Posted by: Matt Q. McGovern | September 19, 2018

writing and other unfinished business

This year has been full of house projects for me. The work includes the search for and hiring of general contractors, electricians, floor and windows replacement company representatives, and overall, a mess around my house. My car even wanted to get in on the act as well by breaking down and giving multiple mechanics a challenge to resolve. There are times it feels that I have too many things cooking at the same time when all I want is for it to be finished. The only project I have any closure for is acquiring art for my house, as my last few posts here attest. Getting any writing done during any of this is, at this time, best accomplished in flashes.

While the subject of flash writing is already established in the world, my version of it is more like my concept of flash reading, something I’ve written about in the past Flash Reading. I think the basic idea of what I’m talking about here is to take a snapshot of your imagination and let it flow onto the page. Reading a paragraph of a novel in a very brief time, say, in an elevator, forces you to quickly create (or recreate) the snapshot of the paragraph’s setting in your mind in order to understand what you’re reading about. For my version of flash writing, I have to do the same with writing in a very short period of time. This is very easy to do, as long as I stay focused on the current scene and not how it fits with the whole novel, etc.

At the very least, it allows me to keep writing during a time when my mind is cluttered with so many other things. A major flaw of mine has always been the distraction of these other things, especially when I walk around my house and see things in an unfinished state. Flash writing allows me to beat the distractions.

The various house projects can also be a possible enhancement to my writing in that the characters may have unfinished projects around their households. I find it easier to write about a character’s frustrations when they echo my own. 😉


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