My last four posts can be summarized as follows:
- I love writing, and what do you know? I have this idea for a novel that demands to be written.
- I’m a perfectionist; rather than using this drive to work on improvement, I use my perfectionism as an excuse to put things off, because whatever I do, my efforts will never live up to my ridiculous expectations.
- As a result of point number 2, I rarely do the things I really want or need to do.
- End result: life is messy. The novel is neglected for long periods of time, my apartment is in shambles, etc.
- After surveying said mess, I manufacture lists of excuses and justifications for why it is perfectly acceptable that I haven’t done any of the things I know I ought to be doing.
- I am tired of all of the above foolishness. I have no one to blame but myself. Therefore, I shall take action!
Actions I’m taking to improve my writing, as well as improving the quantity and frequency are:
- Starting this blog and promising that I’ll write three posts a week. As far as this week is concerned, I’ve done it!
- A couple of months ago I entered a short story contest with the first short story I’d written since high school. I didn’t win, but I did meet a lot of other inspiring writers who are brimming with advice and encouragement. Valuable connections, great insights, and wonderful critiques. I am thoroughly in love.
- Through my charming short story group, I learned about National Novel Writing Month. I didn’t bother looking up what NaNoWriMo was all about until almost the end of the month, however. One opportunity missed for the year, at least as far as formal participation goes. The great news is that missing out doesn’t matter! I can apply the concept on any month any time that I want. Yes, it would be nice if I had a bunch of fellows racing alongside me with all the support, advice, and encouragement that implies. I just don’t see why I can’t make a goal to write 50,000 words on any month I choose. One of these months, very soon, I will. NaNoWriMo sounds like a fantastic idea for someone like me in the sense that the only reasonable way to reach 50,000 words is to put quantity on a higher pedestal than quality. I’m convinced that the best way to surmount my perfectionistic tendencies is to allow myself to write garbage. Unlike most garbage, though, shall I throw it away? Of course not! I’m going to go over my writing, find what is worth recycling, and rework my garbage into art. Honestly, if writing a novel often requires multiple drafts, what is wrong with the first draft being outright terrible? Logical answer: absolutely nothing. At least something has been written, at least there will be progress. Next year I will participate in NaNoWriMo, but if I have my way, I’ll already have done something similar of my own volition more than once.
- Goal: I will finish chapter 12 by Sunday, pull Safran (main character of novel demanding to be written) out of her rut, and stop using her as an excuse for why I cannot write. I will also stop fostering the belief that I cannot write without her. Promise: I will provide an update.
- I am also writing poetry and short stories, experimenting with writing styles and genres other than the ones I typically dabble in, and making an effort to read large amounts of amateur and professional writing in those usually unexplored areas. Exactly why I am doing this and why I believe such efforts are helpful is being reserved for another blog post. So long as I don’t have any plans for submitting the pieces I write, I will post them on the blog. Any helpful commentary* is appreciated.
- I’m NOT editing this post.
*I notice that I have some views, followers, and comments now. Welcome, and thanks for stopping by! Some of the commenters may have noticed that my comments are being moderated. Although it might take me a day or two to approve comments, I will only delete or refuse to approve commentary that is spam or that directs hate at another commentator or group. Hate or disapproval directed at me or my writing, however, is, with rare exception, permitted; I do reserve the right to remove comments should I have reasonable suspicion that said commenter is trolling. Otherwise, I welcome critiques of both the negative and positive variety.