Monthly Archives: September 2016

Book (Re)Writing – Take a Break

Standard

vacation

It’s been a while since I wrote about Book (Re) Writing, and I haven’t been publishing much on other things on my blog either, and to be honest it is very much because my life has been utterly insane recently. I’ve actually just been taking a break from writing entirely.

*Cue the collective gasp of the internet’s writing community.*

I’ve been reading everywhere on the internet for the majority of my life that writer’s should always try and write every single day no matter how stressed/blocked/busy you are; advice that stems a lot from the wisdom of Stephen King. If you finished one draft put it aside and start on a new project before returning to a project for editing. But write every single day!

Well I’m sorry but sometimes real life doesn’t afford you that luxury.

I call myself a writer, but it is not my profession – it doesn’t pay my bills (yet), my brand new job does that; nor is writing my partner of ten years (whose recently added ‘husband’ to his description) who does like to spend time with me; nor is writing the new house and the wonderful tour of Europe that was our Honeymoon that has taken up all of my spare time and brain space recently.

img_5001

Crochet is my only other creative hobby I’ve been actively pursuing recently, purely for the very fact it doesn’t require me to think too hard. I’ve been able to finish projects like the Ice Scales Scarf which I have been working on for months.  I can use crochet as part of my nightly unwind process. If I write in that time, the inner Night Owl wakes up and my brain will whirl for the precious hours I have set aside to sleep.

And all of this has actively made me feel intensely guilty – because I am not writing every single day like you’re supposed to. Well I was feeling guilty until my brain eventually piped up and said-

“You’ve ignored and even debunked advice you’ve read on the internet about writing before, why the hell are you paying attention to this?”

Thank you brain for speaking up and ridding me of that guilt. At the moment I can’t write every day, or even just every week at the minute, and you might be the same. So I’ve taken a break from my project.

And it has been wonderful.

I am an advocate of working on the project until it is finished and leaving it for a while. If you’re able to work on another project in the interim that’s great, and is one of the points I do wish to make in this post – you do need to Take a Break from working on your projects, whether you are working on the first draft or are editing you’re project.

You should then either go an work on an unrelated project, or just rest, but don’t go back too soon to the project you’re working on. You need space and recovery time. You need to make you’re brain a bit of the blank page in relation to your project so that you can return to it objectively. I get emotionally connected to my stories – I need to break that connection. Clean slate – writing something else helps.

Do-you-want-to-write-well-By-Azuka-Onwuka

Sometimes the limits of real life and available brain space though does mean you can’t write though. And you shouldn’t feel guilty about that.

And you want to know why I think it’s wonderful: because letting go of the guilt and just living means my brain occasionally comes up with a really brilliant idea. Not thinking about writing, and not making it a chore has actually unlocked some really good ideas I’ve had in the past which I had dismissed or written out a few drafts ago. And new ideas as well.

I have to do a major rewrite of my book (as in I think I need to just start entirely again from scratch) and ‘not writing’ has actually been the best thing I could do, because it means I can do thinking instead. Not thinking and planning, has been my downfall in the past.

So yes you definitely need to take a break from your project, and sometimes despite what the collective wisdom of the internet says, you just need to take a break from writing entirely.

Film Review – Kubo and the Two Strings

Standard

*Plot Spoilers*

kubo and the two strings.jpg

Again this film is another one of those ones like Zootopia that I was encouraged to go and see by fellow bloggers, especially after my plea begging for more originality in film making, and films that look beyond superheroes and franchises.

I absolutely loved ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’. It is a classic quest story, with fabulous magical elements and heart warming characters. It is certainly not a wholly heart warming story and there are some elements that could freak out younger children, but there are certainly themes in the story that children need to be exposed to.

Sadly one of those is the burden that some children in the world have to bear of caring for a frail parent and the film does not shy away from the grief of losing a parent. In fact the reason the story happens is because Kubo has the burden of caring for his ill mother, and ends up in trouble by staying out after dark because he was busy asking his deceased father’s spirit for help.

In truth he should have listened to his mother and been home on time, but I could never blame him for not listening because everyone has a breaking point, and a child should never have such a burden. Real life is not as kind though.

The conclusion of the story is kind though; while the plot was a bit like a plot of a video game akin to Zelda, the characters of the story were kind in the end, when they have every right to not be. It is a great lesson to teach kids.

I also really loved the film because of the sheer amount of imagination and visual wonder that went into its creation. Even if you’re not interested in the plot and the lessons taught to students, it is a beautiful film to watch as the effects used and the magic used by the characters is stunning.

Highly recommend this film for older children, and adults alike. It is simply stunning.