Thursday, January 3, 2013

Writing is a process...

Sometimes I post stories.  Sometimes I post poems.  And sometimes I post views on politics, economy, family etc.  (Hey, its my blog.)

Most of the time these posts start out either as a story that I am writing, or a event that happens that gets me thinking.  I sit down, and most of the time, pound out the post in a few minutes, (like this one).  Sometimes I save a draft, and sometimes I go back to them.  Sometimes.

But this year, I am trying to write more stories.  And to do that, I have created a new process.

Old Process:

I have heard, "You have to write every day." from many many people.  And as an amateur author, this seems daunting.  I have a full-time job and a full-time family.  I have tried for years and carving out a time each day to spend writing just hasn't worked.

And just like a diet plan or exercise plan that is too aggressive or too invasive, I eventually give it up. It won't fit with my life, so it gets abandoned.

New Process:

I fell into this one on accident.  I was following the old pattern, and had put a daily writing plan into my calendar.  But it wasn't working.  I tried to adjust a few things, and slide the time around from day to day in and attempt to fit with life.

I was on the verge of giving in and up on the plan, when I did something unusual.  I deleted the schedule from one day out of the week.

That's right, just one day.  Instead of seven writing appointments, I had six.  And lightning struck me in the head.  I quickly realized that I didn't have to give up in despair, I could pick days that had time, and ignore the ones that didn't.

For me this plan is now a 4 day a week writing plan.  It was revolutionary!  It was bold! And it was practical!

And then lightning struck me again.

One day, sitting to write, I just didn't feel the bug.  My dialog was limp and squishy.  And to try and get myself in the zone, I re-read something from last week.

Then I started editing it.  And then I got excited.  I didn't have to do the same thing every writing day!

I now have one day a week that I allow myself to edit something I wrote at least a week earlier.  And my other days are designated as dialog days, descriptive days and action days.  I try to keep this mix going so that I don't fall into a rut and loose the bubble.

But I cut myself slack and don't necessarily write dialog on dialog day.  Not if I have the itch for action or description, etc.

Summary:

So far, this new, more flexible plan has worked for me.  I am 10 chapters into "The Legend of Trees" and have a couple of short stories that are getting polished up.  And I get excited to move them from the WIP directory to my shared directory on my google drive so that my editors, (family) can read them and make comments and corrections.

(This also helps, because they know when I haven't been giving them more and ask me about it.)

Its all part of the process.

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