I don’t know about other writers but I’m currently a bit overwhelmed by several projects I have going. Of course, each project started out as a short story and then, because of my wonderful critique group, evening writers group and daytime writers group, they turned into much larger projects. Of course, I’m now juggling a rewrite of my novel – it truly needs a thorough going over; a novella that I wasn’t sure about but my crit partners think is a really good piece; and the fortnightly 1000 word pieces that we do for our regular meetings. Phew.
My novel stands at 240,000 words. It started nearly 8 years ago when I was still working and had just finished a creative writing course at ANU. It wasn’t until I joined the Canberra Speculative Fiction Guild that I realised one course wasn’t enough to learn about writing ‘good’ stories. Practice, having others review your writing, receiving feedback well (not always an easy thing), and going to workshops were all required to try to get something worthwhile that others might like to read. As a result I realised that the story of my novel was probably OK but I was telling the story and not ‘showing’ it. There were too many descriptive passages and not enough action. I reworked the first 10,000 words into 4,500 and my novel crit group seemed to like that so it’s onward.
The novella started out one day when I was bored and had what I thought was a stupid idea but worth a go. About 3,500 words in I ran into a wall. I liked what I had done but had no idea where to go with it. It sat there quietly for 2 years. Last month I resurrected it for the daytime Eurobodalla Writers crit group who loved it AND gave me some excellent ideas about where to go with it. YAY. Now to do the work.
Then for next week’s daytime meeting the subject is ‘On the Job’. There is also a drabble to be done. Just because I can’t be at the meeting doesn’t mean I can slack off although I think I can at least put this one off for a week or so.
I read a lot about the need for writers to have a ‘time’ set aside to write. I keep trying to do this, mostly in the mornings as I am a morning person. But things like morning tea with friends, going out with hubby, visiting children, being webmistress for several websites etc as well as the meetings get in the way. So I KNOW I have discipline problems.
I’ve been keeping up with Alan Baxter’s blog and how well he’s doing with his novel currently. He’s a busy guy as well and has made time in his life to write solidly. Also Nicole Murphy and Donna Maree Hanson are regularly writing and having a good deal of success.
Procrastination is said to be the blight of writers. Stories that live in you head are no good to anyone except yourself so ….. I guess I had better pull out some self-disipline and get cracking.