the problem with writing is, if you start to actually get going and really write something half-decent, your momentum is slowed to a halt before very long by writer’s cramp. i hate it. my hand and wrist cramp up until i can barely hold the pencil anymore [i’m a pencil person, and use them over pens whenever i can], and even if i stop, take a break, stretch out the muscles, even do some scales on the piano [scales and arpeggios are amazing for stretching out your hand], i can only go so far before i have to stop.
i have to stop after around ten pages, now. [i managed nearly twelve yesterday.] after that, my only hope is getting the pain to stop so that i can do other things; if i so much as pick up a pencil for the rest of the day, it will invariably come back. ten pages, if written without too much stopping and thinking, is only a few hours of writing in one day. i hate having to stop when i know i have the ideas for more! the next day i forget half the stuff i meant to say; maybe i can still capture the basic idea, but the phrases, sometimes whole scenes which played themselves out in my mind are lost forever. grrr.
“learn how to relax your hand when you write,” my dad says. i try. i do. i’ve tried holding the pencil different ways, tried pencils with fancy grips, smooth pencils, ridged pencils, even this funny thing you slip around the pencil and grip to cushion your fingers or something; but i always go back to my old, bad habits. it’s improved some, though, or at least my endurance has, because i couldn’t do ten pages in one day a few years ago.
“why don’t you write on the computer?” my mom will suggest if i complain to her. i’ve tried that, too. i write a lot of my journal entries on the computer now, as you can probably guess from this thing. i can get a lot more done on the computer, and i do use it to write a lot of things. but not stories. for fiction, i need to be in my room, in my beanbag chair, in silence with a pencil in my hand and a notebook [wirebound] in my lap. i need that focus to really write anything good. i can’t focus on the computer. i use it for second drafts, revisions; after i’ve written the first bit out by hand, i type it up on the computer and proofread, edit, what-have-you. but it needs to be written on paper first.
i suppose you’re thinking right about now that, since i’m doing all this complaining about writing, i’ve started working on my novel again like i was talking about. nope. of course not. i thought about it for a few days — looked over my old drafts, notes, and the like; brainstormed ideas for how the new version was going to go; even started thinking about that crucial first scene.
but since i did the new layout for this journal, after my initial grumblings about html that doesn’t work right, i wanted to do more. more webpages, at any rate. so i started looking over my old ones, and i discovered that the hosting servers i was using really sucked. that led to finding a new host and transferring all my pages there, so they’d all be together at last, and then i started to realize some were a little outdated, so i was updating them . . . and i stumbled onto a story i’d been writing called the chronicles of an azalea.
it’s the life story, basically, of my harper’s tale character azalea, who is now called azae. i started it a year ago, and worked on it on and off until last april, when i more or less forgot about it. naturally, when i saw how long it had gone without a new installment, i immediately began thinking of where it could go next, and there went any pretense of working on my novel.
so! i’m writing more of that now, even though practically my novel would probably be better. [for example, i could show the novel, if i ever got anywhere with it, to more people than just the few friends online who know something about the pern world and probably about azae, too. not to mention i could think towards publishing the novel someday, while this thing can’t be, since it’s using anne’s world and not mine.] since it’s the only story of mine currently online and that’s most likely going to be the way things are for much of the near future [seeing as i don’t have any other stories i’d want other people reading in their current condition, with maybe the exception of my utena fanfic, and you need to have seen all thirty-nine episodes of utena to understand that one], if you want an example of my writing besides my journal entries [which tend to be rambly and filled with lots of parentheses], you’ll have to go read that and hope you can understand the pern world. which isn’t that hard.