I was feeling a bit froggy on a visit to Barnes and Noble last night and decided to purchase John Gillard’s Creative Writer’s Notebook. The description on the back cover reads: “Creative Writer’s Notebook is the perfect journal for anyone interested in the art of good writing. It profiles the life and work of 20 important writers from the past century, and includes numerous activities and creative prompts to help you develop a distinctive writing style.”
Although fiction writing has never been my forte, I saw enough good stuff in here that convinced me to give it a try.
My first exercise is from the chapter highlighting James Joyce. The author describes Joyce as arguably the most influential writer of the twentieth century. He goes onto say that his masterpiece, Ulysses (published in 1922), challenged the traditional rules of style and form, and changed the landscape of modern literature.
Joyce was a master of writing in the interior monologue through a “stream of consciousness,” where the goal is to write down whatever thought comes to mind without any regard to sentence structure and style. The first exercise in this section is to write a monologue from my own perspective with each thought being a continuation of the last.
What you’re about to read are the unfiltered handwritten thoughts I wrote in the book. It may not be pretty, but here goes:
It’s a Saturday night and I’m at home with my wife. I live for these kinds of evenings. I live for the weekend. I’m sitting here exercising my writing skills in this book. I’m glad I purchased it to begin with especially considering the fact I’ve never been too keen on being a fiction writer. I attempted to write a little more in my administrative writing project. I think I want to adjust it into a quote book. For one, this would be much easier than writing a straightforward narrative. I’m very into quotes and inspiring others, so I think that I’m properly equipped to write this. I’m feeling a renewed connection to writing after hearing the news that I didn’t get the job. Until I find out if I’m accepted to grad school I’m focusing on my writing. I want to become the best writer I can be. Maybe not getting this job is the best thing to happen to me. The third shift would’ve been a huge adjustment. I’m really starting to gel with the current crew we have. Plus summer is around the corner and it’s my favorite time to work in Advancement. I just want to continue to do the best job that I can do for the next two years or so. Going to grad school will at least give me the sense that I’m accomplishing something worthwhile. And who knows. Something drastic could arise over the next few months at work. Maybe I’ll be promoted, even though I really don’t want to work in a writing related role at my job. I’m content with becoming a better admin. There is so much that I still need to perfect. Back to the writing. I need a breakthrough in my writing this year. I’m tired of doing a blog or writing a piece of a story here and there. I sound like a broken record, but I have to make a change in my writing life. I have to stop being lazy. I need to stop spending so much of my free time watching tv. I have so many resources in my house to aid my writing. I spend most of my time staring at them instead of cracking them open and practicing. I’m trying to change this. Hopefully writing in this book on a daily basis will ignite the spark that takes my writing habit to the next level. I’m 31 and feel a big urge to make something happen before I’m 32. I have to know that I’m on the right track with my writing. I don’t want to enter 2018 as just another aspiring author and mediocre blogger. I want people to know my name. I want to be a good writer for myself. I want people to get something meaningful from my writing. I have to push myself even when every fiber of my being hates doing so.