I’m sorting out my house.

I tell people I am not goal-orientated, and I am not, as far as my writing is concerned – when I am doing it.  Oh, I might get to a point where I know what is going to happen in it – how it is going to resolve so far, at least – and I’ll jot down consecutive points before I forget them – but that not going very far ahead in the story – what I write does change as I go along.

And I suppose – that looks like a plot-plan, or as though I am working towards a goal.

I’m talking of way in my past here, when I was trying to write – romance at first because someone said money could be made at it – make my money, I thought, and then I could write my real writing – I’m jotting this down now as it comes – and then a science fiction – when the romance didn’t work – I wrote at least one of 50,000 words, which was the length the publisher was looking for – but unacceptable – it didn’t follow the standard procedure – I couldn’t control the writing in that way –

Enough prevaricating – I can’t tell everything all at once.

I’m sorting out my house, I say.

That is a – goal – of sorts – in the same way that I am sorting out my writing – I am going through it all, more or less in a chronological order of when I wrote it – long-term goals, both of those.

But I haven’t thought of those that way.

Those are two broad things that I am doing in my life.

But so far-reaching the ends of them are way in the distance, beyond where I can see, over the horizon.

I have just finished sorting through a load of tablecloths that I inherited.

I have washed them all but ironed none of them.

I have worked through a criterion of ‘what I like’.

And I won’t put tablecloths on the table as a matter of course.  I would like to be that way.  It was the way I was brought up.  It would be nice . . .

But going through all my writing takes as much of my space as – I mean ‘time’ but didn’t want to say so –

I have kept a few embroidered tablecloths.  Because I like them.

The others can go.

11 thoughts on “I’m sorting out my house.

    1. I’ve said what I have about the romance genre. When I was trying to write it, it was all heterosexual love. There is plenty of LGBT love-interest in literature now, but I’m not sure genre-wise. I said ‘Mills and Boon’. I think it was ‘Harlequin’ for North America in those days.

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      1. There’s a lot of bdsm today from what I’ve seen in my research. Ironically my friend mentioned a friend of hers writing “clean” love stories with happy endings, the so-called vanilla life, and is making decent income. So this just adds to my confusion. 😶

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      2. I think it comes down to what you can write – first off what you are comfortable with. Where your heart is, you could say. I suppose if you can relate, yourself, with what you are writing then it – might – I don’t know – come across as more genuine and believable. If your friend is making decent income from whatever market-place, look there and see what else they might accept – and see if what you want to write fits the bill. Years ago, I was trying to write for the market because all the advice I’d read said you should – know what genre you were going for, etc. Then I did a course with a writer-in-residence at a local library – she was from the US – and she suggested I give up trying to write for the market and concentrate on what I liked. If there is a market there that your friend does well with, and you want some money, and you feel as though you could do it, go for it. I used to think it would be more difficult to write the sexy stuff – I had family, after all – I was supposed to be – well, not knowing exactly about all that sort of stuff. So, you could look at it as an advantage if you could write that, or bdsm. Some writers write from the outside – have it all planned out – see Chuck Wendig – I like his stuff – his fiction – I couldn’t write the way he advocates – I read his ‘Damn Good Story’ – to write that way, for me, would take all the joy out of it. And then there are people who write from the inside – that’s what I call it – that is me and it doesn’t always work – you can get just so far through something – thousands of words – and can’t work out where to go next with it. But try reading – and I could very much recommend this no matter where you are coming from or trying to write – Stephen King’s ‘On Writing’. He has his own suspense story running through that, in between what he says about writing – and you can’t put it down. He advocates a sort of excavation. You find an idea, a line, a thought – you start digging around it . . . For better or worse that is the way that I write. But I’ve had this huge project going on for absolute years – I have diary after diary. I came to the conclusion that – try as I might – my stories, my novels – none as good as my diaries. Plus, there is a personal mission going on with me through that. Writing can be therapeutical. That is where I am. Old book, and plenty of other writers have picked up on the basic idea, but look at Dorothea Brande, ‘On Becoming a Writer’. You get up in the morning, before coffee or a cigarette (too much – way too much – have your coffee – I used to smoke then – I would have collapsed trying to write anything without that first cigarette – I don’t smoke now) – anyway – you just get a pen and paper, or your computer, phone or whatever you write on – and you just write. And write and write. You let come out whatever. You edit nothing. If you can’t think of what to put next you put ‘I can’t think of what to put next…I can’t think…). You write whatever – no guilt, no monitoring yourself – can’t think of the word – but if stuff comes on to that page that you wouldn’t want your mother to read, you let it. You do that for a specified amount of time. And then you see what’s there. You see what your deep concerns are. What you really care about.

