Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead. -- Gene Fowler

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Out of meandering comes... a challenge!

The view out my window
I've gotten off to a late start this morning. My house is full of distractions today, from a problem with my laptop computer to the enticing view of the half a foot of snow or so that was dumped on us last night, I'm struggling to get here and type something that's meaningful.

I haven't been in much of a creative mood lately, so not much work has been done on my writing. I haven't been writing on 750words.com much in the last week. I don't know if I'll go back to the site. It's a fine site, just perhaps not best suited to me and my writing. What I ought to be doing is doing my real Morning Pages, longhand, in my notebook purchased for that purpose. Getting the drek out of my head and onto the page first thing is a great help, especially if I do it day after day. But I've been falling down on a lot of self-helpful things lately.

I wonder if it's not time for a project. A real project like NaNoWriMo. Take the month of February, perhaps, and commit to writing a certain number of words a day on a specific work. If I think about it enough, I can come up with a reason why any month is a bad month to start a project like this. "January is right after the holiday season. I'll be depressed and angry and have no motivation. February is the month I decide I'm really really sick of winter, really. March is ..." And so on. Even November is a pain due to American holidays and such things, yet I manage to get NaNoWriMo accomplished every year. I've talked about the concept of having lots of others out there working with me and the strength it lends me. Who out there wants to join a 'words per day' challenge?

Inkygirl's blog sports a handy-dandy set of word challenges to suit your comfort level. Commit to 250, 500, or 1000 words a day. If I'm to write on the same story/project each and every day, I think I'll choose the middle-of-the-road amount of 500 words. I find writing 1600+ words each day on the same story during NaNoWriMo to be challenging, and, for me, not conducive to creating good story, ultimately. It makes more work in the revision and editing departments, and that's a mountain I've yet to tackle. But 500 words seems simple enough, and will give me room to plot, outline, and do whatever other planning and organising work I need to do.

So who's with me? Choose a level and pledge to spend the month of February writing 250, 500, or 1000 words a day with me. Believe me, you won't be the only one thinking, "What have I done?!"

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