Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Seeker

"Do not seek to follow the footsteps of the wise. Seek what they sought." -Matsuo Bashō

When people ask writers for advice, they give the same answers over and over, in various forms. Still, it all comes down to one thing: Just write! Those are wise words that fit the quote above perfectly.

I don't feel like myself when I don't write, and because of my lack of writing over various months, a bit of myself is incomplete. I need to write! I can't use the full time job or anything else as my excuse any longer. It is time to take some sort of action by getting back into better habits (including exercise).

Over the years, I have noticed that there are things that help me write:
  • Eating first. If I am hungry, there is nothing on my mind more than when I will get to eat. Starving myself gets me nowhere.
  • Having something to drink by my side can help so I don't have an excuse to get up. It also makes me feel smart sitting there holding a cup, contemplating something. When I have an aha! moment, the clink of the cup as I set it down in haste is very satisfying.
  • Reading beforehand can inspire the brain to start turning if struggling a bit. It sets my mind on the task of words.
  • Reading afterward reminds me why I write and it relaxes me and brings contentment of my small accomplishment of the day.
  • Music has always been a big part of writing. I use to have my stereo set up on my desk growing up and I would have music blaring as I read and wrote (by hand). Now I make playlists on my computer. Right now I put on Joe Hisiashi's music from Hayao Miyazaki's movies while I write KIN.
  • I can't expect blogs or tweets to help me to write, but they can be inspiring or give me tips. For example, I was curious about the word count of young adult books. The standards have changed, but what would be a good number to have as a type of goal? You can now use Amazon see word counts for most books. However, this does not count as writing.
  • Research is something that help me really take something and then write about it. I mostly use this in my editing phase or it can be easy to get distracted.
  • I use my blog posts, tweets, and Google Calender to help me feel better about my progress or as a way to see that I am not writing as much as I would like.
  • My husband. He helps me so I have more time to write. For example, he took over making our lunches so I would have a little more time in the evening to write. All his idea, by the way. (I am one lucky girl!)
  • Lastly, to just simple believe.
Then there is this post. It is a reminder of what I am learning about myself and what is useful and, well, not so useful. It is good to do some checks and balances.

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