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message 1: by Danielle (new)

Danielle (dreamelis) | 53 comments I was just wondering how many of you consider yourselves writers, and (here's the weird part) for those of you who do, how much writing do you do?

I've always considered writing to be one of the few things I really do well, and I used to do wuite a bit. In recent years, though, I've done very little outside of what I've done for school. It seems like every time I come up with something I want to write, either I'm in the car, or it's because I'm incredibly depressed about something. The big catch-22 is that I need to feel in the moment to write, but when I'm in the moment of anything reasonably profound, I'm TOO emotional to write coherently.

Jackie "the Librarian" | 8993 comments I'm crossing my fingers for you, KD.

I don't write, but I occasionally get asked if I ever plan on writing a book, since I READ so much.


message 3: by Danielle (new)

Danielle (dreamelis) | 53 comments Ooo, what's the 33 1/3 project? Or aren't you allowed to say?

And yes, good luck!

message 4: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17320 comments Mod
Good luck KD!

I write every day too. I'm not in consideration for a book, but I'd like to have some articles published in journals soon.
I've filled journals galore, and over the years I've kept more than a few personal blogs. Every morning I write - I feel like it is my voice, my strength, and like you D, it is what I do well.
That is why I'm so pleased with myself for landing this job teaching writing. It feels right.

message 5: by Lori (last edited Jan 16, 2009 07:01PM) (new)

Lori I consider myself the next Great American Writer.

If only I could think of a plot. And oh, I guess writing itself would be helpful.

Hey, I write posts on the internet, alot, doesn't that count?

Best of luck to you KD.

message 6: by Danielle (new)

Danielle (dreamelis) | 53 comments So is it a brand new job, Sally? What level/ specific class are you teaching?

Yeah, plot is an issue for me too, to be honest. I write a lot of journal/memoir/blog-type stuff. Writing anything that even I consider worthy of being published is a different story. I do have a couple of pieces, but there's been way too much going on with me and polishing those pieces up and choosing publications to submit to has just not been a priority.

Jackie "the Librarian" | 8993 comments Ooh, neat! And what album would you be writing about, KD?

message 8: by Lori (new)

Lori KD do you mean because it would suddenly be of more interest?

Heh, I used to play Something/Anything alot when it came out. Whatever happened to Rundgren?

Sally, I missed that tidbit before, that's so cool! Am I getting you confused, but you just got your degree last year, right?

Jackie "the Librarian" | 8993 comments Why? What happened to Ocasek?

message 10: by Lori (new)

Lori Well, look who he married!

message 11: by Dave (last edited Jan 16, 2009 08:09PM) (new)

Dave Russell Lori makes an excellent point.

Jackie "the Librarian" | 8993 comments Yeah, but Todd Rundgren? He sounds like a GIRL!

message 13: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments ok, one more shout out to you for now. as for writing, i am working on two book projects currently. might not ever get done and maybe they are just for me but i carry on. i am posting some of my memoir style writings on my goodreads site. check them out if you want in my "writings" section and message me if you have an opinion. go ahead, i can take it....

message 14: by Cyril (new)

Cyril I've written a couple of science fiction short stories, but they were rightfully rejected by the magazines I submitted them to. I think I have some great ideas, but they never seem to come out right when I translate them to paper. There's this comedic screenplay I've been working on that I think is actually pretty good, but I never get around to finishing it.

message 15: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17320 comments Mod
Lori, I got my degree in 2000 in Humanities, and finally returned to school in 07 to finish my teaching license and get a masters in English.

message 16: by Lori (last edited Jan 16, 2009 11:04PM) (new)

Lori Yay, I actually remembered something right!

But now I'm remembering about that writing class - cause you were giving Amanda your assignments! I don't come here that often anymore, but still, haven't seen her at all in a long time. Is she still here? I miss you Amanda!

message 17: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17320 comments Mod
Last time she was around she said something about taking a step back or taking a break from her GR addiction, I do believe. I miss her too! Amanda!

Right about the writing assignments. It was fun, last semester, after a while the class would come up with their own free writing topics, and then we'd all share for the first 10 minutes of class or so.

message 18: by RandomAnthony (last edited Jan 17, 2009 01:39AM) (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments Ok, Lori demanded that I look at pictures of Ric Ocasek's wife, so I will. Back in a couple hours.

No, I write pretty much every day in my blog. I also self-published a collection of poetry as a teenager and I'll probably do it again within the next year or so, just for fun. Tadpole and I were laughing about the phrase "big in poetry" a couple days ago...I write on that end for fun, for cathartic value, for stress release.

Academic writing, unfortunately, muddies the water. I wrote a dissertation...220 pages, I think, and I learned a lot about writerly discipline from the process. Like I wouldn't have it for fiction. But I've had some academic articles published and will continue on that path until I get bored. I'd actually like to work on more of a narrative of working with millennial students because most of what is out there in academia is dry and almost unreadable.

Good question, Danielle, by the way...

message 19: by Danielle (new)

Danielle (dreamelis) | 53 comments As I'm finishing up my undergrad degree in psych this semester and will be working in one of the professor's labs, I'll be getting into some academic writing too. And I think you're right RA, it helps in terms of discipline; both in terms of getting the writing done and doing it techinically well.

