Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Best intentions

Hm. I haven't blogged much this past month, and the few posts I've written have been about other things: pointing you to more useful blogs, or to competitions, or to photos of Kestrels wearing plaster casts. I've been out-sourcing a bit. 'Skirting around' a bit. And that pretty much mirrors where I've been with actual writing too.

I've had a few rejections, been unsuccessful in some competitions I'd thought too much about being successful in. That happens anyway, but coupled with not-writing much, I've been feeling a bit jaded, a bit lacking in direction.

And, we all know that when that feeling is identified, a list of THINGS TO DO must be made. Direction must be found, goals and targets written in list form. A great sense of excitement and promise occurs in this stage of the writing process: anything is possible. I have the tools, I often have the time, I just need the kick up the ass every now and again.

I've learned in the past few years that there are times when I need to not write, or not write much, and that can go on for a few weeks, but when the angst rears its head, it's time to make a list. Preferably with a new way of measuring progress. This time it's word count. I've never really done that before, even though it's the obvious one.

So, on my days off I will write 500 words of The Book I Want To Write. (It's not a novel, and it's not non-fiction either. I'll just call it The Book from now on. When I get into my stride a little, I will tell you more about it.)

I might get one of those gadgets for marking my word-count progress on the side of the blog.

500 words isn't much really, is it? I bet you're reading this and thinking - 'Pah! I write 1000 before dawn!' or something equally intimidating. I did read that Kate Mosse gets up at 4am everyday to write. 4am! Reading that kind of thing can be seriously damaging to the insecure-about-my-writing-routine-writer. I'm not like that now, I think I used to be. I might still be a bit. But not much.

Along with the 500 words on days off (I have 3 days off a week) I'll also be working on short stories, and keeping an eye out for the prizes and competitions I really want to send my stories to.

And when I enter something I'll send the story away and let it go - and keep writing, keep writing.


Jennifer Bower said...

Appreciate the candor. Very helpful!

Meredith said...

I think it's good to know how much you can handle. I gave myself a 500 daily word count once because I knew I couldn't handle more. :)

essygie said...

Good luck with the Book - looking forward to finding out more about it - and yeah, I don't get up at 4am to write either, that's crazy! :-)

Rachel Fenton said...

I thought about getting the word count-ma-bob on my blog but then it felt like a pressure or else, worse, a show off. I always overanalyse everything....need to keep things simple...

The writing project sounds like it has you focused, and is more than a little intriguing....word count you're churning out is very honourable!

I must go type more words than you now!

Seriously, though, it's good stuff!

Teresa Stenson said...

Thanks guys. I'm about to start the 500 words of today. Then I'll see about installing the word count-ma-bob. Then I'm getting my hair cut. At a new hairdressers. I hate being in the hairdressers.

I wonder what time Mossey goes to bed if she's up at 4? 6pm? Tut.

Claire Swain said...

A different Kate Moss once said " Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels " see! Kate Mosse's talk crap. BTW - I think you should call "The Book" "The Good Book" it's not very original but it is aspirational. Love you x

Teresa Stenson said...

The best advice, as ever, you little hotpot. X