Writing Every Day… or Something Like It

23 05 2010

Since starting the Page-A-Day Challenge, I have written a page per day, but I haven’t stuck with any single writing project. I’ve jumped around from project to project. It feels so good to write that I want to keep writing, but I’m in one of those frenetic moods where no single project can hold my attention. Instead of fighting those pulses in attention, I’m going with them. I’ve been writing everything from the fluff fiction piece I started out with to non-fiction. My next writing goal? To get better at writing to my friends–something I used to do frequently but that has dropped dramatically once social media entered my life. Yet I don’t think anything on the computer compares with receiving a handwritten note in the mail, so I’m trying to get back to the basics and use my writing urges to write to friends. Should that type of writing count toward daily writing time? Some people may disagree with me, but I’m going to count it. I figure that writing in and of itself is therapeutic for me, so I shouldn’t rush to put any strings on the writing I do.

My new goal is to lump all writing (outside of academic writing, which is its own field) into one: letters, blog posts, creative pieces, journal writing, nonfiction essays, etc. I have found that telling myself I have to write X daily ends up leaving me feel stifled. The only time that worked for me was during NaNoWriMo; I’m not sure how I survived that month–I think I just had the “I’m going to get it done” mentality, and I’m not sure that mentality will grace me more than once per year.

I am also going to count revisions on said writing as my writing time. If I’m in the mood to revise, I shouldn’t stop myself just because I think I need to pen something new that day. Revising can very much be like writing for the first time–especially when so many revisions end up taking out material to put in fresh material or rewording what’s on the page to make it sound more fresh.

I’m not sure if not working on the same project every day disqualifies me officially from the Page-A-Day Challenge, but in my mind, I’m doing just fine.

Also, you may have noticed a little change–I was getting tired of my old theme, and I didn’t like how the paragraphs were spaced so closely together. So I scoured the available themes and went with a new one. The bright colors at the top make me happy. They remind me of the days when I was kid and picked up those paint chip papers just because I liked the colors on them. And being reminded of those days is refreshing.

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2 responses

24 05 2010
Jillian Sullivan

How do you keep going with a creative project when doubt and rejection loom larger than belief?
For years I wrote one unpublished novel after another. I knew about the struggle to create, all right. I had 5 children to support. I loved writing and the texture of a sentence. Yet I faced such doubts that at times I almost couldn’t carry on.

It was easier at the start, when I could still believe in the possibility of success. I wrote seven novels before one was published. How to keep going? I still didn’t know. I was stuck halfway through yet another novel and nervous about taking on a project to write a mythology textbook. A writer friend, Bridget, and I came up with a plan ~ we would text each other two random words at night and in the morning, before dawn, we would make something out of them. In this way we would shortcut doubt and procrastination and begin each day already being writers.
On the third day, I started to write what seemed like lectures from a guide I called Godfrey. I thought I would photocopy them for Bridget. On the day I wrote there were fifty more lectures to come, I realised it was a book length project. I wrote almost every dawn over a winter, in my house beside the sea. I wrote a book I didn’t set out to write and I did it without thinking, without stopping, for twenty minutes a day. That was the first thing I learnt ~ that by simply doing it, something would grow.
I went on and wrote the myth book, finished the novel, published two more. The fear has mostly gone. Doubt still lives on and procrastination thrives in many guises. But after meeting Godfrey in these pages, I think I know enough now to carry on.

Hope you get to read my book one day.
Jillian Sullivan

24 05 2010
jessiewriting

Thank you, Jillian. Your words are truly inspiration for me. I love the random words idea, and I think I know just the friend to get involved in a similar endeavor. I also like the moral to your story–that writing anything at all (even the unplanned) is still writing and may lead to something better than I could have planned out intentionally. Again, thank you for your words: People like you have made me count myself blessed for being welcomed into the world of writers. There is so much love and support from other writers that some days I simply get joy out of being a part of the community–even if I don’t get published anytime in the near future.

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