November 19, 2015

So, I'm Writing a Novel Over Christmas Break! (Plus Other News)

Yeah, I know, it's been a long time! Sorry about that; I've been really quite busy. this semester hasn't left much room for down time, I'm afraid, and based on my schedule for next semester, it doesn't look to be letting up.

On the bright side, I have declared my second major! I'm now a duel major in Creative Writing and Women's and Gender Studies! I feel super great about this, and this kinda ties into the main point of this post (which is actually a re-post of a tumblr post I did two days ago, but I figured what the hell, this blog hasn't been active for over a month, so this seems like as a good a time as any to update it).

As we near the end of the semester and look ahead into Christmas break, I've formed a plan.

So, I have a five-week Christmas vacation because my university is generous like that (thank god).

And so I thought I’d take the time to really sit down and just get a fast draft of my novel out onto the page.

I plan to get a good 50000 words down by the end.

My daily writing goal will be 2000 words per day. This will give me room to relax or have a couple days off or whatever.

Lofty? I mean, for me definitely. My writing process is essentially “if I feel like writing, I’ll write, and if not, then I won’t.” (This blog is that process in extreme practice, I know.) And that might not sound so bad, but trust me, it’s terrible. When I get into writing, then yeah, I’ll get a good week of solid writing done and then burn out, but that happens so rarely nowadays. I also tend to labor over scenes until they’re gleaming, so I never get anywhere beyond a single scene or a chapter or whatever. So given that, obviously, I’ve never fast-drafted anything before, nor have I ever tackled something this massive besides school projects, but I think this will be a great learning experience if nothing else!

Why Now?

I’ve had this story rolling around in my head for about three or four years now, and I have written some material for it, but nothing substantial, so I thought now would be a good time to just get it all down on paper

I’ve also recently been inspired by several writers and peers and classes. My Close Reading class has been pretty cool, and reading always inspires me. (I should really do more of it, but that’s a whole other deal.) I’ve made a couple good writing friends over the years; my good friend Nina over at mirandandnina, a person I admire as a writer and especially as an editor, has a WIP that is actually pretty solid, so that’s inspired me since like the summer. Seeing that a person I actually know in real life can write something, get thoughts down on paper, form scenes and have engaging characters-that’s very motivating and validating, because it means that writing a book isn’t an abstract idea anymore; someone I know is doing it! And that means I can do it too! Maybe not as well, but I can try, dammit!

Also, Ava Jae, one of my favorite writers/writing advice people ever, has a new book coming out next spring (and I’ve already got my copy preordered), and she’s talked a little bit about her process and it just inspired me to do something about this story idea! Also, the fact that she’s pretty much a fast-drafting diva (she wrote a rough draft of her book in THREE WEEKS!!! WHAT THE FUCK?!?!?!?!?) makes me want to test the waters of that skill-set and see what I got!

Also, this post of course is a huge motivator for me! I’d seen it before but coupled with the above it just got me even more psyched

I’ve also always pulled out the excuse that “oh, I’m too busy” or “oh man that can wait, I’ve got all this schoolwork and all this research that needs to happen first.” Well, there’s no excuse like that this time… kind of (I actually do have a research project going on, but I haven’t gotten any official go-ahead yet). But seriously, this vacation is about as free as I’m gonna be, I think, so this is a perfect time for this! The is going to be an exercise in building up my extremely lax writing habits. I call myself a writer, but I’m much more of an idea guy right now since I don’t put many ideas on paper. So I’m hoping this will change that. Also, a five-week break from classes sounds great, but by the third or fourth week I’m always feeling so lethargic, so writing should keep me on my toes.

Anyway, wish me luck! I do still have about three weeks left in the semester (and holy shit are they going by slow), so I still have a ways to go before this happens. I want to put this down in writing so that my goal is known and people can hold me to it!