Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Summer Writing Musings

This is my writing, thinking space this summer. The chairs on the grass are a good spot to read if the weather isn't damp

My second book in the Stella Page series is off being formatted. My head is trying to form another book in the series.
I am learning how to write at the same time as I am learning how to self publish. Sometimes it all comes together just the way it is supposed to and other times it seems a total mess. Can be very frustrating for a "get it done and move on" type like myself.
While I was sitting looking at what Mother Nature has given to us this summer I started to think about writing as a profession. I have come to it later in life in some ways thinking that as a long time reader and teacher I could put all those stories down on paper that were swirling in my head. As anyone who writes seriously could have told me that is seldom how it happens. 

I thought about how I approach preparing food and how my friends or family members prepare meals as a way of describing my writing process and those of other people I know. This is all conjecture on my part and if anyone who reads this thinks I probably mean them it is only because they recognize themselves in my feeble attempt to explain and not because I really know how they write or cook since I am not in the room when they do it. 
I can be very recipe oriented especially when I am preparing one dish that is new. But my attention span for constantly having to read and reread a recipe gets shorter and shorter. I often begin to wing it as the menu gets larger. My dinners tend to be partly logically prepared and partly what I call creatively prepared. 
When I think of friends that I know who are very serious about their recipes and who follow them carefully I suspect their writing is done in the same way. Other friends who also write are good about following recipes when they cook but there is flair to what they produce as well but it seems to be more disciplined than my free spirited cooking.  I think I see that in their approach to writing.
Therefore I now understand better why it is often referred to as the craft of writing. And I am beginning to get what teachers of writing mean when they say you need to know the basics of a good story before you can fool with it. Intellectually understanding this does not mean I will follow the rules of the craft when I am wrapped in writing another story and begin to fool with the recipe when I am impatient. 
With each step I learn something more which is what growth is all about apparently.


  1. Oh great post!! I am reaching the end of (another!) revision and kind of worn out with the book, which is great, because it means it is now ready for fresh eyes and advice! I wish I was a serious recipe follower; I often make huge cracking mistakes in my attempt to 'tinker' with things.. Not good. Can't wait to see what you cook up next!!!!

    1. I hear ya! Looking forward to reading your next one?

  2. What a beautiful setting in which to write. That beauty can be both inspirational and distracting.
    Good cooking analogy!!

  3. Hi, Really great effort. Everyone must read this article. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Your gardens are beautiful Mary, and what an interesting post! I often try to relate your thoughts about writing to painting and you know it often applies, as this one does. The really nice thing however is when you break the rules you can sometimes end up with a lovely surprise!