When I was younger, writing was something I did with my weekends. (Honestly, I had no social life.) It was basically something I did when inspiration hit. That is not to say it’s something I regret. I learned a lot from play writing. I used to say I wanted to be a writer, but I eventually learned that at that point in my life, I just wanted to write.
It shows in the stuff I worked on. They meander. There’s no beginning or end. I never finished a story because I never had one to finish. But I was laying the groundwork for the stuff I’m writing today.
Recently, I’ve made more of a push to write daily on a focused project. This is something I was doing before, kind of, only now I’m more conscious of it. I can write whatever I’d like but unless I write some words on my intended project, it doesn’t count. It means that at some point, I’m going to have to seek quiet time and add some words.
You know, I’ve discovered that I don’t like first drafting! At least not when I have a goal in mind. It’s not the plotting things out that’s the problem. It’s just the act of getting this shaped story out of my head. Often it sounds so good in there and then so good on paper when I write out my plan. Then I get to actually writing the thing, and I hate it. Problems crop up, and I have to find a way to push on through until I can get to the end.
I’ll be honest, I do some editing as I go. That might be part of the problem. I’m not a great planner, so sometimes ideas occur to me while I’m writing and then I have to fix it to carry on. It doesn’t always mean abandoning whole bits of story, but sometimes things will require a realigning which is dangerous work itself.
I still love play writing. Those are the stories that crop up out of nowhere and probably have nowhere to go. They’re still fun. I don’t consider those first drafts because I rarely intend to get anywhere with them. I think they just serve as a nice break from focused writing.
As for writing daily, whether inspired or not, I have to say it’s working. If I miss a day, there is no catch up day. I need to seize each day for the precious commodity it is. I do try to ease into the writing daily by working on blog posts or play stories. I make a deal that at some particular point (usually 4pm for me), I will sit down and write on the project. It’s been a little bit of a fight lately. That’s why this post is late and I haven’t spent too much time online. But it’s been getting done. Last night, I sat down and wrote before bed, adding something like 1,000 crappy words which may help me get past a difficult part.
My intent is to have a first draft soon. I’m almost there. I have a lot of work ahead.