Writing 101 – Day 2

If you could zoom through space in the speed of light, what place would you go to right now?

The spaces we inhabit have an influence on our mood, our behavior, and even the way we move and interact with others. Enter a busy train station, and you immediately quicken your step. Step into a majestic cathedral, and you lower your voice and automatically look up. Return to your own room, and your body relaxes.

Today, choose a place to which you’d like to be transported if you could — and tell us the back-story. How does this specific location affect you? Is it somewhere you’ve been, luring you with the power of nostalgia, or a place you’re aching to explore for the first time?

Today’s twist: organize your post around the description of a setting.

The Daily Post / Writing 101, Day two – A room with a view

A room with a view

If I could go anywhere in the world right now,  it would be Barcelona. I’ve been there once, a couple of years ago and I lost my heart there. The city is so lively, full of color and different from any other city I know. I’ve never seen anything like it. And I doubt that there is a place quite like that city anywhere in the world. The atmosphere is so unique, I remember stepping off the train and immediately the city felt like something fresh and new and at the same time I felt comfortable there. It was as if I had been there many times before, but I hadn’t. It was my first trip to Spain actually – my first time in Barcelona. I didn’t know the language or the people, nor the streets and the building and yet in a strange way it felt like coming home. I still – to this day – can’t explain that feeling. There is no logical explanation and I will probably never find it anyway.

The city was bustling with people, lots and lots people. Most of them like me visiting the city for a couple of hours, a day or maybe a week. But they were all unfamiliar with streets and the building. All in awe with what they saw. The locals however ran past the buildings without granting them so much as a look. They don’t see the beauty anymore, which is a shame. I would love to walk on those streets again, while listening to the sounds of foreign languages spoken by the people around me I would spend hours just looking up at the buildings. Buildings from which the wall slow as if they were waves caught in stone. I would climb the steep stairs into the highest towers of the Sagrada Familia which they started building in 1882 and still haven’t finished. I would wonder – while I was standing on the ground floor – if they would ever actually finish it … who would decide that it was finished? Gaudi who designed the building certainly has never seen in brought to completion, are they even still following his plans or are they by now just adding new pieces because they can? And since the building has so many styles , no two parts are the same who can really tell if the plans are still being followed. If you step inside the Sagrada Familia and you look up at the roof you would see a spectacle of colors, shapes and forms it would be as if you were gazing into a kaleidoscope.

Later that same day I would find myself riding a bus towards Park Güell. I could imagine myself sitting at the terraces shaped structure in middle of Park Güell looking out over the city, taking in the beautiful bright colors of the mosaics used to build the benches. Every inch of those benches is filled with playfully positioned pieces of brightly colored tiles. I remember sitting there – surprised by how comfortable they were – and I would sit there maybe for hours at a time. With a notebook placed on my lap and a pen in my hand. I would spend time looking around me, watching families as they pass me by. Children playing tag on the huge terrace, people snapping pictures of their families and loved ones. But I would be sitting their long after they have left still trying to take all the beauty which surrounds me in. And in between I would attempt to write – because it seems like such a perfect place to do just that, write. Yet I also know that I would most-likely be too distracted and chances are that I would return to my hotel room with a still empty notebook.

I’m going back, one day – sooner rather than later – I’m going back. I love that city and I’ve only seen a teeny tiny bit of it. There’s so much more to see and I want to see it all.

Though I would never want to live in Barcelona, reason for that is simple. The city would lose its magic. It really would, you know why? Because as soon as you’ll be able to see it each and every day it would become normal and that would be a true shame. I wouldn’t want to lose that special feeling this city gave me, but I do want to go back every chance I get and be in awe every chance I get.

 

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Writing 101 – Day 1

To get started, let’s loosen up. Let’s unlock the mind. Today, take twenty minutes to free write. And don’t think about what you’ll write. Just write.

Keep typing (or scribbling, if you prefer to handwrite for this exercise) until your twenty minutes are up. It doesn’t matter if what you write is incomplete, or nonsense, or not worthy of the “Publish” button.

