Update on my Writing – 54,000 words
Sorry it’s taken me so long to update on my writing 54,000 words and well my self-publishing life so to speak. The 30 day challenge I posed for myself since I missed NaNoWriMo was interesting and went well. At my deadline I had 44,000+ words although I had upped my own goal to 60,000 a couple of weeks into it. Life took over and I started missing my daily goals which then grew as you can imagine. (Honestly I think I subconsciously allowed myself to slack a bit since I’d basically made it. ;)) There were blogs to catch up on, posts to put together, images to edit, and so much more. But as I write this my Writeometer App tells me I have ~54,000 words and counting!
Writing is like so many other things in our life, and I think it’s especially like exercise. You have to make time for it if it’s not already pulling at your heartstrings. With exercise I find that if I’m not expecting it to be a part of my every day life then it’s far too easy to let it slide for “tomorrow”. So it’s the same with writing, if I don’t say sit down at 6:30 and get it done then I’ll just keep planning on catching up at the next alert (that I set on my phone). Unless of course I get struck down with an idea and I just have to get it down on paper. Another blogger I visit – Christine R – is also an author whose working on a novel she expects to publish in April. She too knows how easy it is to get caught up on WordPress checking blogs, commenting, replying to comments, and preparing new posts. By the time you’re done it’s probably the end of the day and now what do you have left for your writing, your side-job in some respects? This is why it’s important to make writing a priority when you have a project/goal in mind. It’s like weight loss; if you want to lose weight you’re going to need to diet to some extent (or not) and get your butt exercising at least every other day. If you don’t do these things then you won’t lose weight. If you don’t make yourself get to writing you won’t write your memoir, your novel, your poetry book, your poem, story, etc. This is my lesson this week, but reaches back through the month of January. I hope for February I’m more diligent and disciplined. After all I’ve got a second poetry collection to work on, some short stories and this novel, never mind getting back to properly promoting my first collection!
Back on the subject of my 50 in 30 challenge to myself, I definitely made headway in my story but not to the extent that I had hoped going into the month. I thought 50,000 words in would mean I really know where it’s going, but in my case and in the case of this story at least, that’s not so. While my story itself isn’t anymore solid there is a lot that I learned in terms of what I need to do to make it happen, or at least do something like making it happen!
I learned that my critical nature hampers my imagination sometimes in the midst of creativity. Even as I’m trying to write a fictional story I’m tearing things apart and not thinking big enough. It’s sort of that phenomenon wherein you can see things better when you’re on the outside, you know what I mean? Yup, that’s what’s been happening here. So I think it’s that much more important for my craft that in February I focus more, “unplug” as everyone says (like Christine R I mentioned above told me to do!), and turn down, no turn off the distractions and knuckle down. My imagination is not just a thing that happens, it’s something that I can control to some degree and it’s something that I have to explore. Also for the health of me and my story I need to work on some other stories in between working on this story. I think writing something that comes to me more easily will really help. This is again analogous to exercise. When you’re trying to lose weight especially intervals are a must. When you push and push and push then you rest for a bit, that little bit of rest rejuvenates you just enough to push and push and push again. Thus working on a different story, or editing some poems, doing some other kind of writing can be a period of rejuvenation for a story that is clearly challenging for me. Someone in the LibraryThing author/reader group I’m in said that sometimes the story just runs into you and then you’re off. I’m hoping that happens soon, but in the mean time I need to do this sort of training until the “runner’s high” kicks in. Then once I’m/my story is in “better shape” I can just push strong without as much need for rejuvenation.
Now I must say as a warning here, I’m a major supporter of switching up your techniques and projects in order to take a breather but keep your creativity moving. However don’t let things take you so far away that you forget to come back, it’s like forgetting that you should turn around so you get back to your car before dark instead of walking until it’s dark! What am I talking about? Well switching between writing and photography and vice-versa is great for me, on both ends. But this whole point is based on the fact that I’ve been doing a lot of photographic activities and not as much writing. There’s a balance to be reached. And it can be done, I mean come on look at all the things we already do? One minute you wake, you work, you walk, you…wane into the evening. Then next you’ve got party planning, excitement, celebrations, vacations, new projects, achievements, we’re always moving into new stages. We’ve got games to play, shows to watch, movies we’ve got to see, people we’ve missed, meetings to attend, books to read, weight to lose, tears to cry, babies to hold, people to discipline, pets to play with, and dreams to dream. One minute we swim, the next we walk upon the beach to our cars and drive away. Switching between writer and photographer is just a part of life and it’s up to me to make it happen. In the meantime – while I’ve got almost 400 pictures from the Grand Valley Orchid Society Show to edit and share, posts of yours to catch up on, words to write, poems to edit – I’ve got to get some cleaning done, my dog needs a walk, and well my birds are out now and my Orchids got watered yesterday. You get the point.
That’s my update & lessons for the day, week, and heck this of course applies to February! What’s on your February-mind?