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Words Beget Words

Funny thing about LiveJournal. If you haven't posted for a while it's really hard to get back into, but as soon as you make one post you think of three more.

The same is true, I've found, of writing in general. The more you write, the more you write.

To this end, I've set myself the task of writing 500 words a day (of the same manuscript!) for three months. This is a lot for me; usually I'm barely capable of writing a paragraph without going back and fiddling with the previous one. So it's sometimes hard work, but it's not as bonkers as NaNoWriMo's 1667 words a day for one month, and sometimes the day's wordcount is exceeded before I know it. And at the end of three months, if all goes well, I'll have 45,000 words, which is getting on for a Young Adult-length manuscript. Some, many or even all of those words may be utter pants, but they will exist, and this is but a first draft.

I learned long ago that I need deadlines to get anything done, and that even arbitrary, self-imposed deadlines will do the trick. Apparently I also need bribes like 'for every 15,000 words I will buy myself a present' and 'after 3 months I get to put it away and write a short story or something'.

It's very good for working through sticky bits that tempt you to leave it for a couple of days, which becomes a couple of weeks. I don't beat myself up if I miss a day, and so far I've been able to make up for low or zero wordcount days with high-verbage days later. Day Fifteen, one-sixth of the way through, and I should be on 7,500 words by close of play tonight. I hit 8,500 before I left for work.

It's all going suspiciously well so far. If I never speak of this project again, you may draw your own conclusions.
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Yes! Writing every day (and writing, not re-reading or editing or tweaking) is a great idea and I should really get back to doing it. And, I agree, with everything from business letters to CVs to short stories, editing is easier than writing. So making something exist is the hard part, making it good can come later.

Having only seen a link to this short story competition yesterday I have also set myself the challenge of writing a 3000 word story this evening. I mean... how hard can it be?

(NB. I don't really expect to succeed in this challenge, but will at least start one, and thus may finish it.)
Oh, go for it! One slightly disobedient thing I often do is write the fun parts of a story first. Then I have to go back and fill in the boring bits, because I've already invested so much effort.

I am terrible at editing, because for me there seems to be no middle ground between 'my writing is amazing!' and 'my writing is crap!'. But having something to edit in the first place would be a start.
Well, I have gone for it. Fortunately, it turned out to be a story with a word limit of 3000 words, not a 3000-word story.

And then I actually read the stupidly spread-out-over-several-places brief, and realised I'd missed by a mile. I have submitted it anyway out of (a) obstinacy, and (b) a deranged belief that they'll somehow be generous enough with their definitions to consider it to fit. Apparently it was supposed to be positive. I don't do positive, on the whole :(
I admit I'm a little fed up with dystopias and a positive future sounds quite nice. And good deadlining, there!
Best of luck with that and I can relate.

I've not written for ages but today I've been juggling a mass of responses to something I have written. I'm also trying to keep things civil because a bit of a heated debate is kicking off and I don't want to lose focus. My keyboard's giving off smoke!

Wardy
Yeah, that's the downside - I find it very hard to deal with criticism, even though I know I need it to get better. (Was it something about Mass Effect, by any chance?)
Yes it was and it was non-fiction. I can't say too much in case someone else is reading this who has yet to play it or isn't finished (no spoilers)

Some good responses though, one guy caling us all idiots despite his woeful S,P&G and some others refusing to admit that I/we might just have a point.

Wardy
I fear I tend towards the Douglas Adams deadline position; sometimes they work for me, if they're externally applied, but otherwise it's whoosh!

Good luck. ;)

Oh, and it's good to see some LJ entries from you. I have ventured over to Twitter occasionally, but it's like a noisy crowded bar, and very hard to have a conversation in...

Edited at 2012-03-15 05:16 pm (UTC)
There seems to be a timelag on your tweets :)

I may not always post, but I do read all of LJ unless I go away for longer than skip=x can deal with.
I look at Twitter if I'm away from home, 'cos I've got a suitable client on my mobile. However, if I'm stuck at home I tend to forget for a day or three at a time, then try to catch up when I'm reminded. Inevitably I expect I miss a lot of what's said...
I only tend to check at work, and I've long since given up on trying to read through what I missed overnight a la LJ.
...and mentions are often-as-not spambots so they don't help much either. It's like a crowded bar most of the time; catch a few words here, a few more there, and miss the rest when you wander outside for some fresh air...
And take it outside if you want a proper conversation without shouting or interruptions! Nice analogy.
I don't really have a problem with coming up with entries, so much as posting them. Quite routinely, I'll feel it's at a suitable point to post, only to feel I ought to add some illustrative images, which means finding/creating ones I think show off the link(s) in question, rescaling, uploading to my site (in order to ensure permanence), and then the fun of adding the table code, and reshuffling the text so it more or less matches the images, at least for the kind of window width I use. ^_^; Or I'll want to say more on a given topic, or research it further.. winding up doubling the posting time, by which time one or two links are no longer relevant, and so it needs re-editing again..

Similarly Flickr, I'll admit - I've got a pile of bunpics from last weekend, but going through the iterative process of deciding which to post, out of some 700, takes time. But I will, as they're always well received. With luck, I'll see as many locally as there, as the locals do seem to've started making themselves known during the daytime, now that Spring's pretty much got underway.

As for actual storytelling.. mm, I ought to turn my paw to that once in a while. It's been an age since I last did, and it certainly isn't easy going, but I think I've done acceptably on those occasions.
Your posts are always very content-dense when they do appear! They're the high-fibre breakfast cereal of my Friends list :)

I'd love to see some fiction from you.
"The more you write, the more you write. "

...and the more you struggle when you've not written anything for two months, which is the problem I'm having with my NaNoWriMo that's been ongoing since November >_<

I swear some day young Kins and Naps and Waves will finish their adventures.

I don't know if I'll do NaNo this year though, if only because if I try and do this next Open University course, I'm basically signing myself up for 16 hours of study a week on top of the 37.5 hours (plus up to 8 hours overtime) I do at work. So if I then decide to Big draw/NaNo on top of that, plus the weeks I won't be doing a lot cos I should be with kowarth... Oh my dog, 9 months of hell!

I guess I should concentrate on the writing more in the 6-month gap between the module I'm doing now and the module I may start in October :O
xx
There you go, you've given yourself a deadline :D

I might do NaNo this year - I was thinking about it last year but I knew I was going away for 4 days right at the start of November, and didn't fancy that sort of handicap. We'll see.
LOL I hope so, I still haven't decided if I want to do it, I'm guessing I should try and ask my boss whether I'd be allowed to drop a couple of afternoons. But I'm not hopeful. We've got one who has Mondays afternoons off only (And that's just because she was originally on a morning contract but they managed to find some hours from the other ATO (approaching retirement age) who has Wednesday and Friday afternoons off, and the other 2 they've filled in to cover maternity leave.
Thing is, I think I would really like having a Tuesday and Thursday afternoon off for study purposes. But I don't know, I think it's down to the nature of our work that we do need people around...
I'd have to get her in a good mood. And even then she may not be able to say yes...

I'm going to miss NaNo this year, and the big draw, but I won't miss the stress of doing something like that for 2 months in a row. I don't know how I've managed it!

Apart from anything else though, I don't actually have an idea for this year...
xx

Edited at 2012-03-17 03:50 pm (UTC)