4 Things I’ve Learned Writing Every Day

I am on Day 35 of my DYSBWriting 365 Day  Challenge. It’s been great so far!

I have written every day, as I committed to do, even the night I went out for drinks with the girls. It was about 150 words and was VERY stream of conscious free writing, but hey, that counts. And it worked towards a short story I started that week.

Here are 4 Things I’ve Learned Since I Started Writing Every Day:

1) The time is there – you just have to find it!
I was wasting a lot of my time before this commitment and I never even realized it. I always feel busy, but I didn’t realize until I made this commitment that it was possible to carve out time here and there by eliminating some totally pointless time-sucking activities. Sorry, Candy Crush, but I will not longer be accepting invitations to play. I’ve also stopped pinning so many great tips on writing so that I can actually be writing instead. I can’t go cold turkey, of course, I am not a saint! Pinning pictures of Tom Hiddleston, for example, does not count as time wasted. Ehehe. But even with some time spent frivolously, the commitment to write every day has forced me to really be more aware of how I am spending my time so I can really make it count.

2) Your characters sure will thank you for it
Before this writing commitment I had gone several months without writing a word. When I started writing again I had to go back through and reacquaint myself with the story and the characters. As I began writing in that book again, it felt like the characters were taking their places in my head again. I could almost hear them saying, “What took you so long?” Writing so sporadically I often lost my vision for what that character was all about. Writing those characters every day, they won’t let me lose them again.

3) Don’t worry, it doesn’t hurt
Sitting down to write every day sounded a lot more difficult when I first made myself this challenge. But as I started putting my butt in the chair every night and writing something down, not only was it not painful, it’s felt really good. I’m putting words on the page – for whatever they are worth – and I am finding the process itself to be almost necessary.  The act of writing feels calming. I have a dreadful commute to work and I’ve found that this writing commitment has helped me get through it.  I’ve begun working to develop ideas and explore possibilities of where to go next when I will sit down to write. Instead of just simply getting random ideas, which before I never did anything about capturing, I’m taking those stray thoughts and committing them to the page.

4) It’s about more than just the writing
Writing every day has made me feel more in touch with that part of me that needs to write. I’m feeling like I am a more authentic version of myself than I have been before this challenge. I’ve always felt a need to write. I’ve always had ideas for stories bouncing around in my head, but it has taken this challenge to help force me to get that stuff out of my head and into a story. Now, instead of saying, “I’d like to write someday.”, I can say, “I am writing.”

I am writing. Every day.  And it feels great.

Audience

First, I’d like to tell you that I took my advice from my last blog post and shared a short story I’ve been working on with several readers, including the writer’s circle.  *Pats self on the back*

While I’m excited that I am putting my work out there, I am not entirely sure about my readers and how they will receive what I’ve written.  I certainly believe there is an audience for my writing out there, but the writer’s circle I belong to very well may not be it.  I use bad language.  It has more romantic themes and less of a literary “slice of life” style.  It’s certainly a slice of life, but is it one that my readers I’m sharing with now will relate to?  I’m not so sure.

One of the people I’ve consistently shared my writing with, because like myself she is a reader and tinkers with the idea of writing, is my mom.  Can I just tell you it’s a little odd submitting for her perusal a story that mentions some less than delicate subjects?  Awkward. 

But this is the story that I needed to tell right now – as our writer’s circle leader often says – and so I went ahead and put it out there.  I suppose that in keeping with the idea of going confidently toward the hope of one day being published, I have to know that not everyone is going to like what I say or how I say it.  And I need to be ok with that.  Though perhaps if I ever publish my romance genre novels, I may just have to warn my dear old mom which chapters to skip right over. 

Certainly my writer’s group will have those who probably just shake their head or are ready to flee in the opposite direction from anything I submit in the future, but I do have to learn to be true to my own voice. 

I do look forward to having people who will enjoy my work as much as I have enjoyed writing it, and to someday, hopefully, have an audience of my own. 

Tom Hiddleston has said that an actor is not an actor without an audience, and certainly I am feeling that an author cannot fully be an author without having an audience. 

Who will my audience be? 

 

 

Go Confidently

One of my biggest challenges as an aspiring writer is just letting people see my work.  I’ve written a great deal more than I’ve shared.  By far.  My normal response has been that it’s not done.  It’s not perfect.  It’s not even close to perfect.  I like the Steven King quote that says “Write with the door closed.  Edit with the door open.” But lately I have been thinking perhaps I am just using this as an excuse not to share.

Of course there is a lot to be said about getting your work together before submitting for critique, especially if you will be too easily swayed from your intent with your writing.  At some point however you have to let it out into the scary world and get some fresh perspective.  This has not been a strength of mine. 

I do recognize the importance of changing that – and have challenged myself to be better about that in this year long writing challenge.  I’ll have work to submit.  I’m writing every day!  So I’m further challenging myself to not just write every day, but to then share my work and look for feedback to make it better.

Besides the obvious benefit of having thoughtful critique done of my work, I believe I’ll benefit greatly from the growth that will come with learning to have confidence in my work.  Yes, it won’t be perfect.  It may not even be that good.  I need to believe in the work that I am doing, though, and the more I submit my work, the more I will have to decide what comments are going to make my work better and which I can just ignore.  I’ll have to believe in myself and my work to do that.  If I can’t do it now, in a supportive environment like a writer’s circle, how will I ever survive book reviews and reader comments?  Time to toughen up. 

