Come In, Have A Seat… No Really, Please

Inclusion as a staff writer at the Write Anything in 2012 was dependent (in part) on committing to and being publicly accountable for a year long writing project. The philosophy behind Paul’s decision was simple: it ensured all contributors were actively engaged in writing.

At the start of the year the actual idea of committing to writing was pretty horrific. I’d just been spat out the other side of another bout of depression and, for all intents and purposes, my creative space was shattered, my confidence at all time low and my belief in accomplishing anything… pretty much zero.

I had one burning desire though: to fall back in love with writing. To experience the kind of intense character interaction that compelled me to write. To get lost in the timelessness afforded by the actual physical act of writing.

Knowing that, I chose two projects: the first to write the letters that would become Post Marked: Pipers Reachwith Adam Byatt (something fun, requiring me to turn up at the page once a fortnight, doing something I had always enjoyed) and the second, to complete my birthpunk novella.

Today the second, of three, project updates is live at Write Anything.

Written in conversational style (because I just couldn’t bring myself to write a report card on myself!) I offer up virtual cake and tea, while I chat about Elyora, Byrthed and Pipers Reach, including some tasty morsels not seen elsewhere (and well if you are a Write Anything subscriber – you would have got me accidentally letting too much go about Pipers Reach in your email this morning).

Everything this year has been about forward progression and I’m looking forward to the final three months of the year, and seeing the pay off for all the energy put into these projects.

What are you currently working on?

1000 words a day challenge

1000words_500wThrough the Write Anything Twitter feed (@wawriters) I saw reference to Inky Girls 1000 words a day challenge.

Debbie Ridpath Ohi, the creator of the Inky Girl writes:

Too often, I find that writers start motivational challenges like NaNoWrimo with enthusiasm and good intentions, but give up when they start missing their daily targets for more than a few days in a row…undermining their confidence and defeating the purpose of the original challenge.

I also wanted a challenge that lasted the whole year rather than just a month.

I have been trying to build up to writing three pages a day – which some days is great and I get there with extra to spare – other days it just sux.  1000 words seems to be such a better target to aim for. I’m not exactly sure how you track a word count when your editing (and you are carving out words rather than inserting them) … I’m still to come up with a forumlae other than aiming for a page target.

If I can hit the 1000 word count for 21 days in a row I’ll gift myself the badge.  21 days in the magic number some behavourists came up with as the number of days needed to effect lasting change (well until you fall off the bike and have to get on again and recount another 21 days!)  In the next 21 days I will have celebrated my son’s 5th birthday and having made it through the first five years of motherhood, survived a 5th birthday party, been on holidays for a week and planned for the school holiday break.  There is plenty of writing to be done in the next week as I stock pile my Type A Mom articles and Write Anything for my week of solitude in the Bunya Mountains. If I can achieve 1000 words a day for the next 21 I think I will make it a lasting change.

On a completely different subject, I signed up for a 31 day course on “building your blog” and after having numerous problems getting my email address registered so I could get the daily emails and enlisting the help of the family email address, I have received a registration email, and introductory email and the Day One email on the Elevator Pitch … and then it got very quiet … and it is still very quiet.  I think I should take note of the obstacles here and perhaps consider this challenge for a different time.

(Today’s word count [not including Twitter, Facebook, this blog or emails] 1178 courtesy of my Write Anything column for this week The New Spin on Reality TV.)

Write Anything Column this Week

My Write Anything column Second Draft Tips explores the ways in which a writer can move from first draft to second draft.  Included in the article are ideas on how to cull 10% of the content (as per Stephen King’s formulae) and shifting from the writer’s frame of mind to an editor’s.

For those who enjoy podcasts, Paul Anderson has shared his experiences of being critiqued and rewriting in Write, Revise, Repeat in audio.  It includes Paul’s short story  from the Kingston Readers Festival Micro Story Competition 2009in first draft and final draft forms.  For anyone who hasn’t heard Paul read his stories – it is well worth the experience.