In an article of mine that will be released on January 2nd, I talk about effective strategies for habit formation. One of those strategies is to go public.
For those who don't have other writing communities to share their progress with, I figured I'd start a thread for us to report our progress. AA style:
I'm Rob, and I'm a writer. Over the last 60 days, I have taken time for creative writing on 35 days. I hope to continually increase that number as we move into 2014.
How are you doing on your writing habit? What's getting in your way? Let me hear your thoughts.
Okay what the hell, let's try this:
I'm Tommy, and I'm a writer. I've been writing for 9 years, starting with fanfiction. 3 years ago I decided to go for my first completely original novel. August 17th this year, I began writing draft 3. In four months, I've written 150,000 words. I'm about 2/3 of the way through. I recently workshopped my opening 4000 and they weren't too well received, but I'll think about how to use the criticism I got later - right now the train is still moving and I've got a final destination in sight. Right now I'm a little bit stuck with some plot points and I'm wondering if the entire book has too much inevitability when it comes to what will happen to my protagonist. Never mind, my current mantra is 'Just get that motherfucker finished' so that's what I'll do.
New year's writing resolution: write some shorter stories and try sending them out. I've never had a rejection or acceptance because I've simply never sent anything off, or even written a short story I was happy with. Once novel draft three's finished that's what comes next.
I'm considering a 368 word count a day, for 54 days for a specific project I'm working on. I'm hoping to eventually increase that to 500 words a day. And as of today, I've written to my 368 Word count.
New Years Resolution: Write nine more regular length short stories. Sharing similar themes with different character in the setting.
Hah! Just posted about this in the New Year's Resolutions thread. Started early trying to form a daily writing routine and I'm doing good so far. It's been a week and I've written everyday. Not a lot, but it's something.
My problem was that I always put everything in front of my writing. Then I read Chuck Wendig's 500 Ways to Be a Better Writer (or, the "Look Inside" sample on Amazon, if I'm honest—but I swear I'll buy it someday!) and under one of the lists I found my biggest excuse for not writing: "Oh, if I don't write today, I'll write double tomorrow" and his comments on this problem cracked me up and simultaneously made me guilty enough about it to really try to stick with it..
I'm Jose and I'm a writer. Over the last year I have been a full time student and haven't had as much time to create anything. I'm very confused by this development. I went to school to develop my writing skills, but I don't do any writing for myself. I do a lot of analytical writing for philosophy and English, but it feels devoid of anything personal. This next year I WILL develop three short stories I would be proud to submit with my Grad school application.
I really swear by LitReactor! I wrote so many stories either for a workshop, or for the battles and wars, that this year I got more publications than any other time in my life. So LR is a good habit to have... Of course I wish I had more time for this, and more money for more workshops, but the wars are free...
I'm Dwayne, and I'm a writer. This year I'm going to try to stop making myself try other people's writing advice and just let it come.
I advise against this...
I'm with Dwayne. What works for other people hasn't really ever worked for me. I've had to find what works for me on my own. And I did that by being honest with myself and understanding what I need as a person.
Once I stopped measuring myself to other writers' successes and finding failure in what worked for other people and wondering what was wrong with me that those things don't work for me, I started feeling more fulfilled and actually producing.
I usually write every day and look forward to it. But some days, I don't feel like writing, and that's okay.
I'm Leif and I've been writing for about eight years now. It took me over a year to complete my first manuscript at a whopping 50K words. It wasn't until last year that I managed to fall into a routine using negative reinforcement, the threat of cabin fever, to finish what is now a completed 97K manuscript. After that I managed to rewrite that first manuscript in less than a month when I read through it and cringed. It's much better now and completed once again.
My routine, which is a non continuous four hours a day, allows me to produce between 1500 and 2500 words a day, on average, when I sit down and write. My only obstacle is my boss whose sanity is lost somewhere in the steam drum. So my one hour lunch break, and a non continuous three hours after work due to my bosses insanity and incessant interruptions, are the routine I've fallen into.
The crazy boss has certainly added to the character of my characters who are quite characters.
I eventually had to make myself only write for myself, subverting the tropes I want to subvert. And not what others want me to subvert.:/
Anyway a plot for a book is semi-finished.
@Thuggish - Well if I listened to that I'd be breaking my resolution now wouldn't I? lol.
@Tim - I'm fine with long term comparisons of similar goals, not comparisons of short term methods. I'm just not going to try to make myself do other people's methods I've already tried several times and failed to get good results from. Like daily writing; it doesn't work well for me. It was getting me between 2100 to 3000 words a week. I work 12 hour night shifts, and one day a week is just resting and errands/chores. When I let myself write 3 days a week (2 with high word counts and one whatever) I get 5000 to 15000 words, and they tend to need way less revision/be better. Plus when I would get a little bit of inspiration I'd be too tired to do anything with it, and now that I give that up once in a while I have a nice extra 20,000 word day. If someone has a way I haven't tried I'll give it a shot, but I'm not going to keep doing stuff I am pretty sure doesn't work for the time I have.
I think the time/other responsibilities factor is huge and sometimes not given its due. I've been writing on and off for decades but the best success has been the past couple of years.
The difference isn't better self-discipline, it's just more free time. Some years are better than others. If you have a full time job and a young family or other responsibilities, you're right to put them first, imo. You also need time for recreation and enough sleep. For those who aren't reaching their goals, I'd suggest try making those goals easier and lighter. Two hours a week, four stories a year, whatever. I'd be sorry now if I had put too much time into writing and missed that time with my kids, for example. Also, it's no fun to make it too hard then give up and not get any of it done. Good luck!
I'm aka Flaminia, I'm a student writer. Over the last year I have managed to make some time free for the writing, every day. This year I will actually fill that time five days a week with the actual writing doing, and kick the 'research' habit.
I'm about to publish my first set of short stories and am feeling a little nervous. I try and write at least 500 words a day (and might just change that to an allotted time due to that article.) I'm also looking for a writing group if anyone has any suggestions...
I'm able to write every day, as long as I have a customized writing prompt. (Which is really what my outlines are more like.) But I used to have the attention span of a knat. But I'm going to try to get a little bit better.
Thanks, Flaminia, for pointing out one of my "blocs" - researching way too much before I even start writing.
Glad to be of help, KellyW. I start reading scientific articles, then all those wonderful difficult words get me hooked. Next thing I know, I wake up after a three day research binge and realize I haven't written a word yet.