s a good activity. An idea comes to mind and you jot a few things down. Maybe a turns into a short story, maybe a clever email to a friend, or a blog post that seems to be going no where. But when you actually write for the sake of real accomplishment, it’s hard. It can even feel a little painful. And truth is, not everyone enjoys writing during every moment that they are writing. When I sit down on my lunch break to write down a few words I can tell you, there are other interesting things I rather be looking at online plus a book I’ve been meaning to read. But no. I’m committed to writing and this is the moment I have to do it, whether I like or not.

This why I say the hardest part about writing is writing and why at times I hate it. It’s the cardio exercise of creativity. You can’t just write once in a while. You can’t just write what sounds fun on days that are convenient. You have to write:

-Several days a week (try at least 3, move up to 5, take the weekends off).
-At least 30 minutes a day.
-Or-
-Set a word count and write until you get that word count whether it takes an hour or two hours. (This is how Nanowrimo works and why I use this method.)
-Write even when you don’t have an idea. You don’t need one. As soon as you start writing, they will come. Even if the first sentence you wrote was, “I should not have put hand sanitizer on before I ate my cookie.”

If I hate writing, why write? Well, there is that accomplishment factor that is pretty important. I don’t like writing, I’m not exactly sure if I am good at it, and my spelling is horrific. My vocabulary is pretty shitty, too. Don’t get me started on grammar. (note: I spelled grammar incorrectly ending it in -er until spellcheck highlighted my error, emphasizing my point.) But I write because I like to tell stories and I really enjoy the opportunity to use my imagination. I chose the avenue of writing because I enjoy reading. I appreciate anyone who can write a good story because they are incredibly talented and I am in awe of what some authors can do. They also remind me there are a lot of skills I need to sharpen, no denying that at all, but I can’t accomplish my goals if I don’t push myself to do something I don’t exactly enjoy all the time. I can’t wish I could run the Boston Marathon if I won’t get off my ass and try to run a mile.

It might have taken me several years to finish my first manuscript. But it took me less than a year to finish the second but I still have a lot of beta reading and editing ahead. Maybe next year I can write, beta read, and edit all in under a year.  I can promise you, I’m very happy reading what I have written and receiving the positive feedback I have received. It’s been a great motivation and it’s wonderful. But writing is hard, very hard. I can’t just wish a story to magically appear on paper. I’m going to have to write it even if I sometimes hate it.

That’s my take. Let’s read what some of the other authors have to bitch about:

Bronwyn Green

Jessica Jarman

Torrance Sené

 

 

 

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Random Wednesday: Promptly Penned

School is now in session and my quiet morning drive has turned into whole lot of fuckery.

As is my daily ritual, I email my husband to let him know that I made it to my destination unscathed. Today was titled “Traffic Report: WITNESS ME!” and I attached the following picture.

image
Back to school indeed.

And as it happens, today’s prompt for Promptly Penned is somewhat schooled inspired. Let’s see where this prompt takes us. It will be a surprise. Like the “proud trucker wife” decal toting, Jesus fish clad, truck I followed into town this morning that used a blinker a total of zero times.

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In school tests started with a class bell and ended with a “pencils down”, outside of school things weren’t so well defined. At least not when it came to drivers training. And I suppose I shouldn’t say things weren’t well defined. The lines painted on the black top of the back school parking lot were pretty well defined in bright yellow. If the lines weren’t enough to give a hint or two, a few well placed orange cones were pretty in your face. For most of us at least. There was the quiet kid who decided to punch the gas straight for the fence. He forced his driving partner to slam on the passenger side brake all the drivers training cars were equipped with. The car stopped in time however, only one of the kids in that car moved on to the next drivers training session. One very much did not. But downfall of obtaining a drivers license is not the test, written or driving. It’s not even the parallel parking or trying not to drive through fences. It’s having a hot mom and a Ford Tempo.

I drove a ’93 gray Ford Tempo and in the passenger seat logging the required driving hours was a short blonde with the greenest eyes you’ve ever seen. To say Mom was excited for me was an understatement. So much so, she was sitting next to me fudging my numbers and turning the 35 hours I did drive into the even 50 required to get a license.

“Think of it. Now, whenever we need milk you can drive to the grocery store for me! And you don’t have to worry about getting a ride home after school. You can drive yourself.”

“Yup.” I answered. Though I was more focused on the fact I could pick up fast food whenever I wanted but sure, I would occasionally pick up a gallon of milk when asked. I like milk.

By the time we arrived at the local college where the drivers test was to begin, a very large burly man was already standing by a setup of cones with a clipboard. As I pulled the car up, he signaled us to park and walked to the drivers side.

“Hi, I’m Phil. I’m going to be your tester today. First, I’m going to ask you to step out of the car and keep it running. I have to do a vehicle check.”

I got out of the car and he reached in to activate the turn signal, walked around the outside of the car to make sure all the lights were blinking. At that moment, he noticed her. Burly man meet hot Mom.

