Monday, July 15, 2019

My Writing Life

It's been seven and a half months since I challenged myself to write every day.

In January, the goal was to write two pages a day. I wrote one short story, started two others, and wrote really bad, long poetry. I wrote 28 out of 31 days.

In February, I wanted to wake up a little earlier every morning to write, in hopes of not missing those three days. I did wake up earlier, but I still missed three days, writing 25 out of 28 days.

March got off to a strange start, because I somehow missed the first day. Then I wrote every day of my Spring Break vacation (literally out-of-town vacation, and I still wrote), but then stopped once I returned home. Go figure! I only wrote 16 out of 31 days.

April was the A to Z Blogging Challenge, so I had 26 posts to write for Allison and Her Camera, plus my weekly Sunday posts - so I blogged every day that month...  But I only wrote 24 out of 31 days.

May was my game-changer. I started reading The Artist's Way, which recommended using morning pages as a brain dump. You wake up and write three pages of anything that's on your mind. I recapped the day before, wrote down strange dreams, plotted out the hours the stretched before me - anything and everything. I wrote 29 out of 31 days!

Which ramps up nicely to June - I wrote every day! I wrote morning pages of brain dump and then spent evenings starting short stories and scheduling blog posts. I thought writing every day would monopolize my time, but it actually made me feel even more ready to write other productive things. 30 out of 30 days!

That means for the first six months of writing daily, I wrote 152 out of 182 days. Not too shabby!

For July, I decided to participate in Camp Nanowrimo for the first time. I try to compete in National Novel Writing Month every year (to varying degrees of success), but with my writing finally getting on track to a daily habit, I wanted a new challenge. My Camp goal was to write a 20,000 word short story - one that's been kicking around in my brain for awhile. I started it, and I've been doing a lot of work on it, but some days I just could not handle working on that. My brain melted just thinking about it. So I'd start something new. Then something else. Then something else. Until I had five short stories making up my Camp word count.

That's fine with me. I know pushing myself to work on something I'm not feeling just means I'll make the choice to not write instead. So my "secret" goal was to write 1,000 words a day (which, if you can math, adds up to more than 20,000 words). I wanted to complete the story I've been thinking about for so long, but also start another. I want to start the submission process again soon, so I need to have some work for that. So far, only one of the five stories is finished, and it's not the one I really wanted to finish, but there's still time! And now that I've stuck with this habit for two months, I'm hoping it will only get more ingrained.

What have you been writing lately?

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