My Writing Process part II

Happy Monday!

 

Image result for writing is so hard hamlet 2

My actual life.  Source: Hamlet 2

 

A few months ago I did a guest post on “2B or not 2B – Creative Writing Tips and Tricks” blog.  In that post I wrote about my journal organization and my extensive notation systems in “My Writing and Journaling Process”.  Since then, Offbeat Onpoint has grown a lot which has demanded that my writing process grow in tandem (if only the U.S. minimum wage and inflation grew in the same parallel process, wouldn’t that be something huh?(1)).  Growth usually manifests in growth and change and in response I began a new task writing format that I have been using which helps me keep regular productivity and allows for flexibility.

I like to have one full page for my week, kind of a “week at a glance” idea.  I am a fan of formatting so I like to underline and use colons and check boxes but the important parts are:

Part 1: Weekly Goals
-the written date at top

-my reading goal for that week

-the number of journal entries I’d like to do that week (~1600wc total), ergo 3 check boxes

-each blog day gets a a line and I like to keep a week ahead so I have two columns

-BOM or Band of Misprints is the novel I’m currently working, I aim for ~1600 words a week minimum or 3 pages in my notebook

Part 2: Daily Goals

-here I have a row for each day of the week where I fill in the stuff I want to get done each day of the week, usually kinda fill it in as I go.  Like I write “post” on m, w, t, f, at the beginning of the week and fill out “M:” and “T:” rows Sunday or Monday then go from there through the week

Part 3: Monthly Goals

-this is a small space where I like to keep vague goals that I want to get done that month or a place for things I only do once or twice a month, sort of a catch-all

Part 4: The 4 Priority Squares
THIS IS IMPORTANT my creative writing teacher introduced me to this system.  It went something like this, “What you don’t know ‘The 4 Priority Squares’?!”, in the midst of a class discussion about a procrastination pandemic. “Okay forget creative writing, THIS will be the most important thing I teach you this year, that’s not to say creative writing isn’t important…”     The way this thing is constructed is basically how it works:

-each square is numbered 1 – 4 from upper left to bottom right
-square 1 is titled “important/urgent”

-square 2 is titled “not important/urgent”

-square 3 is titled “important/not urgent”

-square 4 is titled “CBARN”(2)

The idea here is that things in the square 1 are highest priority, like “people are going to break your legs” important and square 4’s title “Can’t Be Asked Right Now” implies the lowest priority. Where the real brilliance of the system comes from square 2 “not important/urgent” and square 3 “important/not urgent.

A clear distinction between square 2 and 3 is hard to make for me to make consistently, as in when making a list I can usually, with some thought, distinguish “2 level” tasks from “3 level” tasks but I have trouble applying firmer rules like squares 1 and 4 lend themselves to.  To me,  I believe this is the beauty of spectral versus binary thought.  Granted it’s easy to sort out the blue from red crayons, but it’s a bit harder to separate shades of purple being “very clearly” more red or blue.  This spectrum of choice challenges me to consider urgency versus importance in the task being considered.

By the end of an average week my page will look like thisused up

I hope this helps with cultivating your daily writing habit or inspires some other methods or formats.  If you have a format you use or a method you like and want to share, send me a guest article piece and I’ll post it on here.

Keep writing,

Fin

 

Footnotes:

  1. 1975 minimum wage was $2.10 an hour which is the 2017 equivalent of $9.77 whilst 2017 minimum wages are a pathetic $7.25 or for those of you who were working in 1975, today’s $7.25 is the same as $1.56 in 1975.
  2. Okay so when he originally introduced it, it was all very logical and pleasing but after using this system for a while now, I’ve decided to rename the boring “not important/not urgent” to what it really is “Can’t Be Asked Right Now”

Art (comic)

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This was one of my first comic ideas inspired from my childhood favourite, Garfield.  The specific comic I had in mind was this one.

garfield-banana

I bring this up today because I’m working on my final portfolio for my creative non-fiction class.  Before starting the revision process I felt like “YEA! I got this, I’m least worried about this of the coursework I have over winter holiday.”

self-five

Just replace “FB post” with “writing”.

However looking over my peers’ and professor’s comments, I now realize I’m going to have to re-write everything because when I started the project at the beginning of the term I had a vague idea of what I wanted to say but what was most clear was the stories I wanted to tell. However when it comes to art/writing/creating, intention is everything.  We have all, probably, read or seen something where we can recognize that it’s good but we have a doubt as to what the creator is trying to achieve or say.  This is something I know I personally struggle with and not to step on 2B or Not 2B’s toes for writing tips, I’m no good at giving writing advice but she is and you should go visit her and see what she has to say, but the one thing I can advise just because I’ve gotten this feedback more often than not is “Why are you writing this?”.

To answer the question, about this post, is to share with you my monkey-touch-monolith moment I had the other day while working on my portfolio.

african_monolith_2001

I stole this phrase from Alton Brown from Good Eats, but this is also an excellent movie and book. 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Apart of the portfolio is a reflective essay describing “why” you do what you’re doing, from formatting to choice of content, and what purpose it’s supposed to serve.  Exploring the “why” rather than the “what” is kind of like the next step up from the basic lesson of “show don’t tell” in writing.  After writing the reflective essay, I got a greater appreciation for what I was trying to say with my portfolio.  Now knowing that, revision will still be a pain but much clearer in purpose because after all if art doesn’t have a purpose, then what’s the point?

critic

How I feel every time I look at my comics’ scores on imgur. 

Meet the Cast (comic)

Happy Friday!

As I mentioned in my post Tuesday-Turnaround I have fried my laptop and I don’t have access to my favourite (or really any to speak of) vector program, Inkscape, and I still have plenty of web comic ideas however drawing them by hand and then just taking a picture of them seems a bit cheap so at least this week I’m trying something slightly different.

So I keep a regular journal and the other day before starting to write I had a thing at the back of my throat and coughed.  Out came what is known as a “tonsil stone” (NSFL, seriously there’s a picture on the front page and it’s gross, click at your digression and only google image it if you’re feeling particularly brave(1)) which, for those of you not willing to follow the link, are “…clusters of calcified material that form in the crevices of the tonsils (tonsillar crypts).” (2)   They’re gross but everyone gets them however most of the time they go unnoticed because they are coughed up (and go missing, so so gross, let that be a lesson to cover your mouth when you cough) or they are swallowed.  This was one in particular landed right in the middle of my journal page.

When things like that happen (3) I like to make an outline of the wet footprint before it dries up (4) and then just write around it.  However sometimes, also while journaling, I will make a box around a paragraph of an idea that I feel needs closure or separation.  This was a time for a box.  Then I kinda looked at the box and thought about Fin and Louie and this is what happened:

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I cleaned it up, and drew a second draft:

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And there you have it folks: I got the whole cast together just in time for xmas eve eve!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little insight into how my mind works and that this is as okay as a normal web comic posting.

I’ll see you Monday for what I’m now calling “Mystery Monday”. Who knows what I’ll write about? Nobody because it’s a mystery to everyone. Though I promise it won’t be as gross.

 

Footnotes:

  1. I did google image search it on accident the other night, while trying to figure out how to spell “tonsil stone”, by reflex I clicked on the “Images” tab (I use google image a ridiculous amount) and I saw things that I can not un-see.
  2. For more information with out being subjected to very gross images, check out the channel Today I Found Out video “What Those Nasty White Chunks That Sometimes Come From Your Throat Are”.
  3. tears, sweat, water whatever
  4. I couldn’t tell you why I do this, I just started doing it one day and it was kind of interesting looking so I kept on.