Thursday, February 01, 2007

The First Month

Here we are at the first of February already! I did well in January.

I started out the year with a plan to write 3,000 words a day. The first step was to write 1000 words first thing, before I ever looked at emails, websites, or anything else that might take my attention or require work. The plan worked very well. By the first week, those first 1000 words were the easiest writing I'd done in a long time. I was still struggling with the other two thousand words, though. But then, I got a bit ahead. I was getting my 3k done about midnight, and since I'm a late night person, I'd start working on the next day's material right afterwards. I'd do 1000 before I went to bed... and then a 1000 first thing the next day. The remaining 1000 words turned out to be very easy, fit in between while I did other work.

So, I wrote one 50,000 word story (either longer than I wanted or shorter than I needed -- I still can't decide!), and two 4,000 word short stories. After that I went to work on a novel that badly needed a rewrite from scratch, and it's going very well. I wrote about 94,500 words for January.

I also edited 162 pages worth of material, and that went far better than I could have hoped. I'm about half way through one book that I will soon have off to the publisher.

Last year, there were many days I had to fight to get the words written. It wasn't that I didn't want to write -- that has never happened. However, I went through a great deal of outside stress last year, and my writing paid for it. Work also piled up that I had to get done, and knowing I had that stuff, it weighed on me when I tried to write.

I decided it wouldn't be that way in 2007.

Sometimes, the biggest part of writing, and especially about being prolific, is just attitude. It's easy to let other things take the time you could devote to writing. It's easy to let your mind worry about so many things that there's no room for a story to grow. I decided I would not do that this year. I wanted to have a good time writing again, and the best way to do it was to allow myself to enjoy the fun of writing again.

Here's another thing for this year -- I have not worked with a single outline. The rewrite of an older novel is the closest to one, and could probably pass for one, considering how close to the original story I'm staying. But the first three pieces I wrote were completely without any planning. I love doing that now and then, but I also like writing the more complex, layered stories that come together so well with an outline.

I don't watch much TV and I don't go to the movies. I used to, but writing took the place of that sort of entertainment years ago. I would rather 'watch' my stories unfold than watch most shows. I still read, but not as much as I used to, and more often it's nonfiction than fiction. I learn things. (Did you know that swans are really just very long-necked geese?) I find it all fascinating.

But mostly I write. It is both my first love and my most important job. I'm not going to let either of those facts get lost this year.

Oh, and the new Sangre story is up on my Storybook blog. Have fun!

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1 comment:

Chris (khris0117) said...

I read at your journal that you don't like all this cold-- I'm just down in Missouri. I'm a winter person and this bitter cold is wearing on my tolerance too. But it keeps me inside and writing so I can't complain too loud. Stay warm!