Thursday, December 31, 2009

Back, with Resolution

Long time no write! (At least on the blog anyway)

But I have a good excuse.

I have been on vacation from work, and decided to take the time off from all computers (for the most part). I did not check email, Facebook or Twitter for nine solid days. And I'm not kidding.

I stuck with the writing, though. Some of it I liked. Some of it I didn't. I'm sure I'll check out some of it later on this year and like it, and some of it I won't like. If I learned anything in 2009, it's that not everything I write is going to be good. Or bad.

But now I've returned to the good ol' world wide web, and I have decided to make 2010 my year of writing.

In 2009, I wrote two first drafts of novels. That's two more than I thought I would write. Ever. I now have the confidence and the gusto to know that it's something I can do. I've tucked both of them away for a long time, and January is going to be spent editing, editing, editing. Jan. 1, they come out of the drawer.

I'm also going to unleash a more aggressive schedule with my writing. I've seen that I can do it, and I've seen (and heard) that it puts me in a better mood to unleash that stuff onto the blank page. So here's the plan:

For 2010, I'm going to wrap up at least one of those first drafts into a draft I'm comfortable unleashing to the world. It's going out with queries, and I'm looking forward to gobs and gobs of rejections (I can't wait to hear how crappy it is so I can fix it!)

But more importantly, I'm going to write more and more. I want to knock out three more first drafts of novels, and at least five polished short stories. The novels will be rough (probably very rough), but I want to pore over and fine tune the short stories to try and get them published some where.

I have some ideas for both novels and short fictoin, and I work fairly quickly, so these seem like reasonable goals.

I'm raising the bar for 2010, and I'll keep you posted on here. It all starts tomorrow.

Happy/Busy New Year!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Nose? Meet grindstone

Whoa, does Christmas keep you away from the blogosphere and Internet.

Not only have I been ultra-busy at work (vacation isn't really vacation when they cram two weeks of work into the seven days before you leave), but I've also had to worry about things like getting Christmas lights on the house, shopping and gearing up for a trip to the parents' house for a few days.

I've also found that cramming in writing and editing and all that fun stuff has been tough, too. I've written plenty of posts on how you can't let life get in the way, how sometimes it still does, and how you can make up for it.

But this month is a little different. Everybody told me that November would be a pain in the neck with National Novel Writing Month - that it would bury me up to my neck in working on the book. Well, November has nothing on December.

I probably haven't written as many words in December as I did in November, but I'm finding my sessions to be more intensive because I don't want to waste the precious few moments I have to work on things.

That said, I'm going to really have to buckle up and focus in this next week. All that family stuff is great, and I like hanging out with my family members I never get to see all year as much as anybody else. But I'm a writer, too, and that means I have to try and find time to write (if I can).

I don't want to take any days off (unless it is completely unavoidable), because one day turns into two, into four, and then into 10. At least that's the way it is for me.

So batten down the hatches, Christmas, I'm going to work straight through whether you want me to or not.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Tis the season

I have not blogged for awhile, but that doesn't mean I haven't been writing.

It's tough not to get inspired when all anybody around me can talk about is how inspired they are by the Christmas season. All right. That's not fair. People talk about more than Christmas, but that's not the point.

What I'm saying is that, for whatever reason, I find myself trying all differnt kinds of techniques in my writing now that there is snow on the ground. I don't know why, but the change in the season has really got me toying with a bunch of new stuff.

For example: I'm writing a lot more short fiction, but I'm doing it in a bunch of different ways. I'm writing in first person, third person and from the sandpoints of a number of changing characters.

This shows me where I am strong, and where I am weak in my writing. It shows me what I need to work at, and what I'm really good with. That's valuable information since it's making me more of a complete writer.

I'm glad that I'm writing a bunch of changing things, an it's helping me form a style and a voice and those are things that can always use help.

But I am worried. What the heck is going to happen when spring hits?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Mood lighting

I have come to another realization. I'm sure I'm not the first to say this, but it just happened to me, so you're going to have to hear about it.

I've been writing some short stories and things of that ilk lately, and the tone and voice of those things almost always take on thhe form of whatever mood I happen to be in. That's no news flash, but it got me thinking.

I write differently when I'm writing the short stuff. A novel is something I have immersed myself in, and I take on the form and voice of what the novel is for me. With the short stories, it's more like me blasting out whatever is in my head, guided by whatever emotions and mood I happen to be in. What I'm trying to say is that I write differently when doing these different things, and it's really helped my writing (in my opinion).

All right, I have two first drafts on my hands now. That gives me two - both very, very rough. One from this summer, and the ultra-rough National Novel Writing Month piece. However, I'm giving both a breather so I can look at them with fresh eyes.

I'm still writing every day, but like I said, it's mostly the short stuff. I thoroughly enjoy working on novels and writing short stories, and now I've found that I love the change in dynamic between the two.

They're both different, but they both work. At least they seem to work for me.

So try and broaden your horizons by writing different stuff. It might put you (or keep you) in a good mood.