Habitual April: Day 19 - "Let's just say I died."

[He even neglects his "f"s.]

Because that's the only way to excuse what I have done. I wonder now if this blog is more about failure than anything else. Failure to mature the hell up and approach this like it's real. Because in order to be a writer, you have to write. What have I been doing for the last 17 days? I don't know. But I'm fairly sure I wasn't writing. Why? Because I'm an idiot.

Tonight I felt like I wanted to write something, so I did. And I wrote 400 words.

That's nice. 

But writing shouldn't be treated like a casual job. You can't just do it when you get that feeling. It should be treated full-time or part-time. It's the only way to keep you going steadily. Well, it's the only way to keep me going steadily. I need to work out a system. I absolutely must allocate a time slot of one hour every day where I just write. I will implement that when school comes back.

For now, I have a challenge for the last 10 days of the month. I figure if I do this, I might have written more by the end of the month, and if I don't I won't have.

So I'm giving myself this: 1,000 words a day until the end of the month. At least until I've made it to 5,000. That might mean I spread it out and only write 1,000 words on four of the days.

I will post every day on whether I wrote or not. It may be a glowing tale of how great I feel when I reach my goal, but on the days I don't write expect something as simple as "I didn't write today". That's accountability enough, I think.

If you still haven't given up on me and my blog, I thank you deeply, for you are truly strong and have a wonderful heart.

This is an extremely tough journey, and I'm sure, at the end of it, success will be all the sweeter because of the trials I've faced.


Mysti said...

You'll get there. Set little goals. Celebrate when they're met, and don't beat yourself up when they're not. Trust me, I know what it's like to not be able to carve out enough time in the day.

Every little bit of progress is just that--progress. So keep at it! I'm rootin for ya!


Botanist said...

Good luck with your goals!

I've seen different opinions on the "write every day" school of thought. It seems to work for some people, and it just makes others miserable. Use goals like this if they work for you, but be ready to change your approach if all they're doing is making you feel bad. Like Mysti said, celebrate successes, but don't beat yourself up...this is supposed to be something you enjoy doing!

Ryan Sullivan said...

Thank you, guys.

I think my "Habituals" are showing the path I take as I try to discover exactly what it is that works for me.

Yes, Botanist, maybe this isn't the process that works for me. Maybe I'm more suited to writing only two days a week, but 1,000 words on each. I have a long way to go until I find out what keeps me going... but I have many years and another seven books that I hope to write. Maybe by the end of this one, or the next one, I will have found what works for me.

mooderino said...

I see why you asked that question on my blog. Hope the answer helped.

How definite an idea do you have of what you're writing? Are you winging it or do you have a clear concept you're working towards?

Moody Writing

Stefanie J Pristavu said...

I don't write everyday - I hardly write anymore - but when the muse bites, I can write like the wind - as in I can push in 400 words in 10 minutes (and then return and delete all when I edit :p) Yes, my typing speed is impressive (as is my typo speed:p)

Don't worry about it. Write when the muse hits - when you have the perfect wording. Struggling with everyday writing will make it sounds like homework - like something you're not looking forward to.

Don't risk becoming resentful towards your work.

It took me 5 years to write my first book, and 3 months to write my second and third :p Take your time and do it right.

My two cents ;)

Ryan Sullivan said...

I have a very definite idea of the novel as a whole. I know where scenes go and why. But when it comes to the actual writing of a scene I do it "on the spot". The dialogue and description is all improvised. Usually I know the direction of a scene, but I have no idea how it's going to play out.

And I think that's why I sometimes put off writing the next bit. It would be apt to say that I'm afraid of unfamiliar territory, and when I don't know how a scene will play out, that's unfamiliar territory.

I'm going to write in a bit. It won't be 1,000 words, but it'll be something. I have to get up early tomorrow to get my wisdom teeth out.

Thanks for the answers on your blog, Moody. It was good food for thought and approaching the novel in chapters is something I'd like to try one day.

Ryan Sullivan said...

Hey, Stefanie. Your first, second and third book statistics are very encouraging!

mooderino said...

Your approach sounds very reasonable. The triock is to force yourself to the end of the scene even if you aren't happy with what's coimng out. Just get to the end. keep completing scenes and move on. Some will be quite good, some will be terrible. When you get to the end and start again, it will still be horrible, but slightly less so, until suddenly you'll have a breakthrough. Not liking what you write and stopping is the problem, it isn't unusual, it's very normal. Get to the end, no matter how awful that feeling in your stomach.

Good luck,
Moody Writing

Ryan Sullivan said...

Thank you so much, Moody. That sounds like a fantastic approach, and something that would help improve productivity in a good way.

Something else I read is to start on the next scene before you end your session, so when you get back to the story next time, you're already on your way and you can get back into the flow you had going. :D

Jean Davis said...

Sometimes life just gets in the way. Write when and as much as you can. Good luck!

Ryan Sullivan said...

Hey, Jean. Isn't life amazing like that? At least tomorrow I will get to do a heap of reading while I wait for *gulp* surgery (don't worry, I'm just getting my wisdom teeth out). I don't think it'll be too bad. I just think the pain afterwards will be interesting.

On a good note, I've gotten (is that actually a word?) some writing done tonight so I can update the blog soon with a positive. I will do so whenever I'm done. :D

Marion Sipe said...

Hang in there! I think we all have times like that, but you can make it through!


(Cheerleaders... I'm holding them hostage until you hit 1k. :-D )

Ryan Sullivan said...

[Goes away to write.]

Carol Ervin said...

Ryan, I try to write first thing in the morning (but then I don't have to go to a job) and save reading blogs, critiquing, and scribbling my blog for much later in the day. Those other fun things are way too diverting.

Write something, even if it's wrong.

Ryan Sullivan said...

I think I write better at night. I get this feeling... maybe it's because I'm closer to my dreams. And it's quiet, so I can filter out the real world. But I do agree that all those other things are distracting and pull you off track. :D

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Welcome to The Dark Corner of the Mind. My name is Ryan Sullivan and my aim with this blog is to help others with their own writing, as well as to make note of some of my own writing endeavours.

Here at The Dark Corner, Real Life is both our best friend and our worst enemy. Look to him for inspiration, but don't let him get in the way too much.

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