And for your first twist? Publish this stream-of-consciousness post on your blog.

The Daily Post / Writing 101, Day one – Unlock the mind

This assignment was actually posted on June 2 2014 but I only now happened to come across it and I loved it so much that I want to do the assignments anyway. Better late than never! Right.

Okay, here it goes. Underneath you´ll find the unedited 20 minute free writing exercise. Let´s see where this journey will take us.

Writing, writing is something I´ve been doing for the past decade … probably even a little bit longer. No, most certainly longer. I remember writing stories when I was really little of course those stories were really short and had no real beginning, end or a middle for that matter but I loved creating things. Things around me inspired me to write and till this day it´s still something I love to do. It started to become more serious when I was around 18 years old. I was a member of a forum and we would have these huge role-playing games and before I knew it I was involved in a couple of them. One day someone challenged me to write a story and that is how I basically rolled into writing fanfiction. Getting feedback and reviews on your stories is an awesome way to get inspired. And one thing led to another now almost 15 years later I´m still active as a fanfiction writer. But I would really like to write some original stories as well.

A couple of years ago I heard of this massive online community of writers all around the globe who attempted to write a book in a month. And I was impressed! The first time I came across it was actually on the second day of November and I could have signed up and participated that year. I mean two days in is really not that much to still manage to catch up but I didn´t because I was too scared. It seemed like to big a goal to actually make it, 50 000 words in a month. That is a huge number! But I did sign up for that website because I wanted to see how people were doing and to be able to keep track of the projects. So the next year I was ready to go. I didn´t really belief that I could actually do it because it still seemed like a huge amount of words to finish in a month but I did want to sign up and at least attempt it.

Nanowrimo was a really new experience for me and I decided that I wouldn´t make it harder on myself than it would already be so I wrote fanfiction. Even if you have to ´technically´ write original work. I believe in taking things one step at a time instead of immediately setting myself up for failure. So I started Nanowrimo as a rebel! And I loved it, we – here in the Netherlands and Belgium – have a ´Kick off´ party and a ´Thank God it´s over´ party and I love going to those because suddenly you´re in a room with people who are all attempting to do the same thing. I did Nanowrimo for the first time five years ago and I have participated every year since. I also ended all of my Nanowrimo´s as a winner which basically means that I have surpassed the goal of 50 000 words. But so far I haven´t been able to finish any of my stories. Mainly because I´ve been too pre-occupied with other projects. During Nanowrimo I´ve written three fanfics and these last two years I´ve attempted to write an original story.

The first year I started with an original story was the year that I learned that writing original stories is much harder than it seems. There is so much you have to think about and so many details you need to flesh out to make sure that you know where you want the story to go and how it gets to that point. I can honestly say that I had no idea. The thing with writing fanfiction is that the characters are already there, as is the back story and the setting. So you don´t need to think about that at all. You just need to focus on your character development and the story development. And that is a lot easier when you´re not paying attention to all the other things that happen in the story.

The first attempt at writing an original story almost stopped half way through November because I knew that what I was doing was not working. But I kept on going and I made to 50 000 but just barely and I was so ready to throw everything I had written into the bin. Really I was upset and kind of worried too because I was afraid that this was not for me after all.

But the story choose differently, I tried to let go of it, but it kept going on and on in my head and I knew that I would have to give it another shot. And I did last year. I wrote a new story, the same general idea as the year before but I changed a lot of things around and started again and on the last day of November I made it through my 50 000 words.

Okay … that´s twenty minutes worth of writing without thinking. Just basic word dropping.
But let me finish that last part since I was almost done.

And a completely different story than what I had expected it to be. I have to be honest in telling that since last year I haven´t touched that story. For some reason it still feels wrong and right now I don´t have any idea how to fix that. So I have decided to let that story go for now and focus on other projects. Projects like this for instance and my fanfic which I really want to finish … soon.