The Write Place

I think I figured out what my problem is.

Stop right there.  Don’t ask- “which problem?  Don’t’ exclaim- “wow- she finally gets it”.  Just listen (read) for a second before you make any snide comments Jay readers….

The specific problem to which I refer is:

My inability to “edit” my “novel” properly.

I spent the last year working on a “novel”.  I love my idea, love my characters.  Love them so much, that I’ve made the conflict in the novel ridiculously light, because I don’t want to see them hurt or have pain.

Yeah.  I know.  Tough problem to face.  War, homelessness, inability to have characters feel bad.  It’s my cross to bare.

But I finally figured out why I can’t fix my “novel”.

I don’t have a “Writer’s Shack”.

When I was at the beach, I would pass a little house every day.  To the side of this house was a littler house- and the plaque outside of it simply said “Writer’s Shack”.

As you may know- my three person, two pet family lives in a luxurious 800 square foot apartment.  We barely have room to breath.  I have a tiny desk, which is where I tend to work on my “novel”, yet I blog at my dining room table.  Which venue is more successful is yet to be seen.

So I began to think about if a writer needs a dedicated space in which to work.  Would having four walls, a desk, a chair and a window that were only used for writing be answer that I was looking for?

I quickly realized that I would be unable to build a shack off the side of my apartment.  So I started to think about other options.

  1. Renting office space.  Sure- because with college looming on the horizon we have the extra money to do that.
  2. Taking a space in a building that has studios for artists and writers.  While these are slightly more affordable, I once had a friend who used one of these.  Though she found it incredibly helpful, I thought it was dark and dreary.
  3. Writing in my favorite coffee shop.  There are myriad thoughts about doing this.  During the school year my daughter does her homework at her desk in her room.  Since returning from vacation, she has been spending about 7 hours a day at one of the 97 Starbucks that are located within 3 blocks of my house, working on summer homework and PSAT prep.  She feels that working in her room highlights the fact that it is summer, and that her mind keeps wanting to do other things- like literally anything other than AP work, such as laying on her bed and staring at the ceiling.  In order for her to actually accomplish anything- she needs to be in another setting.  This is a plus for writing in a coffee shop.  The other thing about writing in a coffee shop is being surrounded by “writers”.  I was once shushed by someone in a coffee shop because she was “working” while I was just “having coffee”.  (Yes- I tend to be a bit loud and animated- but I really thought it was OK to talk and have a beverage in a coffee shop- my bad….)  When I walk by a coffee shop- all I see are laptops- and people banging away at laptop keys- Apparently, “Starbucks”=”Writer’s Shack”

So- should I set up shop at my favorite coffee hole?  Should the hours I dedicate to working on my novel be done in a setting of not so comfortable chairs and harsh lighting?  Will they let my bring in my own chair and desk light?  Will working outside my home be productive?

To be continued……………..

Blog Type: Decoded

After spending a few months writing, and reading, blogs, I have ascertained that there are 6 general types of  writing based blogs: (though I do realize that sometimes a blog can be more than one type)

  1. Opinion– I appreciate and respect all opinions, whether I agree with them or not.  My only caveat is that the opinion be logical, well thought out, and based on valid reasoning.  I do not like opinions such as “I hate opera” when the person speaking has never actually seen or heard an opera.  A person with this type of opinion is stupid, based on the fact that, you know, they’re stupid and the reason is stupid.
  2. Personal– These are my personal favorites.  These blogs share a piece of someone’s life.  I think the writers of these are brave for sharing their stories and struggles.  I also appreciate the honesty and humor of these posts.  I like when the writers personality shines through.  Thanks  Mojo for the inspiration on wording, also one of best personal blogs I have read. http://momentumofjoy.wordpress.com/
  3. Reviews– You know- someone tells you their impressions of a book, movie, whatever.  Reviews are a tricky thing for me- I prefer recommendations.  When I read a book review, I look for genre, one line plot summary, and a rating.  I don’t like spoilers.  However, after I have read a book I love to go back and look at the reviews. Same with all other things that are reviewed, except food, because I will go to a specific restaurant for a specific dish.
  4. Instructional-How to’s- recipes, DIY, tips on organizing (this is my favorite type of instructional- I could get lost in a sea of organizing blogs)- Basically anything that gives you a roadmap on how to do something.
  5. Fiction- Flash, short story, poetry- anything that tells a story in a fictional way.
  6. Fact Based- These are blogs that explain things based on research.  There is evidence to support the claims in these blogs.  And they are factual.  Or at least they are supposed to be…..

Now here is where I begin to rant….be forewarned…….

I grew up on Long Island,  in a SUBURB of New York City.  For the better part of 30 years, I have resided in Manhattan, a BOUROUGH of New York City, mailing address, New York, NY.  Of these facts I am certain.

I read a blog the other day about New York City.  The writer stated that Manhattan was a suburb of New York City.  This made me irrationally angry.  If you are going to write a factual piece about a place, get the details straight.  I commented, telling the writer that things written were factually incorrect, (and for the record I did not say- hey- check the definition of suburb and explain to me how Manhattan, with a population of about a gazillion people can be a suburb, and then what would the urban area be) and gave the correct information.  Of course, the writer neither approved my comment, nor corrected the post.

So here’s my opinion: if you are writing a fact based piece, it is your responsibility as a writer to make sure your facts are correct.  When you have an error, and this error is pointed out to you, it is your responsibility to correct it.  By not doing these things, everything you write, that is fact based, comes into question.  How can a reader trust you?  Where is the integrity?

Let the commenting commence: