Unfocused

I had been feeling quite unfocused in my writing. I have completed my Masters in creative writing and felt myself a bit addrift. I have found that I have hundreds, or better, many hundreds of ideas for writing, they are from ideas for blog entries, short stories, and books, I even have full books delineated. Ideas I had forgotten about and only found now that I decided to organise my “ideas for writing”. I am putting them down into Scrivener, separating them in types and into appropriated project folders.

For a couple of months I was simply without focus and that left me completely unsettled. Whenever I sat down for writing I didn’t know what to write and always felt I should be working on something else.

Then I saw this TED talk about the science of happiness and understood that until you make a decision about something — or until you are given no other choice by circumstances — it is difficult for the brain to create happiness about anything. That explained why I felt it was so difficult writing about one thing alone.

That is when I realised that if I decided anything, anything at all, it would be all right. I put down a list of all the projects I could be attacking and the moment I wrote “organise my ideas for writing” I knew this was “the one”.

That one decision took me out of my unproductive phase. I started organising and lost the will to do that. But the drive to write more often in this blog replaced it. Then I felt like re-writing my website taniacreations.com which is quite old now.

I have Brazilian friends who have lived in Australia and were not happy because they missed Brazil, then they went back to Brazil and now they miss Australia and are still feeling dissatisfied. That probably happens because they live inside the eternal possibility of being here or there without making a decision for real.

Making one decision doesn’t mean you will not change your mind. However, if you decide with certainty for something and a new possibility presents itself you might make a new decision, with certainty for a new thing. By doing that you will leave your brain free to create the hormones and sinapses necessary to provide you with happiness. Doubts, indecisiveness, no acceptance, are not conducive to creativity and peace.

My solution to any doubt is: decide anything, as long as it is certain. Even if five minutes later you decide something else.

So now, I feel quite happy… writing away!

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In Love with Scrivener

It feels fantastic when your systems are working for you rather than against you. I am in love with the software Scrivener, which is a specific tool created for writers.

I found out about it during a Non-Fiction Festival from the NSW Writers Centre (www.nswwc.org.au) last year. Ben Law talked about it and I decided to investigate.

It is one of those things that you don’t know how you lived without it before. The same way I feel about the GPS and mobile phones. I remember the panic of using a paper map guide and turning the wrong way and I have no idea what you did when you were going to be late to meet mom at the mall.

The reason Scrivener is so fantastic is because it makes it easier to organise your thoughts. I have just published a new book in Portuguese at Amazon using Scrivener (“Simplesmente Gerva”)

Converting to Mobi was very easy and quick and none of the issues I used to have with word processors happened. I didn’t need to check all titles were in the same style, check for double spaces or any other ridiculous task that were obligatory before.

Going back to organising my thoughts, each chapter is given a summary card.

For this book, I noted on the cards when, where and who were in each chapter and with this I was able to get an overview of the time flow. Sometimes my character started something on Monday and suddenly it was Wednesday without any change in the day. With this technique and tool it was easy to see the overall picture.

I also acquired a MacBook Air once I discovered that Scrivener doesn’t run on iPad and decided that my writing tools are my number one priority. With the awesome help with my parents I got my new computer, new software and every day I am a happier person.

When I open my small bag, pull out my light, fast, potent little computer, put all my ideas (including this blog) into Scrivener and it can go straight into any format desired, it makes my heart dance with joy.

A bit of pleasure every day…

(Orble Votes: 29)

The Difference in My Writing Technique

It is not about you know, it is about the knowledge that becomes intuitive…

I am on a Masters of Arts in Creative Writing at UTS which I have started two years and six subjects ago. Recently I was revising something I have written when I was beginning the course.
I have realised how far I have come.
Mostly it was like practice driving.
When you learn how to drive you learn what you have to do but only by doing it repeatedly you will get to the point of really knowing it without having to think “now I have to break and look to both sides of the road for pedestrians”.
I had the knowledge of what was point of view, verbal tense, subjectivity of the narrator, before I started the course. But with the practice of reading, correcting and workshopping so many texts, pieces, articles, I realise now it is easy for me to analyse it, really see it and find the discrepancies.
Before I knew but could not see it. I would start a text in the present and change to immediate past without realising or be unaware that the point of view jumped in subtle ways.
Now I get it, my writing becomes clearer to me.
I rewrote the text with much more confidence.
Education pays greatly in my opinion.
Of course you can learn by yourself, but learning with help from people who know what they are doing and how to teach it has been an amazing experience.

(Orble Votes: 21)

What Works in Writing

 I wonder if one day I will know what works and what doesn’t for me. In inspiration and writing, every time is different. I’m creating a new book, one written in English this time. But my inspiration and especially my confidence are fragile.
How much feedback is good? What to accept and what not. Sometimes I feel I don’t want to listen, unless it is positive. On the other hand there is a great benefit in listening, to the good and the bad, learning, adjusting, in finding the way.
(Orble Votes: 32)