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Michael's Book Babble

I'm an indie author and a scribbler of inane babble. I talk about books I've read/liked. Or at least, that's the plan.


Most of the reviews will be considered "mini-reviews." Usually, it's mostly my reaction to what I've been reading. There are people who are far better at doing full and helpful reviews. But I still have fun doing them, and hope you enjoy them!

Writing Babble 12/12/15

Some babble on writing (feel free to skip)


It’s no secret, this has been the worst year for writing for me. I haven’t experienced a creative drought like this in quite some time, and it’s definitely discouraging as all hell. For a while, I was afraid I’d lost my passion for the written word, and that scared the living crap out of me. Whenever I’d sit down and write, I’d get easily distracted by something—or it wouldn’t feel like writing at all. Maybe it’s because I’m on the computer so much (for work and at home) that it didn’t really feel like I was doing anything.


Then I read this excellent article on one of my favorite writers, Joe Hill. I highly encourage everybody to read it (check it out here). While there are tons of helpful stuff in it, this is what stuck out to me:


“Neil (Gaiman) suggested I try writing first drafts longhand. Suddenly, writing was freeing. I love that part of the day where I’m away from the internet and the phone, and I put on my record – a real record, a vinyl record, not the iPod; lately it’s been the Decemberists – and I write longhand. I’ll write notes to myself in the margins and I’ll write one sentence and then I’ll rewrite the sentence above it. Trying out different sounds. It just feels so much more freeing than sitting there at the computer.”


It made sense to me. So I sat down this morning with a notebook and a pen—and holy crap ,I was writing again! I had it all wrong. I didn’t have a creative block. I just needed to feel like I was actually writing something, and boy does it ever feel like writing. Writing longhand gives me the permission to not be neat and tidy—a permission I always knew I had when it comes to first drafts, yet typing in Microsoft Word makes it feel like you have to be neat.


The great thing is when I have my notebook on the desk, the computer gets turned off. I can’t casually visit the Internet or decide I’m going to play World of Warcraft all of the sudden. With the laptop on the floor and my notebook on my desk, I’m actually focused to get some writing done. And now I don’t care about the word count. Writing a few pages feels like I actually got something accomplished today.


Sometimes we just need to turn the damn computer off. That’s all it really comes down to, at least in my case it is.