Lots of time spent on writing projects this week, but not much in the way of actual writing. Planning, brainstorming, editing, and typing up notes are all really important things that need to be done, but it never feels like I’m making much progress when I spend time doing them.
Today, I felt as if I hadn’t really achieved much at all in recent times, so I was glad to have a writing date scheduled with Ann. I put together a long list of possible tasks, with three levels of prioritisation, which made me feel as if I was exerting some control in an uncertain world.
First up were my editing responsibilities for the second Life Plus 2M anthology. I received two sets of comments from fellow authors, and made amendments to my own story accordingly. I then edited the two subsequent stories in the volume and sent my comments back to the authors and the editor.
I completed and posted this month’s GYWO discussion post, which was on techniques for breaking away from the one big writing project that demands all your attention. I have no idea why I said I would write a post on this topic, as this is not something I’ve ever experienced as a problem. I’m very good at ignoring my big writing projects, and actually need techniques for focusing on them, rather than all the short, shiny stuff that distracts me all the time.
I caught up on reviews from the weekend – one of my reading retreat prescription books, several games from the convention we went to at the weekend, a gig by my favourite band, and a weird but fun indie film I came across.
And finally, I did some more novel planning. It felt like a long time since I’d done any, and I think I need to make sure I work on the new novel more frequently throughout the week, to keep it fresh in my mind. The plot is definitely taking shape but it all feels very ‘broad strokes’ at the moment. I know the overall arc and a lot of what needs to happen, but the details are eluding.
My writing date with Hannah was nearly derailed because our usual tea shop was closed, but I was lucky to get a table at a different cafe when a couple got up to leave just as I arrived.
I made amendments to the airship pirates story I posted on Scribophile last week, based on the very comprehensive comments I received. Then I went through my submissions spreadsheet and found somewhere to send the new version.
I did a couple of critiques to get my points up, and posted a piece of flash fiction to Scribophile.
I’ve really got back into using Scribophile in recent weeks. It feels good to give people advice on their writing, and it’s really useful to get comments back on my own.
I arranged a writing date with Geena, me arriving as Good and Proper opened at 10am, Geena sensibly taking it more slowly, as we had both been out late the night before.
I eased myself in gently by catching up on my reviews. I’d not had much luck with the books I’d chosen this week, with two favourite authors failing to engage me, so I wasn’t feeling very positive on that front, but it was good to have a straightforward writing task to start off the day.
I spent quite a while going through an old writing notebook and transcribing the various notes I’d taken at workshops and events, as well as recording bits of ideas that hadn’t been developed yet. I’m never sure about the value of doing this, as I rarely go back and read notes from events, but I’d rather collect and keep them electronically than lose them – plus rereading and recording them might make them stick in my head, and the bits of ideas may come in useful one day.
One thing I came across during the above exercise was a whole load of notes for a story I’ve been noodling around with all year. I first had the idea during a Writer’s Block Detox course I did back in January and I’ve been periodically making notes for it ever since, but never actually got round to writing it. So, I collated all the notes for that to see if I could kick-start my brain into thinking about it properly.
I helped Geena with a blog post for her Master’s programme in media communications, which was really interesting and made me feel useful.
Then my brain died and I had to call a halt to productive output. But I managed about four decent hours of work.