Post by HDSimplicityy on Dec 21, 2020 23:19:42 GMT -6
Simple question. Are you able to hit some kind of writing goal every week with how your life is? For those with many years' experience, I may be surprised at your answer. With wanting to play videogames, find people to hang out with, watch youtube or shows, writing the book or something else, reading, I either need to become better at setting consistent goals, smaller ones, orrrr just write.
Carving out multiple hours in short time spans instead of small sessions over several days...
Yeah, I think to be consistent with something, you have to sacrifice something else, whether that's internet time or a couple hours' sleep or whatever. It's a matter of deciding what matters to you most and making tough decisions.
I hate having to prioritize my time. The free spirit in me wants to just do whatever feels right at the time (which is usually writing all day, then gaming all evening). Allotting time for a certain activity makes me feel boxed in, claustrophobic and frustrated, so I usually don't do the "thing" (usually writing) at all when those circumstances arise.
I guess I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum though. I was so driven to write for the last couple of decades that I sacrificed physical health time, anything resembling a social life, a job that brings in income (which forced sacrifices in most other areas). Even my poor family learned that I couldn't "be counted on" when they wanted social time with me. Did my writing improve? Yes. Was it worth it? I have no idea. Was it healthy? No.
Current writing goal: sit butt in chair and make anything that looks/feels like progress on the WIP -- even if that progress is ugly. Read (reading looks like a luxury, but it's a necessary part of a job working with words). LOL! I can't even claim a daily word count quota right now, the writing is that hideous and hit-and-miss.
So not pretty in practice, but definitely habitual in practice.
Last Edit: Dec 22, 2020 10:01:04 GMT -6 by RAVENEYE
Then the idea is to just write. Doesn't matter if its a sentence or a scene. One can even count writing activities as writing. I know I want to outline future stories, offer critique, and talk writing.
I realize that I have asked similar questions many times. They all relate to goals, time, and becoming better. Finding the optimal schedule to fit all your life in. Professional writers I admire are years, if not decades, in. Initial stories were terrible, developing that writer voice took a long time. Such as all of us. In the end, though... they did it. I find myself trying to chase this arbitrary two year cycle of starting, finishing, and polishing books, with various times in between to write shorter stories. As though pros write that way. Some may.
I have an idea to wake up thirty minutes earlier monday through friday to write. Usually I have part of my morning to read my Bible. I dont stay focused well. Reading in the afternoon after work should be a good solution. I got this idea from a writer on the Discord server Writers' Block. On Youtube, morning writing before work helped her increase output.
I find myself trying to chase this arbitrary two year cycle of starting, finishing, and polishing books, with various times in between to write shorter stories. As though pros write that way. Some may.
I have an idea to wake up thirty minutes earlier monday through friday to write. Usually I have part of my morning to read my Bible.
This cycle sounds familiar. The novel comes before everything, then when it's finished, I realize I've neglected short stories and haven't submitted anything to zines in months if not years, which can't be good if one wants to build that portfolio. It's tough to balance just that aspect of it, much less all the other life stuff.
And, yeah, kudos to you for being faithful to your Bible reading. That's definitely something that gets neglected on my end. When the writing gets impassioned, obsessive, and all-consuming, and the writer madness takes over, it definitely seems to fit the definition of idol. It never ends well. *see raven slide into dark spiritual hole* But then, novel gets finished, I surface to lead Bible studies. LOL, the rollercoaster of being Writer/Artist With Single-Minded Obsession.
--- About getting up earlier. Former Legendfirian and pen pal Monstewer explained that he had to get up at some heinous hour like 4 am to hash out a couple pages before heading off to work. He didn't get much support from his family though, so I don't think he stuck with it. He managed to self-pub a couple of dark fantasy novels before he vanished though.
Anyway, your question just brought it to mind.
Oh, and if you can read before falling asleep at night? It's like the advice we got in college about studying for a big test right before bed time. Words stick in the brain better. Just a theory.
Last Edit: Dec 24, 2020 10:02:50 GMT -6 by RAVENEYE
Post by doublejay9 on Dec 24, 2020 11:51:49 GMT -6
HDSimplicityy You've hit on a key word -- arbitrary. Sure, that might be the typical cycle for many pros, but it doesn't have to be the case for every writer. If you're not in that groove yet, don't worry about it. A different groove may be a better fit for you and your life now. There's no shame in that.
That's not to say that arbitrary goals don't serve a purpose. Heck, if I didn't have the self-imposed, arbitrary goal of publishing something on my blog every Friday, none of what's up now would've been written. Knowing people actually read those posts also helps motivate me. I've got an audience; I don't want to disappoint them.
Post by HDSimplicityy on Dec 24, 2020 20:08:34 GMT -6
@raveneye Yeeuup. I do not have confidence in writing those. Yes, I did them for my Minor. And on my own time in recent years. I enjoy them. They do not take as long to edit. My weaknesses are how they start and end, how to make my mind focus on a small story, limiting the cast size, situation, and making literally everything count. I usually think about large stories.
Nonetheless... useful. Easier to publish those than a novel and quicker.
Thanks. I started my first readthrough in August. I grew up in church, been a Believer since a kid (so all my life to be general), yet never did this till now.
Oh gosh.. I will never wake that early! I did it today at 5:30AM instead of 6AM. Researched energy sources, wrote a few words. As for falling asleep, I am most alert to read in the afternoon and early evening after work. Before bed has not worked for me in years. Doesn't hurt to try again.
doublejay9 Nope, you are right. Like you, after several more years of writing it will come. Your blog is a great way to keep it up.
Post by ScintillaMyntan on Dec 25, 2020 11:41:30 GMT -6
I don't really have writing goals these days. Generally I come across a publication or something that sounds interesting, most recently our contest, and produce something to submit before the deadline. This way, I write a lot less than ideal, and maybe I should be aiming for more.
I've found that I can't feel motivated to write unless I really like and care about the piece. Once, I had a decent idea for a story. I wasn't having difficulty with it, and it dealt with themes that were important to me. It should've been easy enough to write. It just didn't feel like a piece of art I cared about creating. It felt like cramming ideas and beliefs into the form of a story for no good reason and I never got it done. I don't think it's fruitful to force myself to write for the sake of writing if I'm not feeling it. It would be like talking when there's nothing to say.
That said, when I'm in the habit of writing more, or at least thinking more about writing, I also care more. If I'm often thinking about how to turn my ideas into stories or poems, it's more likely I'll come up with something that feels worthwhile. Also, writing can be really satisfying. The gratification takes longer than other leisure activities, but it's definitely there if I will myself to put in the effort. I could say a lot more about willpower and what holds me back from writing a lot of the time, but I guess it's outside the scope of the thread.
So I think if I were to set a writing goal, it wouldn't be a number of words or finished pieces; that takes the joy out. My goal would be to spend time writing or thinking about writing, regardless of output, for a minimum amount of time or even just a minimum number of times per day. It could even count if I spent a little time trying to mentally turn my feelings about something I'm thinking about anyway into a poem 'for fun,' or spending five minutes while I take a walk to play with a story idea. That would make me care more and thus write more than if I imposed a minimum word count or something on myself.
Thanks for making this thread! It got me thinking about this stuff, and maybe I have a New Year's resolution now.