Being that I never really took my writing all that seriously before (at least, not when I was old enough to *actually* take it seriously. Sixth grade doesn’t count), I didn’t really have a method in place for editing. In college, my idea of editing creative writing was to take all the copies of my work that were given back to me in workshops, go through, and make a few changes. I really didn’t put a lot of time and effort into it. I attribute this to many things, and as I’ve mentioned before, a lot of it had to do with losing that spark (on account of being a busy college student and also coming to despise the egomaniac who was teaching the majority of my fiction classes). I never went back through and took a good look at what I’d written because I never cared much about most of it. I only really remember a handful of pieces.
The whole time I was writing my NaNoWriMo novel, I didn’t think about editing. My goal was just to get to 50,000 words. Once I made it there, my goal became to actually finish writing it. I was a little unsure for a while, but when it became clear that I was going to finish writing it, I started thinking about editing. I guess my pattern of decision-making has been kind of linear in that respect. I ended up leading myself right into a process of editing that I hadn’t considered, but it’s working out really well for me. It’s forcing me to not only go back through my work, but to interact with it, as well. Continue reading →
I know I haven’t been blogging much lately. I think you’ll understand why, though.
I was sitting here thinking about how I have trouble finishing things, but then it occurred to me that it’s not really true. I can think of fewer than five books that I’ve never finished and don’t intend to. Even when they’re really bad or boring, I try to slog my way through them. I tried to quit softball after 6th grade when I should have been moving up from pigtail to ponytail league. I was afraid that it was going to be more difficult and I’d look stupid. About a quarter of the way into that first summer, I told myself to suck it up and go back to practice, so I did, and I played until I was getting ready to leave for college. I waited a whole year of being unhappy at my first real-world job before I quit that, and I agonized so long over my decision to quit calculus in college that I missed the drop/add deadline and took a voluntary F. And when I say I agonized over that decision, I mean that I found myself in the Dean of Students’ office nearly in tears.
When I crossed the 50,000 word mark to become a NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) 2009 winner in November, I estimated that I would need somewhere around another 10,000 words to finish my novel. As of last night (I haven’t worked on it yet tonight), my word count was just shy of 67,800 words. Obviously, I grossly underestimated what it would take me to finish. I am, however, happy to report that I have the pieces coming together. This is good because virtually nobody knows anything about this novel. Literally, I think I’ve given only two people details, and even those were rather skimpy. Knowing that I struggle with endings, I’ve been very tight-lipped about it because I wasn’t entirely sure where it was going. Or rather, I didn’t know if it would work. Perhaps in the next few months I will get to a point where some of those who have expressed interest in reading it will be able to take a look at some of it. Continue reading →
Last month, as I was feeling like a fraud for not seeing National Novel Writing Month beyond the confines of November, I wrote a post where I essentially questioned my validity as a writer. I was having a problem where I wanted to finish my novel, but I just couldn’t muster up the ambition to do it. I had built up quite the momentum in November, sometimes writing as many as four thousand words a day, and when I crossed the fifty thousand word mark days before the deadline, I crashed. I was burnt out and convinced that I had no more ideas and could give no more to this story right now. I kept saying that I would go back to it, but it’s hard to say how seriously I would have taken that promise.
This obviously begs the question, “Why do all of that work for nothing?”
I used to take it pretty seriously, too, and while I’ve never been absolutely phenomenal at it, I’ve always been a decent writer at the very least. My whole life (okay, since I was two or three years old, but before I was even in pre-school) I have wanted to teach. The only other occupation that I even considered was one in writing, and I knew that it couldn’t be my only occupation. In addition to my teaching career, I had big plans to write a novel. But as Phil Collins would say, something happened on the way to Heaven. Continue reading →