Learning About Yourself

Have you ever looked back on your previous writing week and realized a few things about yourself? While trying to decide what I wanted to write this week’s blog post about, I realized that this previous week I have learned a great deal about myself as a writer. This can sometimes be good and sometimes be bad.

My previous week was productive but not productive. I know that doesn’t make a great deal of sense, so I will explain it to you.

I started out the week with two goals: get the short story I wanted to write ready to send in for an anthology and continue working on my novel. As the week progressed I was getting frustrated. One reason was that no matter what idea I had for the anthology story, I just couldn’t make it come out on paper. I tried three or four times, all with great word counts, but without having the story that I really wanted to write.

Now, I know that first drafts are never perfect, but the ones I was producing kept going off in different directions and I didn’t feel really covered the anthology theme. I would put that writing session away and work on another version of the story. I would come up with outlines for the stories and that still wasn’t working for me. By the time I was done, I probably had at least six different versions of the story and none of them were what I wanted.

The second thing which had me frustrated was that since I was focusing on this energy on this short story anthology, I wasn’t working on my novel. This frustrated me the most because this is what I want to do with my life. I want to write novels.

Don’t get me wrong, I love creating short stories, but the novel is my number one goal right now.

One thing I do at my day job of working in a printing company is spend a great deal of time at a cutting machine. Depending on the project, this can be a very repetitive task and can give me time to think about things. And the one thing that came to mind while I was working on a cutting project was that I am spending way too much time on the short stories and not enough on my novel. And then I went about thinking about how I am going to change this.

This was when I realized something about myself as a writer. I am not one of those writers that can have a number of projects going at once. Take this blog for an example. I write my blog posts on Mondays. Mondays is my day to focus on the business side of my writing. But if I throw in my novel work on Mondays, I don’t usually even get a blog post written. And as I experienced last week, if I am working on a short story, my novel gets thrown into the back burner. This isn’t what I want.

After thinking this whole thing through this weekend, I came to a decision! I need to only focus on my novel. I want to have this plot figured out and ready to start writing in June. And that isn’t that far away. This is my number one goal in my writing life right now and this is what I need to focus on.

For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a writer. Not a journalist, although I have always enjoyed creating articles, but a writer who has people reading the stories that live in my head. And I have to face it, I am not a young woman anymore. If I want to achieve this dream in my life, then I need to seriously crack down on this one and only goal.

Even after all these years of writing, I love the fact that I am still learning things about myself. I think this is what makes being a writer so great. You get to learn all these things about yourself that you wouldn’t have normally learned otherwise.

What have you been able to learn about yourself through your writing? I would love to hear about it.

Until next time… Keep writing!!!


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