February 2, 2010

The Key Is To Have Fun

Just read this post on how to write a book in a month. I know, quite a few pointers for me to follow considering I've been on my book (on and off I admit) for almost 5 years now (dang, time DOES fly by!).

The point I retained? I need to have fun while writing and editing (OK, so I added that last part), since writing (and thereby editing) is something that I love. Yes, it's true. I'm not making this one up.

And frankly, over the past 5 years (almost) of writing (2 of which have been serious-serious), I find that my best passages, the ones that flow smooth like water, are the ones which I had fun while writing.

After thinking about it (for a very short while, I have to admit--no, shorter than that), I figured it's completely logical. The brain is like a muscle, it needs daily training if we want our performance to get better and better or it atrophies. Well, just like when playing a sport, things come to me more naturally when I'm relaxed. Otherwise it's like trying to force words out of my constipated brain: I have to work really hard to get meagre results.

OK, that was gross. Change of imagery.

The point is, I need to be relaxed and for that I need to have fun while writing.

I never think at all when i write;
nobody can do two things at the same time and do them both well.
~Don Marquis, Archy's Life of Mehitabel, 1933

Now if only I could apply that concept to my financial studies as well. Sigh.

So, what works for you?

--The Writing Apprentice

PS: Fun = Easy is a fallacy.
PPS: You can find the article I read here.


  1. I am in total agreement with you, Ms. Alessa. The brain needs to constantly be pushed, stretched, and worn out to be kept in tip-top shape. Same as how Lance Armstrong or Michael Phelps endure hundreds of hours of brutal workouts, then rest before a big competition.

    But this begs the question then, how does one workout the brain? On the first-order it seems obvious. To become a better writer the aspiring author should read her weight in books several times over (this is a big check for the lady). And not just read for enjoyment, but read analytically and note all the subtleties and mechanisms authors use to develop the story and the characters. Practicing creative writing is another obvious essential training exercise for the developing author.

    Reading and writing along will get you to the competent status. But is this all it takes to achieve greatness? Or at least, commercial greatness? Certainly not! To reach the next level requires a broad understanding of as many fields as possible so that the creative department of your brain has more resources to draw upon, synthesize, and build off of.

    Examples are in order; The Matrix – compelling storytelling combined with an above average understanding of computers, machines, and trends in technology. The Da Vinci code – sub-rudimentary storytelling barely holding together knowledge of symbology, religion, and history. The Life of Pi – outstanding storytelling combined with a profound understanding of zoology, life, and the human condition.

    The point is the successful author should not only watch movies and read books, she should plunge herself into as many fields as possible. Economics, sociology, history, mathematics, engineering, biology, astronomy, physics, etc. The writer who has knowledge of these floating around in her brain has the ingredients to bake something incredible, delicious, and irresistible to the rest of the world.

    *Please note that I am an engineer. Taking writing advice from an engineer has been scientifically proven to be more detrimental to your writing, health, and sexual performance than eating asbestos-based paint chips.

  2. Dang it, there goes my flat bread...

    Comments on brain workouts are duly noted, will try to experiment with yeast first!

  3. I agree with Blue82! In short, the life experiences you gain and reflect upon from our adventures will definitely color the tone and maturity of your writing.

    Meanwhile, I think that constipation is inevitable at times but can be easily remedied by a dosage of some form of laxative. Personally I prefer the natural alternative of binging on a gallon of prune juice... ;) Have I said too much again?