I have a really hard time with fiction too. There's one story I'm working on. It's funny, but going very slowly and I don't really have much of an idea of what it's about. I'm just sort of letting it take its course.

I write poetry sometimes too. It's something I never really meant to do. I had tried in high school, as most high school kids do, and quickly found out I was terrible a it. I'm way too analytical; same reason I can't write songs. But it's quite cathartic and works nicely when there's one specific idea or feeling you really need to get out. I actually posted a blog on MySpace several months ago when I found some of my poetry from a few years ago. I took exerpts from a few pieces which, although still really bad, I sort of like. It's terribly embarrassing, though.

And thanks, RA. I was pleased to finally have a question that I thought might actually arouse a little discussion.

message 20: by Kirk (new)

Kirk | 154 comments Yeah, but Todd Rundgren? He sounds like a GIRL!

Jackie! Maybe compared to the guy from The Crash Test Dummies ... but TR is downright basso profundo compared to Justin Timberflake, et. al.

Plus he had an awesome tailor:
Talk about presentation ruining a good song....

message 21: by Dan (new)

Dan Schwent (akagunslinger) I write in my blog about five times a week. As for fiction, I go in spurts. I participated in NaNoWriMo this year and finished, then wrote nothing in December. When I'm in the mood, I to try to write about 2000-3000 words a day but lately it's been more like 1000.

message 22: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jesstrea) how did NaNoWriMo go for you Dan?

message 23: by Jackie "the Librarian" (last edited Jan 17, 2009 11:26AM) (new)

Jackie "the Librarian" | 8993 comments Kirk, oh my gawd!!! Todd Rundgren was Birdman?!? I had no idea.

Was everyone high in the 70s? Is that what's going on here?

message 24: by Matt (new)

Matt | 819 comments Lori (r: m6) - I have just the opposite problem. I can come up with plots galore (not saying they are always good plots, but still...). My issue is with the transitional parts. Getting a character up a flight of steps or through a dialogue heavy social interaction just kills me.

KD - Good luck with the "Fun House" negotiations. That book sounds right up my alley!

Had an enlightening conversation with a GR author awhile back that brought up two questions that I will pose for anyone in the mood to answer:

1. When writing a piece, do you find yourself having a mental or physical outline of the plot beforehand and sticking rigidly to it or do you tend to just start writing and see what happens?
2. Do you write a first draft quickly and then polish it, or do you labor over every sentence the first time around so that little in the way of rewriting is needed?

I tend to stick to the plot in my head fairly rigidly, because I don't trust that my characters will not hit the snooze button repeatedly and thus be late for the story. I also tend to oscillate on the second question depending on my current mood when writing.

message 25: by Dan (new)

Dan Schwent (akagunslinger) Jessica wrote: "how did NaNoWriMo go for you Dan?"

I finished the story I started a few days ahead of schedule. It was more of a learning experience than anything else. Next NaNoWriMo, I'm going to prepare in advance instead of coming up with something the day before it starts.

message 26: by Lori (new)

Lori Was everyone high in the 70s? Is that what's going on here?"
Pretty much!

tadpole, maybe we should write a book together, ha!

You raise some good questions. I've often heard of characters coming alive and taking a story in a whole new direction that has the author scrambling with surprise!

message 27: by Dan (new)

Dan Schwent (akagunslinger) To answer Tapole's questions:
1. When I start something, all I have in mind are the characters, the ending, and possibly a situation or two I know I want to include. Other than that, anything goes. I find that if I do have an outline, I continously revise it as I go anyway.

2. I usually push out the first draft as fast as I can. After that, I'll let it simmer for a while before I pick it back up. If I wait long enough, I can almost forget I wrote it and thus feel free to tear it apart mercilessly.

message 28: by [deleted user] (new)

To answer Jackies question RE#28 - YES

message 29: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 777 comments Hi,
I consider myself a writer. I'm writing a memoir right now and I'm fairly close to finishing the rough draft. I write in my journal a lot, I write poetry when the muse flies by and drops one in my head, but for prose, I don't sit around and wait on her--can't do that. I've had several short pieces published and used to have a monthly column. One fun project I worked on was with a local guy who created a superhero named EraserMan and he had the toys manufactured in Taiwan, did the marketing, had a plot in mind and he hired me to write the book and another man to illustrate it. It turned out to be a coloring book with a full story and activities and stuff. We had a newspaper series for a while and went to events to read to kids. It was fun, but it never went anywhere, just sort of fizzled out. The most exciting thing was getting published in a few national magazines and being in line at Target or somewhere and seeing "my" magazine on the rack! That was a big thrill! I felt like saying to all the strangers around me--hey-I have an article in there!! But I restrained myself. I'm on pins and needles right now, waiting to hear about a play I entered in a ten minute play festival! But my book is my baby right--I think about it all the time and work on it whenever I can.
Are you guys in writing groups? I mean in person groups, not on-line? If you can find a good writer's group it makes all the difference in the world!
Good luck KD--and everyone else working on projects and contemplating it!

