Tag Archives: imagination

I see Tropish People

About a month ago, I got a new job. It’s about ten times more exciting, stressful, and emotional than the one I had before. I also cannot write at that one, I’m too busy getting people checked in, checked out, and reuniting people with their pets.

There is a lot more traffic at this place, an animal hospital that I’ve been wanting to work at for years, now.

Whereas before, I used to see inspiration every so often in a few people who came or went, or in the people who lived at the facility, it’s about ten fold now. When traffic is higher, when there’s more going on, there’s more to see and notice and understand.

And I freaking love it!

People watching, as I’ve said before in so many other journals, is one of my favorite past times. It’s how I make new characters, come up with odd new conflicts or find a new novel angle. To see tropes played out in person has a wild effect, a fun one, one that makes me want to write them into a story somehow.

One of my first days was one of my favorites. Big man, with a police chief’s badge on his breast pocket. Frowning, he seemed unapproachable.

Except there was a small bichon frise puppy in his arms and he was making kissy faces at it, wiggling his fingers in front of its nose and teasing it to bite him. He mentioned it was his wife’s dog, but you could tell how attached he was to it.

Then there was the upset businessman who had a conference call at 3 pm and this is why he picked a 2 pm vet visit, so he could make that call. He left in a huff just five minutes to 3.

Or the blue collar couple who came in with their little yorkie, calling her a diva. Small woman with a big attitude, probably a waitress– though she was nice the entire visit– and her husband, the larger, quieter manual worker.

That was just within the first week. I’ve met countless others. It turns my head into a storytelling wonderland. I come up with backgrounds for people I don’t know, little maybes or what ifs depending on their attitude or their language, bodily or verbal. I see the tropes everywhere, and it isn’t hard to imagine what’s behind the front, the same thing you see in every movie or show or novel, but what may be is something wildly different than the norm.

This is definitely a good job for me. Even though the emotions and tensions run high, I really enjoy it. The people, the puppies, the kittens, and the staff all make it worth while.

-The Novice Wordsmith

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Finishing Line

Looking through Neil Gaiman’s blog the other day, I stumbled across something that gave me pause. And rightly so, because it was a list of tips for writers. You can view it here: http://neil-gaiman.tumblr.com/post/94130974141/maxkirin-neil-gaimans-8-rules-of-writing-a

Though, of all eight tips, this one is the one that spoke to me the most: 

Of everything on that list, finishing things has been the hardest. It had never been an issue for smaller things, the projects that were short stories or little one-shots when I was a kid, but as my imagination kept running wild, I couldn’t get everything out and it sat in my head until I forgot about it.

Anxiety about getting into a new idea is normal. Look at what’s in front of you, see everything you want to get out and write and dig yourself into and not come up for air until it’s finished. Do not be intimidated, or anxious, or worried. Set your fingers on the keys, get the pen in your hand, and go for it. Don’t let it stop you.

Breaks and stopping points are natural. Give yourself a rest. Go back to it after you’ve gone through a block. But always, always look for the end, and put it in there. Finish it. Achieving that, crossing the line and finally having it all done and down somewhere, is one of the most intoxicating feelings you can imagine.

I found something to write last year, and the minute I hit 50,000 words, I stopped, looked back at where I was, and looked at how much I had to go, and just slumped. I made it a massive project. Huge. I still haven’t finished it. I’m barely even to the middle of the first book of three and it’s staring me in the face. Regardless, I intend to finish it. It is one of the most beautiful and well thought out stories I’ve come up with and I owe it to myself.

That’s another thing, owing it to yourself to finish something. It’s like starting a 5k or a marathon and then ducking under the race tape at the sidelines because you’ve told yourself you can’t finish.

You owe it to your story, your wide, wild imagination that never stops running, to finish, to explore, to write more and more until you’ve finished your literary orchestra of creativity.

Finish it. Whatever it is. Short story, novel, script, sonnet, a series of poems about a specific subject… Take your time. Indulge in it. Revel in its beauty and your impossible ability to create elegance in words.

The finish line may not be for another mile or several miles, but it’s there, and you can reach it, no matter what pace you go.

-The Novice Wordsmith