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      3. They say write what you feel is best. I found that writing targeted to some specific audience “wants’ is not my thing. So the blog, for all intents and purposes, is giving me that little bit of practice in writing what I feel.

        But I edit. This is a family blog. I can’t always write purely from the heart.

        The romance stories…I don’t know. I am not a romantic person and the sex scenes are challenging enough as it is. But I found a way around it, which I won’t divulge here, but if you want to take up an email convo I can do that. 🙂

        Still. The best and most luring, compelling reading I do is usually stuff that’s brutally honest and deeply personal. It’s almost like the author doesn’t give two hoots what anyone might think (or if they do they have found a way to let it become part of their comfort zone). That’s my journey now. Write that way, never mind judgement by others, and see what transpires.

        Thanks for the reading tips. Stephen King’s book is on my list, will put the other one on as well. 🙂

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      4. A post about blogging – I’m in the middle of it now. Problems with switching off the ‘typeover’. I’ll find my own way through that.
        I’ll email you when I can. Chat on about writing. Sometimes, there is more going on in my comments that in my posts! (I found this once before, with the last blog – I’ve only had two of them but followed closely someone else’s blog for a long time.)

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  1. I am going back years. It was Mills and Boon. As with everything, there was good and bad – I read quite a few of them (and the raunchy ones) – as you do – to get a feel for them. They seemed easy to write, and you could even send away for a tip sheet. It was – young, beautiful girl (‘girl’ being considered all right) – doesn’t realise she is beautiful. Naive. Meets older man. (Not very old.) Experienced. Had girlfriend already who was a money-grabber, basically. (The hero has to be rich.) Hero and heroine clash at first. Then start to fall in love. Older woman (his girlfriend) does some awful things to poor younger girl – she gets the man in the end. Sexy ones – she doesn’t have a clue. He knows everything. She is surprised at how she feels. I suppose they might have changed since then. But I just couldn’t write them. Writers were making a fortune and, as I say, some were very good within the genre guidelines.
    It’s worth writing them if you like them or feel drawn to them, if you understand the market and what you are going for. Self-publishing? What you need for that, and so on and so on.
    As far as I am concerned, there is writing from the outside – do a plot plan, know everything about all your major characters before you begin, even things that won’t get into the finished novel, you start with a crisis – in the case of romance it could literally be something like girl bumps into man (in the supermarket, say) – he is so rude – she hates him on sight – wait a minute – why is she attracted to him? Etc. Etc.
    But I can’t actually do that. I write from the inside – from how I feel – I get a sort of nudge to put something down. And then something else.
    I do courses and they all want you to write from the outside – they give you a title or a scenario and you write round that – to suit them, basically.
    Me? I get more and more unhappy with this type of thing.
    After many years, I realised that all my characters – even the ones I didn’t like – were me in one way or another.
    I started letting the writing come. I do edit. For years, I’ve been worried about editing out important things, but I’m more confident about that now.
    Early on, it seemed that I could only write love stories, really – what else did I know? I might be able to do some research for historical fiction.
    I was introduced to science fiction, fantasy, post-apocalyptic fiction – I was interested – much science fiction at the time wasn’t well-written, in my experience. Loved post-apocalyptic fiction. Found some good fantasy. Felt as though I couldn’t write it.
    I’m left with what I have. Not happy to call it ‘memoir’. But I write what I write – and it doesn’t all have to be ‘I’.
    I’d say go with what you can do. Writing it and finding a market are two different things. But I can’t write for a market – I tried for years. I need to get together what I can do as I can, and then look for someone to publish it. Might never happen, but I can’t work any other way.

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  2. I like the analogy between sorting table clothes and writing. And, I can relate to how you washed the table clothes but didn’t iron them – that’s exactly what I’d do.

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