Wisdom abounds about writing goals – so many words written a day, keeping certain routines, having accountability. Many kindly authors will share their valuable tips when asked. Yet each individual is different. To this day none of these ideas have worked for me.
Once the glorious bustle of November’s National Novel Writing Month ends, so does my grand output. Good habits fall by the wayside and my output trickles to little or none. I don’t necessarily even wallow in editing. Some of my novel manuscripts have remained untouched since the day I met that year’s NaNoWriMo goal.
This time I wanted to continue the joy of storytelling beyond November. So far, I have. As you can guess it hasn’t happened through goal setting, at which I’ve never been particularly good. Nor have I set a particular routine.
The madness in my method seems to tie more into what many experts suggest to help break a habit. I’ve shaken things up this time. Routines are being broken. Times, locations, even methods have been altered according to whim.
No longer do I feel the need to get my writing done early in the day. The day is far from over by afternoon or evening. Why not save the best for last? Yet if I wake with inspiration from a dream, I may certainly get the words down before they’re lost. The words may be recorded in a notebook, Microsoft Word, or the Scrivener software I recently purchased.
I also have been writing out some character and setting sheets in Scrivener, adding more topics as I go. I usually just carried details around in my head. Besides cementing a few characteristics, I’ve found myself learning new things about my fictional peoples/places. And it’s been a pleasure getting to know them, whether those details make it into the story or not!
As for one huge change, I went to some write-ins during NaNoWriMo and blessedly got invited by some nice folks to year round gatherings. I’ll be going to one tonight, in fact. I just have to decide which project I’ll open. Edit the latest novel or write something new?
On that note I’ve also rekindled my love of short stories. Somehow, they seemed inferior to novels. How could I consider myself a writer if I wrote tales under a few thousand words?
I seemed to have forgotten some famously beloved short story collections. And as several wise folks have told me: the fact I’m writing makes me, by definition, a writer. I hope you’ll join me and dive into whatever speaks to your heart.