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For Your Eyes Only
Category: Writing
Tags: morning pages stream-of-consciousness writing

For Your Eyes Only

Through my angst-ridden teen years and my idealistic early twenties, I kept a diary which I wrote almost every day. What I wrote was private. Purely for myself.

Some diaries were sold with locks on. Or zips. Not mine, but I’d shudder at the thought of anyone else seeing their contents. I drew in them. I wrote long sentences with no time for punctuation, except a clutter of exclamation marks. I made confessions. I poured out my soul. Every emotion was exaggerated and tears often smudged the pages. Those tears were as secret as the thoughts and dreams I’d laid bare. My diary was sacred, as important as my life.

From my earlier diaries I moved on to journals. They were much the same thing but sounded more grown-up and serious. The emotions were just as real but facts and descriptions were sometimes included as well. Then, one day I lit a bonfire in the garden and – in an act of high drama – burnt the lot.

After decades of keeping no private accounts of my life, a stressful period made me turn to this again and start a new journal. It helped on many levels, giving me the support I needed without seeking professional help.

It’s the same thing – in essence – for serious or professional writers. If you wake up and write down whatever comes into your head, aware that none of this is for other eyes, there is no need for pretensions. If you’re like me, it’s sometimes hard to share feelings in total honesty – without self-censorship – by word of mouth, or even by text or email or whatever digital medium I use. Nor do I wish to burden others with my negative moods. I can also be self-conscious or embarrassed about my flights of fancy. Writing in this stream-of-consciousness way is energising. Liberating. And fun!

I’m trying to get into this on a daily basis, which I think some WA members already do. My preference is to write longhand in a notebook (by choice, still in bed and only semi-conscious!) Once filled, the book may go in the bin, or if I’ve written on a PC, a tablet, or any other gizmo, I can delete it. I may flip or scroll through it first looking for anything interesting I can use in my fiction. The honesty of this material can have a way of connecting with the reader in a way perfectly planned material sometimes can’t.

I find this practice lubricates the creative juices and puts me in the mood to write. Sometimes I write about writing, sometimes about something completely different. Other times I try my luck at our Monday Muse prompts. All can lead to something further. In this case, it led to this blog – a positive start to my writing day. 

And here’s another writer’s take on it that you might want to check out:

Cherished Fictional Characters

Cherished Fictional Characters

Even though it’s well over 50 years ago, I can still recall watching Andy Pandy, Bill and Ben and other similar television programs for young children. I loved them all. As I grew a little older I became a fan of Dr Who and to this day I recall vividly the intense thrill of fear the very first moment I saw a Dalek on the television screen.  I was literally petrified of them but so fascinated I was glued to the screen during the episodes.  Someone only had to point at me and say ‘exterminate’ (a popular children’s amusement at the time) and I would run away screaming. My greatest fear then was that Daleks would become a reality and suddenly appear in front of me. Even with all the advantages of technology in today’s filming industry, nothing I’ve ever seen on a screen since has installed the same feeling of dread in me.

Fictional characters (if you can call a Dalek a character) can play an important role in people’s minds, especially the young.  I longed to be part of a gang and share the same adventures as Enid Blyton’s Famous Five or Secret Seven characters, to fly like Peter Pan, or to fall in love with a Mr Darcy. Today’s young people probably dream of being Harry Potter or Hermione Grainger.  Adolescent boys may fantasise about Daenerys Targaryen and young ladies possibly dream of meeting Jon Snow.

There are countless fictitious characters immortalised in literature. Unlike us mere mortals, forgotten a generation or so after we leave this place, fictional characters are re-discovered and loved anew by each new generation of bookworms, film buffs and story lovers.

A fictional character begins life inside a writer’s head.  As a writer, perhaps one of your characters will become immortal, possibly originally inspired by one of the WA’s Monday muses.

This Week on WA 12th February
Category: Site News
Tags: writers Abroad News

It has been another busy week for many members of Writers Abroad.

Voting on the magazine versus newsletter resulted in the newsletter being agreed as a way forward for now. The what and when details yet to be discussed.

Members are updating posts on their writing plans and goals; we all know that plans are ever-shifting so reviewing and updating on a regular basis is a great idea.

The February challenges and opportunities thread is being added to all the time, and Alyson has taken up the challenge to write a really tough story with a 2099 setting in an American city. What a wowzer of a challenge and what an impressive offering from Alyson. If you haven't already - check this one out.

Angela, too, has a wonderful unicorn story resulting from last week's muses. Any publishers of stories for children out there? This one is well worthy of going to print.

And take a look at Jill's 'Bend in the River' a breathtaking piece also resulting from last week's muses. 

The Adhoccers are keeping up the beat as always, and it is really good to see new mum Luara back in the saddle. Great stories as always.

Speaking of which, yours truly attended a poetry and story telling event yesterday (Sunday) - reading from the Ad Hoc files is always fun. And swift too. It felt good to give them an outing.

As for this week - the muses are up thanks to Angela, Maggie's blog should be posted shortly.

Hope I've not forgotten anything - if I have, just holler. Have a good week all. 


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