considering something crazy…

This is the time of year that I focus on making my new goals. I typically look at what I accomplished, and boost my expectations a little higher. I’m torn because I spent 2010 on short stories, and I really would like to get back to novel writing. I have a hard time doing both consistently. For a little while, but not long term, and let’s face it: novels are long term.

The temptation is Write1Sub1 which requires writing and submitting one story per week. At that level, I can’t compete yet, but people are signing up with variations, which I think is awesome. We all produce and revise at different intensities, and the point is to write and submit. I could commit to writing one per week, but since I revise slowly, I’d have to submit two a month instead of four. And that would be a challenge.

This last year working with shorts has taught me a lot about how I write, how I revise, processes, different aspects of writing. I could go on. Would another year on short stories make my work stronger? Hell yes. But that would mean another year that I’ve taken the slow road for novel writing and that my friends, is what’s going to get me the big contracts. On the other hand, one year of intense short story writing and revising could very well improve my ability so much that I’ll be writing better novels after that.

If I can get my novel in progress completed this month (another 40k to write), then I can start revising my other novel, and work on the short stories concurrently.

I’ll probably try to write more flash. 🙂

I think I’m capable of the writing one per week because I’ve been doing the FM Writers Story a Day challenge for years now, and typically I’d average one story a week, sometimes more.  This past May, I wrote three stories, revised two stories, and submitted two new stories. I also managed critiques, and reading, and about 1k of novel writing, and prep for a novel revision (which I never started).

Maybe I’ll do it. It could be fun. 🙂

I’ll have to start being better about my early morning writing session… I’ve had trouble getting up. Could that be a sign? I’m not excited enough by what I’m working on to get myself out of bed on these cold dark mornings?

Definitely food for thought…

edited to add:

I’ll do it.

In all honestly, if I manage this half the time, I’ll have 26 more stories written and in circulation. There’s a whole nother level of writing for me to learn. This could be my access key. 🙂

So the question is: are any of you going to join the insanity?

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5 responses to “considering something crazy…

  1. I don’t think not being excited has anything to do with not being able to drag yourself out of bed in the morning. You’re tired! I know I always am. I usually write at night (and stay up way too late to do it), and I often berate myself for being a baby Mommy for not getting my son up the moment I hear him–because I’m still getting ready myself. Much of it comes down to time management and self-discipline (I fail at both frequently), but if you can’t get yourself in bed early enough to get your eight (or however many you need) hours before your alarm goes off, you can’t expect excitement to carry you more than a few days before you burn out. And if the kids and house prevent you from getting to bed on time…. I wish I knew the solution.

    On another note, I was wondering just the other day if my writing would go smoother if I did it first thing instead of right before bed when I’m frequently exhausted. On the other hand, I’ve always been a night owl and I loathe mornings, so any experiments in that regard are probably doomed to failure.

  2. You’re not a baby-mommy for giving your son a few minutes. You’re teaching him to self-entertain. It’s an important skill for a child to have. Especially for a writing mommy. 🙂

    You’re probably right on the tired angle. I am tired, but I have to battle tired. At least a few days a week. I think I was pushing for too much though. I was setting my alarm for an hour and a half early; I think I’m going wth 45 minutes early this week, see if that will actually get me out of bed.

    I understand loathing things. For me it’s the cold. And I moved to Chicago for the love of my life. Chicago winters are not like New York winters. The cold settles in, the snow falls, the snow remains and those chill pockets of air follow you everywhere from December until March. But I do it. And I remind myself that physical discomfort is a small price to pay for having a wonderful husband and amazing children. I’m happy, despite the cold. So I guess you can look at your morning loathings with “are the returns better than the discomfort”?

    All I know is that most writers who made it, claim that while they were playing mommy or working full time, they got up two hours earlier every day to write.

    I want to succeed, and sometimes the path to success isn’t comfortable. (At least in writing, I’m talking physical discomfort instead of moral discomfort!)

  3. I wrote my reply while my four year old was chattering away; poor choice of words on the “playing mommy”. I know how hard it is to be a SAHM. I did it very shortly while on family leave. It’s wonderful and challenging all at once. 🙂

  4. Oops, “baby Mommy” was supposed to be “bad Mommy,” but I see you got the idea. My son is quite familiar with waiting, and the times I feel bad are when his wait is significantly more than “a few minutes.”

    Depriving ourselves of sleep in order to write does appear to be a common theme, and I will probably always do it in the evenings instead of in the mornings. If I don’t have a set-in-stone penalty for being late, I’ve never been able to move in the mornings (you can probably see that from the time of this post.) In high school and college, it was “you’ll get suspended for too many tardies” (and in every college class that was too large to take attendance, I waltzed in late Every Single Day.) Then it became “you’ll lose your job if you have too many tardies.” Eventually it will either go back to that, or become “your child will suffer penalties if they don’t get to school on time.” My son is remarkably even-tempered about keeping a late schedule (or perhaps he just learned it after waiting so frequently), but I fear that baby #2 will insist on rising with the sun every day.

    I’m mostly trying to say that it takes more than excitement to carry writing. Excitement will get me up at 5:00am if I’m going on vacation, even if I was up until 1:00am packing–but writing, while fun, is also grueling work, is often slow, and is routine. I wouldn’t worry that you aren’t excited enough if you have trouble getting up. Look to other signs–are you reluctant to start work even when you have time? Do you only write 100 words in an hour? Do you find what you’re working on boring–to let you know if a particular piece needs to be scrapped. Otherwise, just keep organizing (and reorganizing and reorganizing and reorganizing) priorities until you find the right mix.

    I hope the 45 minutes works better for you. Good luck!

    p.s. I looked through that Write1Sub1 thing. Whew! I don’t know that I’d be up for it, though it might be a fun community and I do plan to go back to stories for a while after I finish my current novel. I KNOW I wouldn’t keep up in June, since I’m planning to give myself a maternity leave of sorts. Good luck with that too! You’re mighty brave.

  5. One thing I’ve learned, is that you hang around the people you want to be like. You choose a crit group for the writer you want to be, you choose a challenge for the skills you want to have. So.. I’m giving it a crazy shot.

    And you’re right about being tired. I’m always tired. But, as Jon Bon Jovi said, “I”ll Sleep When I’m Dead”.

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