Monday, June 4, 2012

What Makes a Writer? Also, Award & BuNoWriMo

I attended a Pikes Peak Writers Write Brain last month, entitled "A Right-Brain, Left-Brain Write Brain" (say that five times fast!)  I didn't take notes, and it wasn't something I'd be able to really pass along and make sense of on here, but I found it interesting how the two delightful ladies (Barbara Samuel and Laura DiSilverio) broke down the parts of writing.  They explained how they each approached the different aspects of writing, and it got me thinking about the integral parts of the writing process.

First, you have the creativity.  That's innate.  Each of us is creative in a different way, inspired in varying ways, but we all have a story to tell, something that floats around in our heads and begs to be released.

But then you get into the more linear business of writing.

For instance, you have pantsing vs. plotting, and everything in between.  Some people create an entire outline, with every single plot point, before they write a regular line of prose.  Others just write the first line and go from there.  Then there are all of those who fall in between.  Everyone approaches it differently, but each of us has our own preferred method (or we're working to find it).

Next, we have consistency.  There are those who manage to sit down at the same time every day, a routine firmly established, and write for a specific amount of time.  Others might sit down at the same time, but write a certain number of words, rather than pre-selecting a period of time, no matter how many words are written.  Still others write whenever the heck they can, many only sporadically. 

Stories can be written via PC, laptop, Mac, handheld portable device, typewriter, voice recorder or the classic pen to paper.  They can be short stories, flash fiction, poetry or novels.  They can be self-published or traditionally published.  It can take decades to write them, or days.  It all depends on the writer.

So what makes a writer?  The story, and the desire to put that story out there for someone else to enjoy.  It all comes back to that creativity, but the spark that compels that person to present it to others finishes it off.  Without that spark, you're just a dreamer, which is okay, too.  A writer has to want to share their work, for one reason or another.

Having said that, I'm participating in BuNoWriMo this month.  I was just going to use it as inspiration to get started without officially signing up, but I love this progress tracker and why the heck shouldn't I just go ahead and sign up??  So I have!  I started today, so a couple days late, and I only had half an hour to actually write after getting everything set up, but I feel good about it, anyway.

Myth Stalker
is 1% complete

674 / 50000 words written

The Burrow is the host site, and there is a Facebook page you can access from there to chat with other BuNo'ers.  While I don't intend to shoot for the full 50,000 words, I need to get my butt in gear and figure out my summer routine, and I'm hoping this will help me. 

Also, the always engaging Lover of Words, at Of Shoes and Ships and Cabbages and Kings has given me the One Lovely Blog Award.  The things I have learned from her about my own state via her comments on my blog are fantastic enough, but her blog is always compelling, as well.  I'm delighted to have had the opportunity to get to know her, and I'm delighted she thought of me.

The rules include listing seven random things about myself:
1. I am currently hooked on watching episodes of Quantum Leap from beginning to end.  Still a great show!
2. I am ridiculously excited about the plans I have with my kiddos this summer.
3. I started my new novel today!!!!  EEK!  So happy!
4. I have a bad habit of chewing on the insides of my cheeks, whether nervous, bored or concentrating.
5. I started going "gray" in high school.  I insisted I would never color my hair, but I hit a point where it started aging me beyond where I was willing to age...
6. When my hair has grown out between colorings, I refer to it as sparkling. 
7. I'm really terrible at thinking up random things about myself that aren't completely dull.  Sorry!

How are you at talking about yourself?  Participating in BuNoWriMo?  What makes you a writer? 

May you find your Muse.


Julie Flanders said...

Congrats on starting your new novel, yay!!! I tried BuNoWriMo last year and was a miserable failure at it. But I totally love this progress tracker, I want to use that too. Maybe I will give it another shot.

I so relate to the gray hair. It's to the point now where if I didn't color it I'd look like Cruella DeVille.

Good luck with BuNoWriMo and Myth Stalker, I love that title!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Congratulations on the award!
I'm participating in BuNo as well. I'm on target with a little over five thousand words.

M.J. Fifield said...

I wanted to participate in BuNo this year but I didn't get my other edits out of the way. Good luck with your project.

And I'm terrible at talking about myself.

Rosaria Williams said...

Wow! You are on a roll, starting a new novel before some of us have seen early dawn. Congratulations on your award, Warrior Muse. You're always an inspiration for the rest of us.

Precy Larkins said...

Woot! Always fun to start a new novel. Good luck with BuNo! I'm equal parts pantser and plotter. I'm working on a sequel for my YA book, Hidden. So far, so good. Slow going though. :-S

Susan Kane said...

Best of luck with flying fingers in the BuNoWriMo project! I admire you all who tackle this!

Andrew Leon said...

My 5/6th grade teacher was completely gray, and she was only 26 or 28 or something around there. She said she'd gone gray in high school, but she just went with it. It was kind of silvery.

I don't think the desire to share what you've written makes you a writer. Writing makes you a writer even if you never share it. However, possibly, the desire to share is what makes one an author.

yeah, yeah, I know... semantics, but, it seems, I'm all about the semantics lately.

Rebecca said...


Chuck said...

Congrats on the award! Now if I can find a misplaced spark or two I might get something started :)

Anonymous said...

Well done on starting a new novel... I love the tracker widget... how cool. I'm writing a new novella as I edit my major novel... but I'm not sure I write enough to participate without looking feeble..:)

Christine Rains said...

Congratulations on the award! And good start with BuNo. :)

Shannon Lawrence said...

Julie, I'm pretty sure it was that progress ticker that made me decide to do it, ha!

Alex, way to go! I was on such a high from getting 1879 words written today.

M.J., I'm taking a break from my edits to do this. I think I needed that.

Rosaria, what wonderfully kind words, thank you!

Precy, good luck to you! I don't plot, really, but I do store future ideas in my head as I go.

Susan, thanks!

Andrew, my grandpa was completely "gray" by 18, my mom in her late 20's. Looks like it moves out about a decade each time. One good thing about it is that it is pure snow white, so not actually gray. It was the same for grandpa and mom.

On the writer vs. author thing, I see an author as being published and a writer as putting it all down, but not yet being published.

Becca, thanks!

Chuck, here's to sparks!

Tania, you know, I think you can make your own tracker widgets for anything, so even if you don't participate, you could probably make one. But I have to say...I am completely unconcerned about looking feeble, and I'm bound to. I will do what I can do! So tired of pressuring myself and being disappointed. Good luck to you!

Christine, thank you!