Writing Crutches.

Raiding my e-mail, I’ve come across another helpful Write To Done article, Character Emotion: Is It Written All Over Their Face? The article talks about why focusing on facial expressions might not be a good idea because it can slow down your narrative.

Oops.

I do that, rely on facial expressions. It’s another one of my crutches. Got to add that to the weakness list. That’s ok, I can already foresee ways that I can and will turn it into a strength.

Do you have any writing crutches you’re trying to kick to the curb?

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Confronting the Void

Yesterday, I woke to chaos.

I’ve never been an organized person, but more and more I’ve come to realize that my old “controlled-chaos” habits no longer serve my needs. So, I took a deep breath and threw myself into the work with the same bull-headed determination I apply to most tasks. The morning consisted of ripping the room apart just to put it back together. I can see my floor now. This is a huge accomplishment. Going through the motions did more for me than just on an aesthetic level, it helped to relieve me of the mental clutter I’ve been dragging around for the past year.

It seemed like such a pain in the ass at first. Yet now, having done it, I feel a lot better. I can take my goals without feeling so claustrophobic and boxed-in.

I can pat myself on the back and tell my inner critic, “See? I’m not worthless or any of those other nasty things you called me. I can do things, just look!”

Back in 2010, I was heavy into my training in the hopes of enlisting in the British Armed Forces. Running, once the bane of my existence, had become the foundation which made or broke my daily workout regime. If I didn’t get out the door to do a run, the whole day fell apart. And there were days, especially in England, where the weather outside greatly affected my enthusiasm.

Adapt or die. I adopted the runner’s mantra quickly, “The first step out the door is the hardest.” Suddenly, I actually quite enjoyed running in the rain.

Put another way, you can’t edit a blank page. And maybe the first word is the hardest.

In The Artist Way, Julia Cameron called it ‘resisting the jump’. I prefer ‘confronting the void’. Sometimes, you just need to show up and look (pay attention), and you’ll discover there’s a light down in the abyss after all. Other times, you may need to bite the bullet, to take the leap.

If I’ve learned anything in all of this, it’s that bull-headed determination and a dash of courage can go a long way. Don’t fear the void.