Wednesday, March 2, 2016

IWSG Composing with Heart


Hello, March! With a new month comes another session of the awesome writer's support group:

IWSG!!!

This group is the brain child of the amazing Alex J. Cavanaugh and exists to offer writers a safe haven, where they can voice frustrations, worries, fears or whatever troubles them. It's also a place where writers can offer support, words of encouragement or any other shining bits of hope. But the group doesn't stop there and has SO much more to offer. It's worth a visit here if you haven't run across this before.


Thanks also goes to Alex's co-hosts this month:
 Lauren Hennessy, Lisa Buie-Collard, Lidy, Christine Rains, and Mary Aalgaard


For over a year now, writing hasn't been so much a 'flow of words' for me as much as a 'forcing them through a concrete wall with a sledge hammer'. Although there are several reasons for this, I think some of it's a mental block. While writing, I keep catching myself wondering if the story is marketable. Is it something that can finally get published? Can it sell?

This last week. . .while procrastinating (another reason words don't flow). . .I happened to see a show about a composer, who was chasing her musical dreams.

Here's the nut-shell version: her songs caught immediate attention and the band she wrote for soon shot to the top of the charts. However, there was another composer who was better than her and blocked her band's chances at gaining more popularity (oh that TV drama!). Determined to write a song to 'defeat' her rival's, she sat down night after night, writing her little heart out. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn't write a song that could beat his. . .in fact, everything she wrote was even worse than the songs she had once written before. The special glimmer in her music was gone.

Why? (I'm betting you can guess!) Because she no longer wrote from the heart. She was so determined to gain popularity and fame that she forgot why she was writing music in the first place.

Of course, this doesn't do a perfect, fairy tale flip-flop into real life. As writers, we do have to keep our audience in mind, and like it or not, there are genres and themes that sell better than others. Still, we can only write our best when we enjoy writing. . .when it comes from the heart.

See, TV shows are good for us writers!

26 comments:

  1. I've had a rough time pushing the words through, as well, and for the same reason. I recently discovered that a "best selling" male author has a series out with a very similar premise to mine. I read it, and my story is quite different. But if we were both to state the premise, they would sound the same.

    So, the heart kind of went out of me. I'm still writing, but with a doomed feeling that people will say, "He already did it - and better, cause he's a guy. So why do we want yours?"

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    1. So, erm, he's nowhere near as cool as you. Don't care what his books are like.

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    2. I agree with Crystal on this one!

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    3. Cause he's a guy is exactly why you should tell your story!

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  2. Writing comes in waves for me and the waves come faster IF I do as you've suggested here and write what I love. It's hard, though, when you see what's selling and what's going on the Who's WHO of the writing world. But the truth is, even if your work becomes a best seller if you didn't love it, if the subject matter isn't in your heart of hearts all those sequels will fizzle out. It's been a hard lesson for me to learn but thankfully I'm finally there!

    Now I just have to loosen up these stiff joints that winter caused and get back to the keyboard and write!

    Nice to "meet" you! I wandered over as part of the IWSG list. Cheers!

    Jen

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    1. Great to 'meet' you too! I hadn't that of the sequels like that, but I could see the lack of love really being a problem when it comes to those.

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  3. Awesome reminder. It's far too easy to get caught up in the competition rather than the joy. I think it's healthy to take a step back every now and then to see where we're at and what our motivations are.

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  4. Exactly! We have to be the first ones to love what we are writing. And if we don't and it's not genuine, it will fall flat.

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  5. Amen.Amen. Amen!!!

    Thinking of writing as a business blocked me worse than Crystal's beloved cheese. I had to remind myself to write like no one is reading and just do it for the fun of it.

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    1. Lol! Crystal's cheese does that, huh?

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  6. I only realised this recently - that if I write from my heart and just enjoy what I'm writing, the words flow so much better and I feel so much better about my writing. It's definitely something to keep in mind! Great post :).
    And yes, TV shows are definitely good for writers ;)

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    1. I just have to remember not to watch too much TV ;)

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  7. We can totally learn from television and get inspired! There's writing there, too. ^_^

    I've had this exact same problem. In fact, I talked about this same thing today! (We must have been twins in a past life.) I've decided that since I'm also a reader, I am my own audience. If I love it, other people will love it, because I have great taste in entertainment. Lol! And honestly, so do you.

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    1. I was just about to head over to yours (saw the email reminder). Twins would be fun! And yes, you do have great taste, so no worries there!

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  8. Loved your description of forcing words through a cement wall with a sledge hammer. That's exactly what it's felt like for me. I need to relearn how to enjoy writing and write from my heart.

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    1. I'm thinking of pasting a huge sign on the wall this month to make myself remember to take writing a little more lightly.

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  9. Haha--yes. A heartfelt post, and I especially like the takeaway . . . that we should all watch more TV. Right? Right??

    It is discouraging when you realize what you love doesn't necessarily sell, but there are ways to *incorporate* what you love into whatever you do, and sell that! And who knows? Someday the stars may align, and what we love will be what others are drawn to as well. As for yourself, I hope you're only writing what you love, or finding ways to include it in your current WIP!

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    1. Oh, I'm having fun with the new WIP...probably too much fun!

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  10. What a thoughtful post!I think we all have spells like this and it's good to hear (see) another point of view. "when it comes from the heart" is so true, and don't worry, it's still there just waiting for the perfect prompt ;-)

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  11. I remember how Oprah said that she finished her talk show because she did not want to wait until she lost her spark to end it. No matter what you should put your heart in what you do and not let anything out your spark. Even if that means trying something new.

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  12. This is tough with no easy answer! Sometimes the struggle ends in a great product/novel, other times it helps to switch to a new project with new inspiration. It's hard to keep up that spark and momentum all the time.

    Here's my IWSG March post: How to Succeed at Twitter Without Really Trying

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  13. Such a great post... and something I have to remind myself of too... write for the love, not to match someone else because they are selling...:)

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  14. That's so true! If you're not writing from your heart, it will show through, and no one else with love it either.

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  15. Very true. And it's something I have to remind myself of a lot, especially when I'm plotting. Lots of stuff I want to write seems like it would be too weird to ever sell, but I know that trying to write something that would sell would lead to writing crap. So I stick to writing what I want and hope for the best. Nothing so far, but at least I like what I'm writing.

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