“And who are you?”

“I’m her mother.”

“What? No. How old are you? You can’t be past 30!”

My Mom blushed and shrugged in her own little cute way. I stood there observing in my tall skinny awkward teenage kind of way.

Phil gave the car a pass though technically there was a single light out in the middle brake light located in the back window. It wasn’t a major brake light and it was still semi-functioning. Good enough to get in the car with a hot blonde and her gangly child. There was a slight problem. While Mom had no problem sliding into a back seat of a two door compact car (and I’m sure there is a joke in that statement) our flirtatious Phil was a tall, thick, “before” picture of a weight loss commercial. He hesitated only for a brief moment before climbing in one arm and leg at a time. From here on our adventure began with the car listing slightly on the right.

“I want you to take a left out of the parking lot. I also want you to physically move your head when you are checking your mirrors so I can see your checking them. I know you are probably checking them with your eyes but I can’t see where your eyes are looking so I’m going to ask you to make it obvious for me when you look at your mirrors.” Phil rolled his body to a very uncomfortable looking position to face the back seat as best as he can. My Mom sat in the middle seat unbuckled, but Phil didn’t seem to notice or care. “This has to be your oldest.”

“No. She is actually my middle. I have two older and two younger yet.”

I stopped at a stop sign. No one was coming though I turn my head dramatically to make sure Phil knew that I’m looking. He didn’t tell me to turn so I assumed we’re going straight.

“Five kids! Get out of here! You do not look like you have five kids. I don’t have any myself but I do like kids. I’m actually a truck driver as a full time job. I just like doing this on the side. I think it’s fun.”

“Oh that’s interesting and very kind of you to help kids with driving. Especially since you are so experienced.”

For the record, I’m actually a good driver. I didn’t need my Mom to help me with the test. And she wasn’t. She was just being polite but man – was Phil laying it on thick.

“You have a really nice shade of blonde hair. Not many woman can pull off such a beautiful color like you can.”

“It’s highlighted but I am a natural blonde.”

See Phil, the carpet matches the drapes and you didn’t even have to go there to find out. Keep that mental image for later. Which is probably exactly what he does because he seemed mostly satisfied with where this conversation with my Mom is going and spends a little more time telling me were to turn and what to do. We go through a couple of back roads, jump on the highway for a few, exit to get some city driving in, and about thirty minutes later we’re back in the parking lot of the college.

Phil announces that I had passed my test and did a wonderful job. He only said, “You should use your mirrors more but then again, I tell almost everyone that. I’m sure you were using them and just not turning your head enough for me to see.”

Teenage self wanted to yell at him. “If you weren’t facing the back seat the entire time you would have seen I was using my goddamn mirrors!” I didn’t. Rather I thanked him for the note, promised to do better, and once more thanked him for driving with me.

On the way home my Mom seemed in a good mood. She rehashed how well I did on my test and how proud she was. Then she listed off all the documents we would need to get before we head to the DMV to finally get my license. While I’m sure my Mom was still on Phil’s mind, Phil was only briefly on my Mom’s. “That tester of yours was sure chatty. Very nice though. I think you were lucky to have such a nice one. Oh, before I forget. Swing by the store. We need milk.”

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Thank you for reading my flash fiction today!

Here are the other participants:

Jessica Jarman

Bronwyn Green

Kris Norris

 

 

Random Wednesday: Note to My Future Self

Dear Future Jessica,

How exactly do you write to your future self? No clue. I’m not sure who came up with this prompt. At this point I’m not even sure if you are still writing with the same people I am writing with now. And you can’t blame anyone other than yourself, you never suggest any prompts. Work on that. As you already know, and I am still learning, the group grows, people get busy, stop blogging as much, lose interest, and then a new round of fresh faces joins in. Maybe in the future, I won’t be the only non-romance/erotica author in this blogging group. Doubtful. People do like their healthy dose of long lost love and dicks.Who knows, maybe you should get into writing romance or erotica and join the crowd?

Everything she was saying felt right but his fleshy turkey neck tucked under his belt to hide his erection from pitching a tent for four felt so wrong. 

Okay. Writing sexy things is not for me. But, if this letter is really for future me, I hope my future self doesn’t forget my past self.

Why did I write for this prompt? Why did I join the blog group? Why do I write at all?

Well, future you, I wrote this letter as a reminder to keep writing. I also hope you are still reading, too. I hope you are still enjoying the art of written words with others. And I hope you are educated and experienced enough by the time you read this, you are helping other young writers discover their love for writing.

One more thing, do more yoga. That’s just a general reminder. It makes you less fussy and no adult likes to be called “fussy”.

~Past Jessica

P.S. Remember on twitter when Bronwyn referred to spiders as “Satan’s snowflakes”? That was freaking hilarious.

P.P.S. Don’t forget these people:

Jessica Jarman

Bronwyn Green

Gwendolyn Cease