My blog posts are usually written a week ahead. I put the finishing touches on them the day I post them, but the main part of them are written the previous Monday. I also have a schedule of what I want to write about at least a month ahead, which contains the basic notes of what I want to write about that subject. But there are times when something just clicks and I want to write about it, right now. And this is one of those weeks.
Last week, one of the links of the weeks was called NOTES FROM THE MARGINS: Finding Your Writing Process – A Procrastinator’s Journey by Danny Manus. It was one of the article I found while doing my weekly blog reading. After finishing the article, I was ready to put the finishing touches on last week’s blog post, but I couldn’t stop thinking about this article. The ones reason is that Mr. Manus talks about how everyone has a different writing process and sometimes you can only do an hour a day, or even have one specific day where your writing is done in one big chunk. The whole entire article clicked with me. I’ve been struggling with my writing. Even after the whole not giving up thing I wrote about last week, I have still been having trouble getting myself to sit down every evening and write.
Mr. Manus wrote, “Not being able to write for an hour a day doesn’t make you less of a writer, or a human being.
It doesn’t mean you’re not serious about your craft. And it doesn’t mean you’ll never finish your script. It just means you have a different process that works for you. And that’s fine… As long as you HAVE (or are trying to find) a process that works for you.”
Wow! When you read anything that talks about being a writer, one of the first thing mentioned is that you need to write every day. I’ve always taken this to heart and if I have a day when I don’t get writing done, I feel horrible. Reading this has made me realize that it isn’t about the amount of time you put in, but about the finished product. It doesn’t matter if you write five words a day as long as you have a goal and you achieve it.
The suggestion he gives is to create a WEEKLY goal. Instead of a daily goal like I have always heard to do, he says to do one for the week. Then make sure you get those goals done, in whatever way works for you. Again, wow!
I have been setting daily goals for myself. If I don’t get them done, then I feel horrible. I feel like I am not a writer, but just someone pretending to be one. But I have to wonder… if I would set weekly goals for myself, would this work.
In a way I have done this before, typically when I had a freelance project. I would set the deadline for the end of the week and as long as I got that deadline met, it didn’t matter when I did it. There would be days when Sunday evening I would be rushing to get the article/story/plot done, but it got done. All because I set a goal for the week. Why wouldn’t this work for all of my writing?
Mr. Manus also wrote, “Stop feeling guilty for not making time the way THEY tell you to, and start feeling inspired to create the time the way YOU want to.”
This was another one of the comments which clicked with me. Mainly because I always feel like I need to write when and how other writers do. I strive to find the method that other writers used that also worked for me. But why? Is it because I felt that if they were able to be published that if I followed the same process that I would also be published? Yes. Yet, none of them worked for me. I would get so far and then another project would get my attention because the previous story felt like I was going in circles.
Just last week, I made the decision to start working on one of my novels in the method which seemed to me like it would work. It was actually a couple of method squashed into one. All of it entailing writing the chapter/scene in long hand starting with just a brief description of what I want to happen and then continuing expanding it until I feel like it was ready. This doesn’t mean it will be the final draft, but a final first draft. I’m taking the famous “Snowflake Method” and turning into something which I hope will work for me.
The funny thing about this….this is the method I use to write short stories. I begin with my idea and just write it out and then expand upon it. If it works for my short stories, why won’t it work for my novel? I’m going to find out. And after reading Mr. Manus’s article, I realize that I shouldn’t criticize myself for trying to find the right process for me.
One thing I think Mr. Manus didn’t mention is that the writing process for any writing isn’t even set in stone from one project to another. Everyone is evolving. This includes how we produce our works of art. What works for one project might not work for the next. Everyday there are circumstances, responsibilities, emergency and a ton of other things which will make the writing process change. The best advice is to go with the flow and strive to achieve those weekly goals in whatever way possible.
This leads me to telling anyone who read this, follow whatever writing process you want! As long as you are achieving your goals and are writing, it doesn’t matter how you get to the finish line. Thank you Mr. Danny Manus for making me see this.
Until next week. Keep writing!
Writing Links of the Week:
7 Powerful Steps to Overcome Resistance and Actually get Stuff Done
By Yaseen Dadabhay
How Fifty Shades is Dominating the Literary Scene
By Shana Ting Lipton