Writing Experiment: Fictional Holiday

Continuing with my daily Creative Writing Prompts. I seem to have fallen into a pattern that works for me. I use the five-minute/one-word prompt as a journal entry for my own pleasure to get warmed up. The second (“Midday”) prompt I write full out as intended. The third (“Dinner”) prompt becomes a poem, at the moment a limerick. I’ll share some of the limericks at some point. Meanwhile, here’s today’s midday prompt:

Create a holiday! Describe its history, how to celebrate it, etc. Word it as an essay about the holiday, as if completing a boring school assignment.

The silliness continues. Continue reading “Writing Experiment: Fictional Holiday”

Fiction Experiment: French Roast

Continuing with my Creative Writing Prompts, here’s today’s effort. A couple of notes here before you jump in: The prompt for midday was Your pet dragon has been misbehaving. I moved “Bart” and family into the future and kept his parents married past his seventh birthday. Note, again, as this is a work of fiction, my mother is/was not a coffee addict…at least not to the point of getting grouchy in the morning if she didn’t have a cup. Beyond that, enjoy! Continue reading “Fiction Experiment: French Roast”

Fiction Experiment: Garga Seeks Treasure

In an effort to get some practice, experience, and confidence with my fiction writing, I purchased A Year of Creative Writing Prompts. Below is one of my attempts from today’s assignments. They provide a five-minute exercise, a mid-day exercise, and a dinner time exercise. I decided to kick these out all at once, just to get rolling. Will post these as I think the warrant sharing. The trick for me will be to insist on the discipline of daily writing, even if it’s someone else’s assignment. Continue reading “Fiction Experiment: Garga Seeks Treasure”

Why I Write Fiction

From time to time I mention that I have written or am writing fiction (usually of the science fictional variety), yet I never have said works published. One might wonder, if I have some skill as a writer, why I have not tried to get my work into print for others to see. I had cause to examine that very question this week. I’ll share some of those thoughts now. Continue reading “Why I Write Fiction”

What I Read vs. What I Write

This week I picked up a collection of short fiction by my favorite author, Poul Anderson. Anderson’s writing (he passed on in 2001) caused me to reflect on the difference between the types of fiction I read and the types of stuff that I actually write. Anderson, along with Robert A. Heinlein, Jerry Pournelle, and Ernest Hemingway, are all of a type, in that they all tend to write about bold, adventurous men happy in the outdoors and capable of wresting from the world what they want with their bare hands. It’s fun, energetic storytelling, and their works have given me much enjoyment over the years. Yet their works diverge greatly from what I write when given time to myself. Why? Continue reading “What I Read vs. What I Write”

The Tools You Use

I pursued my first English degree with the intention of being a science fiction writer. I wrote a lot more in my teens and twenties and my stories were filled with the concerns of a young man: pursuing adventures, making a difference, falling in love. The Bart who wrote then is a very different person from the person who writes blogs and training documents and journalism pieces now. Aside from my additional 20 years of life experience, the tools I use to write have changed as well. Continue reading “The Tools You Use”

Why Do I Write?

I write to pay my bills. I’m a technical writer, that’s what I do. It’s a great pleasure that I’m able to turn something I’m able to do reasonably well into cash and groceries.

But that is nonfiction, and work done on behalf of someone else’s idea or business. I still write for myself. Why?

First, it might be helpful to explain what I consider “writing for myself.” This would include:

  • Fiction
  • Poetry
  • Journal writing

All of these activities serve personal, what some might call “antisocial” purposes because they are for my own benefit and enjoyment, not necessarily others’. Note that I am not a published/paid writer in any of those categories, so why do I bother?

I’ve been writing fiction since 1978 or so. I’ve been writing poetry since 1984 or so. I’ve been keeping a journal since 1988. Again, not for profit. Occasionally I’ve let others read the stuff, but not as a regular habit anymore. So why do I bother?

Maybe writing is just a hobby? A literary form of therapy? I write in these various forms for my own personal enjoyment. Sometimes I learn something. Sometimes I just feel better afterward. Sometimes I want to say something about the state of the world (or my reactions to it) and saying it straight out is not the most effective way to do it. If I have things I want to say or think about, why not just mull them over in my head? Why bother with the physical activity of putting pen to paper or fingers to laptop keyboard?

Maybe because writing is my way of leaving monuments. I was here, I lived, I had ideas, I mattered: here is the proof.

If you write, what compels you to do so?