I decided 2010 is going to be my Deliberate Year! Ever since I heard about Jennifer's idea of the Year of Reading Deliberately, the thoughts started rolling about in my head about being deliberate with not only my reading, but also writing as well. Plus being deliberate with my health since watching my blood pressure and eating choices, especially after that choking scare. Happy to say I was pleasantly surprised when I stood on the scale yesterday that since I've given up pepsi's and chips, it resulted in me dropping 8 pounds.
Then I receive this wonderful email from Chris Baty.
I ran into your 2009 NaNoWriMo novel yesterday, and it said that you two are currently "taking a break." I offered my condolences and mentioned that I'd probably be seeing you today. It quickly scribbled out a note for me to give you. The note seemed kind of personal, so I didn't read it. Here it is!
"Hi! Come back to me. I'll be better this time, I promise!".....
....So here's my proposal. What if we pick one of the promising stories we've started and set aside, and then spend 2010 finishing it up and making it great?"
Hence the birth of The Year of Writing Deliberately was born. Deliberate - "Done with or marked by full consciousness of the nature and effects." How often do we go through our days on auto pilot, not giving conscious thought to what we are doing. Never fully in the moment, but thinking about what needs to be done next, splitting our attention away from what actively doing at the moment. So, what does this have to do with writing? I like writing and seem to do plenty of it -whether blogging, class work, lesson plans, business letters, etc. For each of these things, the outcome has be letter perfect almost from the get go. You edit as you go and make sure all the grammar and punctuation is perfect.
Writing a novel is different because the first draft is free flowing thought - getting it all out there on paper first, then going back once, twice, maybe half a dozen times to edit until you are happy with it. It's been an interesting experience and I now have 3 works in progress. My first nano Floating on the Surface is resting, waiting for me to get back to it. I decided to rewrite the entire thing this year and worked on it until Nano 2009. The story is at a turning point in which I either have the action take place in a shorter period of time (which my characters seem to be lobbying for) or spread it out over a longer period of time. I discovered when you veer away from what the characters want, they rebel.
My Nano 2008 Winter's Illusion is on the shelf and I'm going to let it stay there until I finish the other two. I took more time finishing Winter's Illusion and think it going to need a couple edits, but no major rewrites. I'm looking forward to going back and rereading.
Nano 2009 The first draft of Eyes in the Ashes is about 60% done and I'm already thinking about editing it because about 15% of it is filler. I ended up writing two different scenarios in the middle of the story. I wrote scenes for both scenarios so it's a mess, but now know which direction want to take. But the first part is good and will keep going. I'm going to go back over what have written so far, take out the filler, and continue from there. Father sat down one night when I stepped away from the computer and started reading the story. I thought he would lose interest after a couple minutes, because he did with Floating on the Surface. He doesn't read fiction, but he got captured by the story and can't wait for me to finish so he can read the rest of the story. High compliments indeed and really made my day!
So, my first goal will be to finish Eyes, then get back to Floating on the Surface. I'm going to commit to writing everyday. Doesn't matter how many words or pages, just as long as I commit to sitting down and writing for at least an hour, giving the story my full attention. During nano, I had a goal of 2000 words a day and managed to accomplish that because I didn't turn on the computer, didn't check my emails, didn't blog until I was done writing for the day. I dedicated my morning to writing, before Father and James got up for the day and the daily distractions started.
So for my 2010 Year of Writing Deliberately, I will dedicate my morning to writing. Every morning! I found I have to write every single day because when I start differentiating between writing on the weekdays only and taking off on the weekend, by Monday morning, the resolve isn't there. Then I have to work on Mondays, so justify not writing because I only have an hour before work so go online. And so on and so on.
I love writing! I love putting pen to paper and letting my thoughts flow and I amaze myself sometimes. I look at it later and say "wow I wrote that." I will be sharing my progress weekly since you all help to keep me accountable. If anyone wants to join me in the Year of Writing Deliberately, let me know.
What works do you currently have in progress and what are your writing goals for 2010?