Oops. Did I say every day?

Ha. I said I’d post here every day in my last post. Well, that certainly didn’t work out.

I’m actually looking for a diary/journal/log plugin to just track my writing, but haven’t found something I like, yet. I don’t want to fill up the blog feed with entries like, “Wrote 590 words.” or “Did 1 hours of rewrites.”

I think tracking my progress would be helpful, but those kinds of entries don’t quite rise to the level of a blog post.

For now, I’ll just create a new page and worry about the plugin, later. I’ll probably call the new page, “My writing log” or something like that.

Will public embarrassment work?

How am I doing?

Meh. Good, but not so good.

That about sums it up. It’s not an issue of “lofty expectations”. My expectations are modest – 500 words a day or an hour, if I’m doing rewrites, and writing every day.

Really modest, no-pressure goals. And yet…

I have the every day thing down. That I’m doing. Doing something every day seems to be something I can handle. But there have been a few times when I didn’t put in the time. I’m not going to obsess over it, but the last few days, in particular, I haven’t been hitting those marks.

There are lots of reasons – distractions, life, procrastination – for why I didn’t hit those modest goals, but, frankly, they’re not good reasons. (I think the biggest problem is putting the writing off, but that’s a post for another time.)

So what’s to be done?

I’ve decided more public embarrassment will work for me. Since doing something every day seems to be something I can handle, I’ll post to this blog every day, just logging my progress. If I have to put my daily record out there for all to see (Actually, almost no one is reading this blog, right now, but you get the idea.), I think it will keep me on track.

If I have to show the world how I’m doing, I’ll try to do better. Peer pressure is a might force.

(I’m looking for a diary/log plugin, now, for WordPress. I’d like to put this daily writing log on another page.)

 

 

You can’t pants while you rewrite.

pants

 

When I sit down and write a piece of fiction, I’m a bit of a pantser. That means I just write and see what comes out. For those who don’t know, writing blogs and books like to place writers in two categories – pantsers and plotters (Ugh, I hate being pigeonholed.): Plotters plot out their story ahead of time; pantser just write and see what comes out.

Pantsing isn’t stream of consciousness – or it shouldn’t be – you should have an idea what you’re going to write about and maybe a little idea of where it’s going. But the idea is to get the story out of you head and on paper. Write, fool, write! Worry about the grammar, structure, spelling, and all the rest of that stuff, later.

I’m actually doing that, right now. But it’s not full bore pantsing (I don’t know if that’s a word, but I’m going with it.), because I had some idea of what I wanted to write about, today, and I’m rewriting as a go. I knew I wanted to talk about my progress and the fact I was doing rewrites, but I didn’t know I’d talk about pantsing and plotting. But this is what I’m coming up with as I write this post.

You can’t be a pantser when you’re rewriting, because the rewrite phase is the clean up phase. Pantsing (It’s a funny  word, I know.), you’re dumping characters and plot everywhere. When you’re in this phase of your writing – presuming you’re a pantser – it should be easy to hit that 500 word mark. But when you’re rewriting, you’re going to be adding and subtracting; you might spend hours on your writing, but your word count might actually go down.

When you’re rewriting, trying to hit a word count every day probably isn’t a reasonable goal. So what should your goal be during rewrites?

Time. I’m going with time. Some people go with chapters – distance – but I think you should set a time mark for yourself. In my case, I’m still sort of trying to hit that 500 word mark. My goal during rewrites is to put in at least an hour on rewrites.

Why an hour? Because it takes me about forty five minutes to get 500 words when I’m pantsing (It’s really hard to say that word, even in your brain and not laugh.). So I’m rounding up a little and shooting for an hour.

But to be completely honest here, it’s a little bit of both time and distance. My first goal is time – I try to put in an hour on my rewrites. But I don’t want to break the rewrite in the middle of a scene, so I try to finish the scene I’m on while I’m rewriting.

So my goals have been revised since I’m in the revision stage. I write every day. I write at least 500 words a day or write for at least an hour a day while I’m in rewrites.


If you want to read a bit more about plotting and pantsing, the writepractice has a nice write up on the pros and cons of each.

 

I can blog, but can I write?

blog

I’m a blogger.

That I know I can do. And I know others would say I’m a blogger, too. I’ve blogged daily, a few times a week – which appears to be the pattern developing with this blog –  and as little as once a week. I’ve blogged for content mills, several start-up blogs, and one noted blog – technorati, which is now gone, sadly. I’ve written on gaming, technology, finance, international trade, food, energy, and… Well, pretty much anything someone wanted me write.

I know I can blog, because I’ve done it in the past. I’ve done it every day for months. I can sit down and hammer out 250-500 words for my blog or your blog, anytime you want, on pretty much any topic you want. I can deliver copy on time and consistently and I’ve been paid to do it (Remember, I’m unemployed, now. so if you’re looking for a blogger, send me a message.)

So I know I’m a blogger.

But can I write?

Or more specifically can I write fiction? Can I sit down and produce 500 words of writing every day and produce something others will want to read?

That’s my goal. I’d like to sit here one day and say, I’ve been published here and there. I’d like to say,  I write 1000 words of fiction, every day. I’d like to say, that a few people have liked what I do and have even published it.

It’s not a particularly lofty goal, I know, but I’m trying to keep my goals modest.

So while I’m a blogger, I don’t actually consider myself a writer, yet.

I know I’m quibbling and perhaps it’s a too fine a distinction. If you sit in your basement, and write and write, pouring out thousands of words a day, but no one reads them but you, are you a  writer?

Yes, of course. Technically, that makes you a writer. I won’t deny that. But I want a little more. For me, I want others to say I’m a writer. I want someone, somewhere to use the adjective writer when they talk about me.

That’s not too lofty a goal, I hope.