Monday, August 17, 2009

Day 7

Ah, Monday again.

The weekend has proven to be more difficult for me to stay on track than weekdays. Go figure. During the weekend, there seems to be more temptations to not do the work. Instead, there are naps to be had, food to eat, TV and movies to watch, and friends to get together with, dinners to go to, so on and so forth. (Again, refer to the "excuses" post a few days ago.)

I did manage to put a bunch of words down yesterday: mostly notes and outlines, but I consider them actual word counts since they can be expanded to the actual prose.

Dawn asked me, "Wouldn't blogging about haircuts and lattes distract you from your writing? Wouldn't it be more productive to focus on the writing the WIP instead of blogging?"

The thing is, blogging about the process and the challenge keeps me going, but I can't blog about my writing every single time. It gets boring fast. The whole idea of blogging about this is to keep myself motivated. The daily tallies keep me on my toes. I know I missed a day (Saturday) and it's only the first week. But then again, I've written 3000 words (assuming I meet my quota today) in one week. That's a lot of progress. If I can keep this up for even just another month, that's more than 12000 words!

It's kind of hard to explain. I'm not blogging to get readers. I still am sure that I only have five or fewer readers so I'm certainly not blogging for that reason. But blogging keeps my mind going and keeps me, believe it or not, focused on the creative writing. Blogging about the process also keeps my hands typing and my brain thinking on the story. It gives me a sense that I'm accomplish something, that I'm meeting my "deadlines." Without this part of the process, I tend to find all kind of excuses to not do the work, as I did on Saturday. I ended up not working on the WIP and not blogging much on Saturday because I got distracted with everything else. Blogging about my day, my life, etc. (instead of simply blogging about writing) also helps me creatively. I can only talk about "writing the novel" for so long before I bore myself to death.

Also, it's a challenge to myself. I do better under "pressure" and trying to meet a goal or challenge. I finished my first novel almost completely based on a dare: "FINISH IT or else." I didn't think I could do it, but once I set a goal and deadlines, I did it. To change plans now, to not blog about this every day, or to just set some arbitrary goal without any clear measurements would not work. I know, because I did all that in the past few years. Sooner or later I'll find excuses to not sit down and write. Sooner or later I would lose track of my progress and realize I haven't opened the document in 23 days.

The blog keeps me on my toes. It's a public record of my progress. It's like telling my writing buddies "I wrote this much today." It keeps me honest about my progress. I'm not going to lie about it. If I missed a day, I'm going to blog about it.

Also, I blog throughout the day. It's not like I'm spending three hours working on the blog. I write a sentence or two, then I go off and work on the WIP some more. When I feel a bit stifled, I'd add a few more lines in the blog. That keeps the cogs and wheels turning.

We all have good days, bad days, good weeks, bad weeks. And the fact that I'm going to get 3000 words down this week is definitely good.

***

The words flowed today. What I found interesting was that I had summarized the scene with narrative yesterday. I hadn't intended to expand on it, but I ended up doing just that, adding dialogue and action and descriptions. The scenes have much more detail and are nicely nuanced with character interactions and the five senses (including the stench of the corpses).


500 words today, 3000 words total
358 days, 1825000 words to go

4 comments:

Susan Gable said...

Go, Ray, GO!

I also need to get moving. I do have a deadline approaching, and need words flowing. I understand the tempations of naps, tv shows, movies, etc.

You can DO IT!!

Ray Wong said...

I feel like I'm a walking Nike commercial... "Just do it!"

Benjamin Solah said...

I've been following your progress. You sound like you're doing just fine. Keep it going.

I can totally relate to the things you said about blogging being a motivator. I totally feel the same.

And you and someone else talking about writing in cafes has made me want to chuck a sick day tomorrow and spend the afternoon in a cafe, writing.

Ray Wong said...

Just do it.