Monday, January 20, 2014

Changing My Writing Habits

I always have writing on my mind. Of course when I'm writing my mind is in the story I'm telling. However, even when I'm not plugging away on my current WIP I'm thinking about writing and the process itself. In September of 2013 I decided to make a giant change to my process by taking on The Write Chain Challenge. I've mentioned it a couple of times on this blog but quite simply, it's a goal you set with yourself (whether that be a certain number of words you want to write, pages to edit or even blogging) and achieve it each day. Each day you reach your goal, you obtain a link in your virtual write chain. If you'd like to learn more about (or even join in) this fabulous challenge, you can find more information at Think Ink: Psychology for Writers or click on my Write Chain Challenge button on the right of this page. To say that this inspirational and amazing challenge has changed my writing habits in every positive way sounds dramatic and yet it's completely true. As of today I've written for 131 consecutive days. I'm forty thousand (40k!) words into my current WIP, have two others complete and a further two in process but currently on hold.

Speaking of There's Only Now (the name of my current WIP), I'm approaching the writing of this story in a whole new-for-me way. I'm writing it in sequential order. I know, that's not in the least bit shocking for a lot of people. However, for me, it is a surprise. I always start my stories at what I believe (going into the first draft) to be the beginning. Then, at some point in the story, I start going off track. If I have an idea I write it and worry about where to fit it in to the story later. This method has about a fifty percent success rate. So, at the onset of this story I decided that I would write it in sequential order, no matter what. I have to say that it has been rather liberating. When I have gotten ideas that don't fit at the moment I've made a few notes in my writing journal but then carried on from my current place. So far, not one single jotted down idea for a scene has actually come into fruition in my sequential method. It's interesting and has me wondering if the ideas will come in at some point during the first draft, a later draft or not at all. Time will tell, as they (and apparently I) say.

The next thing on my agenda to change (and hopefully improve) is the way I edit and move forward with second and third drafts. The process of editing is a post for another day, though. For now, do share with me things that you've changed for the better within your own writing. And if you're looking for a creative boost and camaraderie in the writing world - consider joining The Write Chain Challenge.

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