message 30: by David (last edited Jan 18, 2009 09:12PM) (new)

David Katzman (daviddavid) And a good morrow to you all. I do so as such consider myself to be a writerly sort. Great scott, many a day I'll sharpen the old pen and sketch out a novella or three. I've been known to doodle up a penultimate tale as such on the back of a napkin at Denny's or International House of Pancake. And to wit, i'll take a buzz at some character back story that turns out to be deeply felt and resonate as such with the masses and their huddled ways. Realism, yes that's my forte, where i hunch down with my gun of words and pick off the huns of post modernique as they charge my forte. My sentences are frequently so perfectly carved, like wedges of fine cheese, that they can cut like knives and leave the reader hungry for more cheese--but why read another word beyond mine? What can I say, I've earned millions just in the tossing off of a sentence or three. Is honesty bragging? Well then, so be it. Brag away. I'm on a first name basis with writing, Mr. Writing to you. Yes, writing has been a good friend to me, we often share pina coladas by the fire on a wintry day such as this evening. My metaphors are known to be sublime or at least sublemon, to those metaphorically impaled. My similes ring 'round the world like rings. That are around the world. Do i consider myself a writer? Pshaw, if i may say so myself, the question should be does writing consider itself to be written? Or to put it an other way, does writing when it comes from my pen consider itself to be worthy of me that it came from?? Or more precisely, the paper that i write upon. Does that paper consider itself worthy of the words that i have there upon placed upon it? Or in some cases, the computer monitor that i have graciously typed words through and that are then visible to the naked eye, as NAKED as an eye can be...YES!!! That is the question.

Jackie "the Librarian" | 8993 comments Yes, David can certainly crank out the words. Apparently he's from the bulk bin school of writing.

message 32: by Heidi (last edited Jan 20, 2009 06:16AM) (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments I like to write. I do write.

message 33: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 777 comments I got some news that bummed me out big time--I entered a play in a 10 minute play festival around here and it wasn't selected. :( I really had my hopes up.

message 34: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments Don't give up, Leslie! Everybody gets rejected...some of the best got rejected a lot.

message 35: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 777 comments Thanks Anthony, I'm not. I've had lots of rejection letters, I'm used to that. I just kept imagining what it would be like to see real actors portray what I wrote before an audience. Theater Oddesy has a ten minute play festival and one-minute play festival every year. I want to enter them both for 2009.
I'm thinking about researching other contests and maybe entering it in another one. And it's getting me toughened up for when I start trying to find an agent for my book--right? I appreciate the encouragement!

message 36: by Meen (new)

Meen (meendee) | 1733 comments I loathe rejection, and that is why no one besides my closest friends will ever read anything I've written. I can't stand the thought of my writing being shredded. It's too personal, too much of ME.

message 37: by David (new)

David Katzman (daviddavid) Why thank you, kind King Dinosaurus. As a matter of fact, I was raised by wild thesauri in the wilds of the wilderness. So it's in my blood. The words, that is, not the thesauri who were decent parents to me if aimless wanderers in the woods. The woods of words, to wit! Yes, cut me, and i bleed words. Bring me the Bactine of the ABCs to staunch the flow! (Or the ABCtine, as the case may be.) I am world re-noun for my verbal procavities. My rap is unwrappable, a gift you won't regift. You can ladder my abCDs all the way to the bank.

But i digress...i thank you, and my father, Roget's International 6th edition, thanks you. Good tidings and felicitations upon you.

message 38: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 777 comments I know what you mean, Mindy--it is scary, putting ourselves out there. Sometimes I want to hide everything, but for a while now, I've this urge to let the world see me and if they don't like me--yeah, it does hurt my feelings, I'd be lying if I say it doesn't, but I try real hard to let it be that person's problem, not mine--which I'm not too good at, but I try. What if there is something you have to say that this world needs really bad? Just from talking to you on here, I wouldn't be surprised if that was true.

message 39: by Heidi (last edited Jan 21, 2009 07:03AM) (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments Has anyone on here ever tried the website urbis.com? I did it for a short while... it's a site where writers can post their writing, read and write legit critiques/feedback on others' writing for credit points... and supposedly get exposure to publishers. Those credits go towards unlocking their own critiques.

In theory, this is cool. In actuality, it sucks. The critiques are usually something like "Meh..." or "Nice!" And you have to send in a request for a refund of the credits you used to open someone's crappy review/feedback.

message 40: by Dan (new)

Dan Schwent (akagunslinger) I've never heard of urbis.com until just now. It does sound nice in theory.

message 41: by Sandy (new)

Sandy (FoggedIn) | 138 comments This is the reason I can never put pencil to paper and come up with "the real thing." I have a lot to tell, but what if nobody cares?

message 42: by Sandy (new)

Sandy (FoggedIn) | 138 comments PS: what is Meh?

message 43: by Heidi (last edited Jan 21, 2009 01:09PM) (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10825 comments It's like "Ehh..." with a "Mmm" sound in front... translates to "whatev..." (those would all be colloquialisms for unaffected reaction)

message 44: by Sandy (new)

Sandy (FoggedIn) | 138 comments OK. TYVM

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