What To Write?

I was chatting to my other half the other day, when he started complaining about my blog! Can you believe it? He was moaning that I’ve reduced the amount of time I’m talking about writing, and increased the amount I’m talking about other things. I did what any normal woman would do, and totally disagreed with him (only joking if you’re reading Mr NTWG).

He did get me thinking though, and he’s probably right; because my ROW80 goals aren’t just writing related, I talk about a lot of other things too. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but this is a writing blog, I started it to document my writing ‘career’ and, well you know, as it says at the top – ‘How I learnt to Write.’

The problem with writing about my writing, is that although I’m writing, I’m not writing anything meaningful, so do I have that much to say? (seriously, could I put ‘writing’ in that sentence any more?). I decided that to ease me back into writing I’d just write random things, not get back on my novel – random things seem easy, novel seems a lot of work, and scary! But, everyday I seem to start something different, and although I’m trying to do little exercises I set myself (e.g. working on descriptions as I feel I’m not that good at them), I don’t feel I’m getting anywhere.

Today, I opened 3 documents to carry on what I’d written earlier in the week. One I had no idea what to write next, one I couldn’t remember what I was going to write next, and the third I totally didn’t want to carry on, but didn’t want to start yet another ‘story’ that would go nowhere.

I have two options here. Either I need to go back to writing my novel, or I need to make these writing things count.

I’ve got two ideas for the latter. The first is Fiction Friday stories.

When I first joined in with the Fiction Friday thing, I couldn’t write short stories, I didn’t really know how to get a whole story into just a few hundred, or even thousand words. But as time went on, I got better at writing, and eventually found I could write some pretty decent stories. I need to get back to there. Of course my 100 word goal doesn’t really help with that. Sometimes I get to 100 and just stop (today – 106). I’ll think more about that later (increasing maybe?), but now, I have another option to consider.

Actual writing prompts. I hate to say this, but for Christmas I was given a book with writing prompts, which I’d totally forgotten about until earlier today (this is why tidying things isn’t always a good thing – out of sight, out of mind). I can start using that to try to shape my writing and get something better from what I’m doing. That is such a brilliant idea, I want to start now. I’ll try to at least finish this blog first!

The third option, which I really don’t like, but was talking about ealier in the week, is to jump back into one of my novels. It would HAVE to be The Man of My Dreams, because I’m doing so well with it (I was doing so well with it), but I actually feel like I need to read it back and see how it’s going before I can carry on – I’m nearly 80k words in, and have no idea how it sounds or anything. Part of me is thinking about buying a printer when I get paid on Friday, printing it out, and just doing it. Then at least if I start reading something, it will also be towards editing!

I could also go back to ‘Holiday’. I think it’s probably a little too early in the year for that. Every year (3 in a row) I’ve been writing it, and had to give it up for NaNo, then every year (2) I picked it back up in the summer, with a promise to myself that I’ll finish it before I start NaNo again. Sigh.

Well, I’ve made no decisions, and probably rambled on a little too much (that’s what half a bottle of wine will do to you – I’m writing this Saturday night so I can post it first thing tomorrow, so I don’t have blogging as an excuse to not write tomorroqw!), so I guess I should check my progress with ROW80!

Pictures are the best way for it, so lets see if I can get a decent sized chart for the last couple of week’s efforts:

 

Could be better, could be worse. I’m doing really well with writing, only missing 4 days out of 13. That’s so good (even if I’m writing nothing important).I’m also doing well with exercise, which is my other major goal. Now if I could just get the others in shape too.

Hope everyone else’s second week has gone well if you’re in the ROW80 gang, and if you’re not, I also hope your week has gone well!

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15 thoughts on “What To Write?

  1. Hello there,
    reading your post, I thought you might be interested in those two links:
    1) Kristen Lamb (blogging writers’ guru) has a very good post on writers who only blog about writing here:
    http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/2012/03/28/understanding-author-platform-part-2-all-the-world-wide-webs-a-stage/
    2) You might want to check out a book called How Not To Write A Novel (http://www.hownottowriteanovel.com/) which is really helpful when you want to make sure those 80K you’ve written are actually worth something.
    Hope this helps!
    Have a good writing week!

  2. You actually sounded remarkably like the voice in my head I chat to quite often. 🙂 I think its the same with many writers. I’ve been writing the novel I’m now in final draft edits with for around 3 yrs on-&-off (mostly off, more committed over the past six months). I found setting goals has helped to focus me a little – I am a terrible procrastinator and will do anything other than work at my novel – flash fiction/poetry/blogging/Face Book – whatever – but when I set myself a publishing deadline for this summer, when I booked a cover designer and editor and found willing beta readers, it became real. All thanks to Row80 too. And meeting like-minded peeps like your good self, to make me see it’s not just me, we’re all like this. I am not weird or lazy or insecure, I’m a writer and I’m entirely acceptable in that club 🙂

    I will so be checking out the second link – the first is fab 🙂 XX

  3. I would say write what calls you – I always have trouble getting back to a novel after leaving it for a while, but the “groove” returns eventually. 🙂 Either way, keep up the hard work and have fun!!

  4. Echoing EM’s recommendation for checking out Kristen Lamb’s blog post. She does recommend that writers not blog about writing all the time, but branch out and tackle topics that your eventual audience might be interested in (something I’m still trying to figure out!).

    But I think all of your ideas on how to get back “on track” sound like good ones. There’s nothing like giving yourself the freedom to churn out short pieces of flash fiction, or to hone your skills with writing prompts. Use your test mile to explore and have fun, and maybe along the way you’ll fall back into your novel. 😀

  5. Mr NTWG is brave! I can see what he means but I like reading about all your goals even if they aren’t necessarily writing related. Your exercise ones inspire me no end 🙂

    If you aren’t ‘feeling’ like going back to any of your novels maybe the writing prompts are a good way forward? Picking up a WIP when your heart isn’t in it might make it hard for you to be inspired to write and you are doing so well with your test mile it would be a shame to lose that momentum.

    I look forward to reading what you decide!

  6. I just wanted to comment on what you said about blogging. You’re a whole person, not JUST a writer. Most of us write about whatever the heck we want to write about. I would rather see a writer blog about other things than just writing, although that should still kind of be your main theme. I’ve done “eye candy” posts and even posts about my new shoes (with pictures and everything). Just be you.

    Good luck on the writing. You’ll decided what you want to do when you’re ready.

    • Ooh, shoes… I love shoes.
      Thanks for your comment, you’re right, I’m a whole person away from writing, so of course that’s going to spill onto the blog s bit. You’re also right that writing toes need to stay the main theme – I can’t have ‘writing’ in my name if I’m not doing it 😉

  7. I agree with Em – I am both brave and wise. I am also very handsome, and skilled in the art of selective reading / making stuff up / modesty.

    Personally I love the fact that you have taken to blogging so well, and that you enjoy it so much. Now all I need to do is get your laptop fixed and the internet intalled, so I can get my laptop back / some peace and quiet 🙂

    Love love love love

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