Archive for November, 2007

Happy Birthday to me

It’s my birthday today.

(Sound of wild cheering, laughter and happy singing.)

I was hoping to spend the day relaxing. I had planned to do a little reading, perhaps go for a walk in the cool of the morning, watch a good video or two and perhaps even watch a little of the cricket on television. In short – have a relaxing day.


I wrote this entry last night, just after receiving a phone call asking me to work all day. (I do occasional casual relief driving for a courier company.)

So my celebration of the BIG SIX OH will have to be put on hold for a few hours.

Good writing.

Writing when the wheels are spinning

I’ve had about four weeks of frustration with my writing and blogging. I feel like my wheels are spinning; lots of activity but I’ve been going nowhere.

Actually, the driving analogy is very apt. I seem to have done nothing but drive over recent weeks. I do occasional relief driving for a local courier company. I recently went back to work full time for three weeks. While the pay was good, the hours were very long and the work exhausting. Not a good time for writing. In fact, there was little time spare for writing. I’m still trying to catch up with my email.

I’ve been trying to get back to the writing this week but I have really struggled to build momentum again after such a long break. I will not call it the dreaded “writer’s block” but it was not far from it. Many writers experience dry periods where it is a struggle to get the writing moving again. There may be plenty of activity – like the engine revving and the wheels spinning – but there is little if any forward movement. Sometimes we just can’t get going.

Robert over at the Middle Zone Musings writes about this topic too. His post called “How to counter the dreaded blankpageitis.” In this post he refers to my short story starters. These posts I have written are designed to get you writing so what about it? Give it a go – it can be great fun.

Good writing.

Another article worth reading – with several suggestions I know help me can be found here: Life sucks – writing on the bad days.

Writing history as fiction

A few weeks ago I wrote about the family reunion we recently attended.

I made the following observation:

With the launch of the family history book, the bare bones of the history and heritage of my family has been well documented. I enjoy reading historical accounts but this book could only tell part of the story. During our celebrations last weekend I couldn’t help but think that the story of my family’s epic struggle for survival would make a wonderful novel or series of novels – even a film.

Turning history facts into fiction has some advantages and some pitfalls as well.

One of the advantages is that you basically have the plot line already. In many cases historical accounts are full of drama and lend themselves to retelling in fascinating ways that only a novel can achieve. It may well bring the story to life with real characters, real events and a totally believable story line.

One of the dangers, however, is that the facts may need to become blurred at the edges in order for the story to remain interesting. This may upset the historical purists, especially where family is concerned. It may be expedient to tamper with the truth for the story to remain consistent, or for the plot to be believable.

Novels and films that are “based on a true story” often raise more questions than they answer, but that sounds like the start of another article.

Good writing.

Just a thought – about talent and writers

“The most exciting place to discover talent – is in yourself.” Ashleigh Brilliant

Truly great writers have a gift.

Gifted writers are a rare breed. Each generation sees only a handful of really gifted writers emerge.

What about the rest of us who call ourselves “writers”? What about those of us who must write, no matter what? What about those of us who are addicted to this writing life, where no day is really satisfying unless some writing has occurred?

Many writers have what I would call a talent for writing. That, they can string words together in an interesting and entertaining way. Many are able to make us laugh, or cry, or enrage us with their words. Others can stir us to action or inspire us to change our ways. All of these writers have talent, an ability to get the words down in a coherent way. They have learned how to communicate with their readers.

Effective communication through writing can be taught. It can be developed through effective teaching and hard work on the part of the writer. Plenty of guidance and practice can sharpen the talent even further.

Good writing.