Once More With Feeling Writing Prompts: Day 1

Okay, I intended on doing this yesterday, but I got distracted by the creation of my new wire wrapped ring similar to my once beloved itchy ring.  I can’t say that it has the sharp wire ends that make my finger want to move, and it’s too new to know whether or not it will help in my writing right now.  Because it’s smoother than it’s predecessor, calling it an itchy ring seems wrong.  However, if it proves to be a success, then I’ll try and come up with some sort of fitting name for it like Inpirering or my Ladymuse..now that i think of it, Inspirering is sort of puny! Yep, I think that shall be it’s name.

This first go, I’m actually pulling out almost all the stops at the moment.  I have Pandora playing a Lindsey Stirling channel, because she’s awesome with a violin and anything related to that sounds pretty awesome! I also have the ring on, just to try it out.  There’s a cup of Highlander Grog flavored coffee in my Death Star shaped coffee mug, and I just lit a Stirling Embers scented Wood Wick candle.  Now that I actually think about it, I’ve realized I’m engaging most of my major senses: touch, taste, scent, and sound!  Can’t engage visual beyond watching what I’m thinking turn into words on a screen, but I guess my recent de-cluttering of my desk could be considered that.  Not that it’s perfectly clear or anything, but I’m not worrying about a mountain of paper causing an avalanche in my lap!

Okay, so adventures in amateur jewelry making and attempts at getting myself motivated aside, I was going to work on one of my writing prompts.  Just got to keep on myself this time!  How about, if I can make it through all 30 days of prompts on time then I can treat myself to a special nail polish I wouldn’t have gotten otherwise, a chrome powder to extend my collection beyond silver chrome, or some equally extravagant seeming nail art themed item that I’ve been holding myself back from purchasing because it’s more of a want than a need.  Yes, let’s hold Cici to this and tell her she can’t get the thing unless she does this other thing!

We shall see…Well anyway, as it is day one, we are starting with the first one: Why did you start your writing? Is that still why you write, or has your writing gone in a different direction than you’d planned? No limits on time taken to write this, nor is there a min or max word count, so I’m just going to fly with this one and when I feel I’ve said what I need to I’m going to call it a day and send you all a mental blow-kiss!

So, why did I start writing? Well, that’s a mixture of different catalysts that helped to bring me to where I am.  The first time I thought I’d like to write, just for the pleasure of writing it was when I was still in grade school and my maternal grandmother gave all her grandchildren a journal and a mechanical pencil to write with.  I’m not sure if it was the first thing I wrote in mine, but I remember a story about going into a cave and discovering some sort of treasure.  It was very short, and stories from a young child can tend to be.  My cousin, who was older and a little more mature in her story writing gave me some constructive criticism mentioning that the characters go from one place to another without any exposition (not her words, but it was her meaning) and that there just all around needed to be a little more description.  Now, mind you I was probably somewhere between five and seven when this happened, though I suspect I was just barely six.  She is roughly two years older than me, which was so much older than me when I was a child.  As an adult, I do realize that the gap is not nearly so much now, and it actually amazes me now that I took the time to look at the situation objectively.

At the time, I took her words to mean that I wasn’t very good at all and I lost my desire to tell stories for a little.  I don’t blame her for this, in any way.  I blame on my own personal insecurities.  You know, that voice that tells you that you’re worthless and can’t do anything right.  Your inner critic that says what you just made was the crappiest crap that ever made its way into crapdom.  Yeah, I hate that voice, it sucks!

When I did rediscover my desire to tell stories, I still remembered her words.  It’s what has helped me to put more description in my words, and makes it so that I have to at least have a paragraph of exposition or explanation as to how someone gets from point A to point B.

So that is the events that started me on my path to writing, but inwardly, I’ve always had this need to tell these stories.  I loved playing Barbies and imaginary play as a child.  Me and those I’d play with would make up backstories for who we were, or who our dolls were and I hate to admit it, but I always had a desire to tell more romantic stories, even before my mother gave me my first Harlequin Romance novels.  Some day, I’d like to write a collaborated novel with someone else, because even though I love my stories (otherwise they’d never go onto paper) I love the idea of a wild card being thrown at me!  Pretend play wasn’t just my story, but me and one or more others bouncing a story off each other and making it evolve into something even better!

The desire to tell the story, even if it is to myself, is still what drives me to write my stories.  I’ve also used my writing to put down my thoughts that I find harder to articulate in my head.  Maybe it’s just a desire to tell a truer story than my world of make-believe.  I say truer and not true because I know even my own perception of life that I have isn’t exactly what someone else would see.  There are parts to the story of my life I will never know the truth about even.  I only know what I know and what I’ve been able to deduce from those I talk to.  Even their perception isn’t a hundred percent the truth, but the truth as they perceive it.  This is why I have a slight tendency to play a devils advocate when hearing about an event that happens between two people.  I want to try to get each person’s version of the story, and hopefully be able to combine the two to figure out what would be a closer approximation of the reality of the situation.

This is also a good skill to have when writing more than one character into a story by the way (also very handy in figuring out a character’s motivation when playing a part in a production).  They aren’t just cookie cutter things.  Each has their own thoughts, feelings, and perceptions of what’s going on and their own way of reacting to it.  It’s one reason why I wrote a scene in two different perspectives even though only one would make it into the final work.  It helped me to get a better grasp on one of the characters, not only because it made me rethink everyone’s actions, but also the character was male, and I’m sorry to say that I have only written in the character of the opposite sex twice.  They say, write what you know, and I’ll be the first to admit that I’m no expert on men! Fascinating creatures, eh?

I have to say, my motivation for writing hasn’t changed.  Only my approach and my ability has changed and evolved.  I’ve learned better tricks to get the words out, I’ve learned how to recognize when I’m suffering from writer’s block, and though I can be bull-headed about it, I’ve also learned how to fix it.  It usually involves “killing your darlings”, a very hard thing to do when you really really really wanted thing A to happen, but your writing ends up going nowhere and the story can’t progress.  There are particularly precious bits that, though I take them out of a story, I put into a folder where I can come back to them and perhaps incorporate them into something else.  In this way, they aren’t necessarily deleted, but saved for later reincarnation. Aaand I’m going on a tangent!

Point is over time, from personal experience and help from close friends, family, and wise instructors that have either been there before, or had the knowledge needed to give me my first tools to get me into writing, I’ve come to evolve from that little girl with a mechanical pencil and a little journal thinking she was no good at yet another thing.  I still have my moments, like when I re-read a story I’d started my freshman year of high school…oh my god! I’m still evolving in that sense.  Things I once thought could work, seem wrong now.  I’m a little more confident with my ability to put thought to words on a screen or page.  My tastes, and subject matter has matured (ahem!) but my desire to tell the stories in my head has not changed.

And that’s all I gotta say bout that!

See you all on the flip-side!

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About Cici Brown
I'm a happily married mother of two and a half. I'm usually pretty bubbly and in some cases, according to my husband, too open about everything. I am and always will be a gamer geek, though I haven't table-top roleplayed for many years. I still manage to hit an MMO or two. My interests include most things geek and Vampire fiction, though not the sparkly kind, that's not vampire fiction. I have goals towards publishing that have yet to be fulfilled but one day...

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