This week has been a little less about writing, and a little more about realistic goals – but over the course of the evening a writing plan has started to emerge, and it’s given my literary spirits a boost.
I happened to pop onto my twitter account for the first time in about a week, to see a message there from a writing group friend of mine.
I won’t give you all the details but the upshot was that we are both languishing in writing limbo, and need a nudge in the right direction.
So the starting point of the plan is for us to agree some writing dates when we meet up at group this week coming. On those afternoons/evenings we meet up, we will write. Maybe talk about what we’re writing too, of course, but primarily sit and write.
It’ll be like having a gym friend who makes you exercise when you want to stay in and eat chocolate! Plus when I’m writing I can eat chocolate😉
My phase two is to acknowledge that I have the tools I need to write, and to use them. That means my reading materials this week are going to be textbooks, guides, exercises etc – all to get me thinking about how to reboot my work.
Phase three is to set myself a target of 10,000 words to get me to the end of Fred’s story so I can finish it and put it aside for later editing.
Phase four is to review all the crime novel work I have done, archive the unsuccessful bits and pull together the best so I can build a new story with more confidence in it – a story I hope will be planned (not written; I need to get back to basics I think) by Christmas.
However, the most important element of my new plan is to relax about my output. I need to stop putting pressure on myself and focus on why writing is a joy and I love doing it; to let myself have a bit of fun with it.
Expectations can have benefits, or they can undermine your confidence when you don’t meet them. When everything in life is a little crowded it is too easy to feel I haven’t done what I should. I make it worse by telling you what I’ll do, too!
But there is no agent phoning me, no editor demanding my time. I am my own timekeeper so I can set my own rules. And for now, my rules are to be a little more kind to myself and to enjoy the process of putting pen to paper.