Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

This may not be a formal book review but just mentioning the name James Patterson is an attention getter so I will write what I recall about this memoir by Mr. Patterson and how it correlates with my situation as a writer or aspiring writer whichever I am. If I complete this blog that will make me a writer so I will attempt to do so for the title if no other reason. His name drew my attention at the local library because he has sold millions of books and for those unaware he began his career at an advertising agency in New York City.

This is my first read of any of Mr. Patterson’s books and it has made me anxious to pursue more of his work. He writes with an easy to read style for this volume with a flow of his life experiences which are notable for the era in which he came of age (he born 1947 me 1952). He grew up on the Hudson River not far from Manhattan and thus is more comfortable with all NYC has to offer than me although not entirely as he states in this volume. I will not reveal the details because for anyone whom aspires to be a writer this is a book on how to be a successful writer in my opinion and the common factors throughout are labor and persistence. His method has worked and I feel this volume will inspire me to do what I have been attempting to do, and that is gain a passion for daily writing. Having always wanted to be a writer and not having any other skills it could be an income supplement or a method to earn a living; I would be thankful for either.

He uses thoughtful preparation before starting a project which he outlines in the book, outline being the key word as this is his starting point. Okay I will give some details. The theme to success as is brought forth in this volume once again is discipline or that was the notable point for me, so notable that I am inclined to repeat it. He possesses a self-discipline with an obsessive need to write, I am seeking this spirit and can learn from masters such as Mr. Patterson. When the spirit moves me and I am able to direct my attention to the work then it is possible for me to enter the dimension whereby I can be creative and am in my element. And like many writers am able to express myself through words more ably than thru verbal speaking skills.

On a personal note we do have some issues in common in that we are both sons of World War Two vets although his father went on to earn a four year degree and my Dad was a high school dropout. We both graduated from faith based colleges and he appears to be grounded in faith while I am still struggling with mine. In reading of his success and all that it has generated in his life one could become envious but I will use his work as motivation. Not to become the next James Patterson but to become the first Stephen Barber.

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The Undisciplined Writer

Because I have been an undisciplined writer of late I am seeking methods of removing myself from this quagmire and then stay disciplined.  The frustration is dispiriting when the days pass whereby I am unable to accomplish even small bits of writing per day.  I detest those methods of writing for a specific time or using a word count but now realize that they can be important in regaining our discipline if we have lost it.

My first major writing project was a novel and the work drew me to it such that discipline was not an issue.  It was as though there were a magnetic force that put me in the chair and turned on the word processor, although it could have been finished much sooner by setting a time frame for completion.  I have been waiting for that level of productivity to return and now understand that it will only happen with a strategy to improve my work habits.

There are resources available, suggestions online and books on the topic, but we also know that writing is a spiritual endeavor and so it is a combination of using the suggestions and then finding what works for each of us.  Ego can be a major stumbling block for me because I feel that it should flow naturally from within me and therefore I do not need any assistance in how to be a writer.  This I am overcoming with the realization that if I am not achieving what I want, making a living as a writer, then changes need to occur.

After waiting for the spirit to move me and eventually admitting that it needs some prompting I am open to suggestions in regard to how to improve productivity.  Like any profession writing requires me to keep learning and to have an open mind otherwise I can remain trapped in my ineffective habits.  I am working on a major research project, it will never get done without changing my routine and setting goals if not on a daily basis then weekly and monthly with a targeted completion date.

The phrase time is money did not mean anything to me when younger but I am much more in touch with my mortality and the fact that procrastination is not only the thief of time but also of self-respect.   Another way of stating my feelings is impatience for success and the realization that to deny myself what I am capable of achieving is the very cause of the self-loathing that leads to poor work habits.  So I will proceed with being aware that the clock does not stop and a game plan for success is necessary.

It should be noted that I work a full time job and some overtime to survive but I also have enough free time to launch my writing career.  This is the general I will speak of the specifics in another post after incorporating them into my routine and thus being able to speak from experience.

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