Writing on Wednesday is a way to keep this particular writer on track (I hope!). These are weekly posts/updates where I will share something from the past week of writing with the readers of this blog. Sometimes it might be something I’ve learned, found useful, or a bit of my own writing and ideas. I hope this will be a time of sharing, encouragement, and accountability. Join me in setting some writing goals to finish that project and celebrate each success.
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I’ve been quite excited to write the first Writing on Wednesday post, and the excitement only grew with all of the comments I received on my “teaser” post last week. The idea formed when a writer friend and I were going back and forth in e-mails, and I realized that with all of the book reviews I had started doing, the writing aspect on my blog was becoming diminished and nearly obsolete. So, Writing on Wednesday was formed as a way to keep writing in the spotlight at least once a week on my blog and also as a way for me to share with you where I am at with my own writing. I also hope that if you are reading this, you will join in as well. If you are a writer, maybe you might want to set some of your own goals and share them in the comments. Or maybe you want to offer encouragement to other writers reading these posts as well as to myself. If you have your own blog and want to participate, feel free to snag the badge on this post (or create your own) and link to your own Writing on Wednesday post in the comments.
My Writing Goals for the month of October:
This section may change from time to time depending on where I am at with my writing. But for now, I really want to work on getting a good writing habit started. My personality is such that I get really excited about something and take on more than I really should. Because of that, I need to force myself to start small. For October, my plan is to write a minimum of 500 words a day, Monday through Friday. It only works out to 2,500 words a week, but it is better than not having written anything. If I can’t squeeze in the 30 minutes to an hour that those words will take, then I need to think about how serious I am about writing. Hopefully with future months, I can keep increasing that word count. But for now, I need to set a goal that will take some effort to reach, but that goal also needs to be attainable.
My current project:
I have a lot of admiration for my maternal grandmother. She passed away years before I was born, but I grew up hearing a handful of stories that demonstrated to me that she was a strong woman. Her life was filled with incredible hardships, but the memories I have of my mom talking about her were recollections of her resourcefulness and ability to continue to laugh. I’ve always wanted to write a novel with this remarkable woman as the heroine of the story. Unfortunately, I don’t know much about her other than a handful of stories, but I think they will make wonderful scenes. So this is my current project. It’s a venture into some tragic circumstances, the lumber camps of Michigan, and a search for the joy, hope and peace that can only come with faith. My hope is to have most of the rough draft written over the course of this fall and winter, with spring and summer allowing for a couple visits to some of the lumber museums in Michigan to help bring some of those facets of my novel to life.
I’m treating this novel a bit different than I have on a couple of my past projects. I love to plan things, so you can imagine that previous projects had a nice structured outline to them. Well, that worked, but I also found that I became a bit bored with the stories since I knew everything that would happen. So, for this project, I have a few key scenes in mind and an idea of where they need to happen. Otherwise, I’m just sitting down and writing. Each writing session does start with a bit of a brainstorm so I have some direction to head in the short term.
How have I been doing?
Well, since this is the first day I’ve established my goals, I’ve done excellent! But in all seriousness, the last couple of weeks of September, I have had the 500 words a day as a goal each day, and other than missing a day here and there, I have done pretty good with it off and on overall (but I’ve been sick for a the past few days, and that has only made me motivated for laying on the couch with a book). It makes me optimistic that I can keep up with the goal for the month of October. So to give you some idea of where I am at, at the time of this blog post, I’ve written 4,102 words. I’m definitely at the beginning with this work in progress!
When it comes to writing, I think the most difficult aspect is to just “get it down.” I have some perfectionist tendencies, and when I write, the delete key and the backspace key are all too willing to be pressed down. It can become too easy to just remove the things I don’t like when I’m writing. The problem with that, is that I never get anything written. The story will never get told. I will never finish the draft.
First drafts are a work in progress. They are meant to be rough, unpolished. They aren’t meant for the world to see. They need to be reworked, have their tangles removed. It’s a long process, but one that needs to be done. However, it can’t happen if a draft isn’t there to start with. So, the letters on the keyboard need to be pressed down more, and the backspace less.
This is a quote that I really need to keep in mind more often when I’m working on my first draft. I need to write down the story that is playing in my head onto the blank pages in front of me.
What writing goals are you making? What helps you stick with them?