Two weeks ago, I showed off my wall with its technicolor notes and the bare bones of what will one day become a novel. I was very excited to write it.
I’m still excited, though the feeling been superseded by some creative frustration. It turns out that when you run a blog where you write a different piece of short fiction every day, you make some interesting habits. On the good side: you write consistently, on demand, and you learn how to farm ideas instead of waiting for that mythical inspiration. On the bad side: you believe that a good draft takes about an hour, editing can be done in half an hour, and at the end of that time, you should have a piece of writing you’re pretty happy with.
That is not how you write a novel.
I’ve been getting frustrated with the rawness of the draft every few pages. Coaxing myself through has been exhausting. Clearly, it’s a habit I would like to break.
I started this blog as a place to play, practice, and learn. (I didn’t mean for it to be a place where I learned bad habits, but… I am an over-achiever.)
Even though I always intended to change things as needed to stretch myself as a writer, I have operated it under the same parameters for almost three years. It’s been very comfortable for about twelve months. “Comfortable,” contrary to popular belief, is not the best place to be as a student. I prefer “confident enough to be a little stupid” and “directly above a safety net.”
Between being too comfortable here, and being too frustrated elsewhere, I know it’s time to mix things up.
Starting next week (Feb. 22), here’s what this blog will look like:
- the Wednesday Serial is moving to Friday. It will continue as usual, just on a different day so it stops breaking my week in half.
- the Legal Theft Project will continue every Saturday. It’s too much fun to stop.
- the Gwendoogle search engine will continue to bring you answers every Sunday.
- the rest of the week (Monday-Thursday) will continue to have daily posts, but rather than be disparate tiny stories, they will be parts one through four of something longer. Which I’m really excited about.
Why I like this idea:
It’s going to give me a little more room to breathe as I won’t be going through the Jumping-on-a-Pogo-Stick feeling of running through the entire writing process every day. It should leave me a little more mental energy to apply to other things.
It’s going to give me time to dig into editing a little harder. And I really like editing.
I’ll have the space to practice things like setting, which I’m sure you’ve all noticed gets skipped over when a story is pared down to five hundred words.
Why I hope you’ll like this idea:
It should make reading this blog more coherent, less jumbled. If you show up on Monday, you’ll know essentially what you’ll be getting for the rest of the week.
It will still be a daily dose of fiction, delivered in pieces you can read on a five minute break from work.
This way, you are sixty-five percent less likely to see me on the news throwing banana mash at pigeons because they stole my soul from my dirty socks.
This week, in order to let myself get a running start on these changes, I’m showing off some I wrote when I was a kid. I’m hoping you’ll laugh at them with me.
Things are changing here on the blog. If you hate change, you might want to just visit me on the weekends.