This picture was shared in the ‘Survival Thread’ of one of my favourite forums, the Spork Room. They’re an amazingly supportive community of writers etc, and this picture was not only relevant but also so generally awesome I would have shared it even if it wasn’t.
A few days ago I posted about how good I was at procrastinating, and how I was having trouble motivating myself without a deadline. Some of you were kind enough to come back to me a couple of days later and ask me how I’d been getting on, and I had indeed managed 1,400 words. I haven’t written anything else on that particular project since, as editing is hard and requires brain power, but I’m working on a new writing project (a murder mystery involving contract killers and some incredibly red herrings), of which I’ve written 1,813 at the time of working on this post. Result!
In addition, I’ve been trying to cultivate the “write every day” habit once again. There was a point when I thought this meant, in NaNoWriMo style, 1700 words of a novel every day until you couldn’t write any more, but I’ve realised that it doesn’t have to be fiction, as long as you write. For my birthday, I was given a beautiful notebook with a cover designed to look a map. It’s an old fashioned map of Europe (countries that used to exist but do not any more are printed, and borders have moved around, etc), and it’s very pretty.
Every day I’m writing in this notebook, the last thing before I go to bed. I write on both sides of one sheet every day, although some days my handwriting is smaller and some days I don’t do more than one or two lines on the second page. It’s a journal, rather than a diary, because although the entries are personal to me they’re not an account of what I’ve been doing, they’re thoughts on certain things.
I considered sharing some of the pages here, but decided against it in the end. Perhaps I will when the notebook is full (at this rate, that will happen on the 10th of May), but it didn’t seem like a good idea now. I felt that if I knew I was writing for a blog, I would alter what I was writing to be something I wanted my particular blog readers to see, and that is not the idea.
The notebook is written to be read by anyone else who is feeling what I am feeling at any times. The entries do not correspond to each other and their styles vary wildly – some are very formally written and go off on all sorts of tangents, or as many as is possible in two pages, while others are written in a chatty style and just explore one topic in not much detail. That’s okay, though, because they’re supposed to be like my mind, and that’s basically what my brain is like.
In writing these little entries each day, I feel that not only am I getting into the habit of writing every day, hopefully something that will stick, but I’m also preparing my brain for sleep. By putting all my thoughts on paper, I’m ensuring that they don’t go around and around in my head all night!
I don’t know if I’ll manage to keep it up for a month, let alone until the tenth of May, but I’m going to try.
And thank you for holding me to account with regards to my editing. You are more than welcome to nag me about it at regular intervals, but I shall probably lie and give you the wordcount for my murder mystery instead, as it will soon overtake that second draft of Destroying.
It probably doesn’t matter what I am writing, in the long run. It’s just about writing. Learning to write, and honing my writing, and learning to try different genres (I write about fairies far too often. One of my goals for this year was to write a book that wasn’t based around Celtic mythology).
I’m picking myself up and carrying on with this whole writing lark. What about you? Did you never fall down in the first place, or are you still stuck in a hole?