I had no idea that you could study writing.
That was a stupid thing to write. What I mean is that I had no belief that a person can get better at writing a novel. I thought you were either born a great writer, or you were shit out of luck.
Since I took the Pledge last week, I’ve tried to hold myself accountable to it. Part of taking writing seriously is to accept that I need to be an information sponge. Since then, I’ve resolved to try all the things I’ve previously thought ridiculous/pointless when it comes to writing.
As mentioned previously, I’ve joined a few online writing groups and participated in peer sessions. Today I wrote the first of lengthy critiques of other writers’ works in order to gain enough “karma” points to post my own work for review.
Another habit I’ve adopted is listening to various podcasts where the hosts interview contemporary writers. I found there are a great deal to learn from published writers there and it’s also a source of inspiration.
In regards to producing actual written work, this is currently slow going. I have written a short scene each day. Gone are the frantic three hour writing sessions spurred by a random creative burst–now instead I have a daily word dump.
But that’s okay. I can only assume that this is expected. I’m doing a bit of reading each day and I’m finding out that everything I thought about How To Write a Novel (start a scene and go from there is how I always used to do it) is
wrong (sorry, “unsuccessful”). Instead there is so much technique involved in the art of creating a story that people want to read that I’m back to taking baby steps with writing.
Not to mention that a 7 month old baby doesn’t allow for 3 hour creative keyboard mashing. My son demands a great deal of attention, so I’m taking an hour or twenty minutes at a time.
But I’m optimistic. I feel better about my current plan than I have ever felt about ANY plan (maybe because I never had a proper plan). I feel like I will really get something out of myself if I just continue doing what I’m doing.
Here’s to hoping I have something read-worthy by this time next year.