I recently read a great article that detailed getting the movie Swingers made ( grantland.com/features/an-oral-history-swingers ) and it really made me think about having confidence in my work and my voice.  Like many great success stories, our hero, in this case screenplay writer Jon Favreau, faces many obstacles before successfully reaching his goal.  It made an impression with me how he was able to stick with his vision and believed in it enough to remain consistent in effort to get the movie made and made in the way he wanted.  I wondered what would have happened if he hadn’t finished it (something I struggle with) or if he hadn’t shared it (again I stuggle) and then if he hadn’t believed in it enough to fight for it (hello yes that’s me). 

I obsessively pin writing quotes and inspiration on my Pinterest board, and this quote is one of my favorites.  I often remind myself of this and will continue to as I work to go confidently in the direction of my dreams as Thoreau would suggest. 

Don’t forget – no one else sees the world the way you do, so no one else can tell the stories that you have to tell.  – Charles de Lint.

 

 

The Longest Short Day Ever

How can a day seem so long, but also feel way too short?  There’s just so much to do! 

This new year I have made myself a lot of goals.  This blog and writing every day have been some of my biggest goals. Returning to the writer’s group and perhaps joining a few other groups is another. 

Unrelated to writing, I’ve also put some health goals down as well, including a new commitment with my mom and my sister to walk at least 2 miles a day at least 3 days a week.  They are going to London and to Paris in a few months and need to get in walking shape for all their grand adventures.  While I am ridiculously jealous of the trip (Oh my goodness, London!), I am happy to share their commitment. 

So I’ve begun walking almost every night.   I’ve managed to find a way to maximize that time however.  I am using my treadmill time to catch up on episodes of Sherlock (with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman going all around London).  Alas this will be the closest I get to London for awhile.  It sure is fun though!

I must say with my writing, blogging and walking goals, I’m finding it difficult to cram all of that into my already full life.  I work a full time job that comes with a very long commute and then have a busy family life.  Lately I’m finding that I wish I had about two or three more hours to do all the things I want, but then am also finding that I am more than ready to call it a day.  It seems an odd juxtaposition. 

Despite the feeling of not having enough time, I start each new day excited about the goals I’ve set, the direction I am heading because of them and I do my best to be grateful for every moment of this busy life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A New Beginning – Sort of

This is the original entry I made to another blog I started but have decided to move to WordPress.  Originally published and started on 12/26/13.  I am now in Day 26 of my 365 Day Challenge. I am now just living it in a new blog space. 

Welcome to my little personal writing challenge tracking blog.  In this blog I will track my progress, my struggles and hopefully my success in my goal to complete a full year with a daily writing commitment.  An editor friend of mine frequently suggests to us aspiring writers that we follow the Artist’s Way direction of writing something every day just to get the habit in place and to strengthen our writer’s muscles.  As the new year looms, I am finally taking her advice and making myself this goal.

 

 

 

I will write every day.  Even if it’s the grocery list.  Even  when it’s awful.  Even when it’s not convenient.  I will just write.  Every Day.  And then blog about it. 

 

 

 

This blog may show what I’ve written.  Or it could just list a daily word count.  Or could possibly be a post that tells about my writing experience for the day.  The goal is to blog whatever will keep me accountable. 

 

 

 

So – Write something every day.  Blog something about it.  365 days.  The DYSBWriting 365 Day Challenge! 

 

 

 

Why DYSBWriting? 

 

 

 

Confession time.  I am a recently converted and completely smitten Tom Hiddleston fangirl.  I stumbled upon the ridiculous amount of fangirl love out there for him on Pinterest and other places and quickly found myself in binge viewing mode over a weekend stuck in the house with my 3 crazy wonderful little boys (while we were all iced in and unable to leave the house for school or work). 

 

 

 

Many interviews were watched, pictures scrolled through, and Marvel movie watching commenced.  I have purchased my tickets to see his play which is being broadcast from London to my humble Dallas movie theater in February.  In short it’s become a bit of a sickness. 

 

 

 

BUT the upside to my Hiddleston obsession is that, while others jokingly say that all of Tom Hiddleston’s wonderful qualities make him a “life-ruiner”, I find his fangirl-love-inspiring qualities better suited for inspiration, rather than destruction. 

 

 

 

I saw a picture on Pinterest, that had Tom’s lovely face along with the words “Darling, you should be writing” and I’ve decided to use that as an inspiration piece.  I will hear him telling me with his flawless accent and mesmerizing voice, “Darling, you should be writing.” 

 

 

 

The benefits to this imaginary prompt are:

 

1)      How could we fangirls refuse Tom anything?  So write I shall.

 

2)      If I am cranky and not wanting to comply it’s not like he’s my real life husband or sister or friend who I could quite possibly snap at for telling me what I should be doing.  To borrow a Loki line – “ I do what I want!” 

 

 

 

Fortunately I have a wonderful husband who is incredibly supportive and kind and full of wonderful qualities himself and he happens to be tolerant of my fangirling and 100% in my corner in my writing goals. 

 

This blog, while officially named and essentially inspired by my fangirling is dedicated to the man with whom I am blessed to share my real life. 

 

 

 

Here we go!