Since I began my daily writing in this journal on January 5th, I have struggled with getting my writing schedule squared away. I have attended to learning HTML/CSS coding, updated and posted my resume, been in contact with a recruiter, and applied for a few jobs. I managed to outline the story I wrote, but I feel I am in a sort of writing limbo.
I know what I would like to do next to work on my story: Write character arcs. Revisit dialog & remove anything that does not move the plot along. Fix internal logic errors that I noted while re-reading my story. Check for word repetitions. Remove cliches and/or update them in an unexpected manner. Remove boring backstory that I put in to get up to 50K words during NaNoWriMo.
More importantly, I need to start warming up with creative writing in addition to writing in this blog. I took three Berklee College of Music courses, two in creative writing and one in lyric writing. I still have the workbooks, rhyming dictionary, class notes and exercises, teacher and fellow student commentary, and some video lessons. My favorite resource is a pocket-sized book of Writing Down The Bones by Natalie Goldberg. I highly recommend this book. If you like this author, I also recommend her autobiography, Long Quiet Highway.
I have been burned in the past by taking on too much. When time in a psychotherapy session, I was talking about all the plans I had for my life. He expressed surprise at the number of things on my list and commented that maybe I had too many things. I was deeply hurt at his lack of understanding for my need to move beyond the current confines of my life at the time and follow my heartfelt dreams.
Fifteen years on from then, I get his point. I tend to suffer from the “Ooooh! Shiny!” disease where the latest thing to catch my attention is what I do. This means a lot of starts and memories, but that’s about it. With my writing in 2014, I want to break out of ineffective habits and start new ones.
This blog is one of those new habits. I am about ready to add a second daily writing habit where I am engaging in creative writing and revisiting the old lesson plans (but not in any particular order). After that, I will start attending to my book. Looking at my story causes me to see all the things that are wrong with it, and I get depressed under the weight of the task.
However, I learned through my writing coursework that, in order to get good, you need to practice creative writing every day. If I do 10 to 15 minutes of warm up writing, then I think I will start to feel like I can write creatively in a way that will bring my story to life because the gap between what I think I can do and what I can actually do will get smaller.
I am happy to note that I have accomplished one goal of 2014 so far: Write every day. The great thing about this goal is that every day I get to celebrate it anew, with each word, each warm up, each story, and each blog post.