New New Year

Thursday, 8 January, 2009

Posting about: Current writing habits / 101 Things writing goals / Writing database

Writing has been sporadic to say the least. The usual journal-ish bits, spurts here and there, odd lines I come up with or ideas for ideas, but nothing structured, and no structured working pattern. I’m not sure any of that is necessarily bad, though. I seem to need to not do things properly for a little while to remind myself how much I want to do them. Similar to my mentality re. fitness and nutrition: if I miss something, I scramble to get it back. Absence/heart proverb etc.

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I signed up to 101 Things in 1001 Days and these are the goals I have down under ‘writing’:
007) Write a complete first draft for Script Frenzy 2009
008) Write a complete first draft for Nanowrimo 2009
009) Write 101 pieces of short fiction and/or vignettes (000/101)
010) Do Poster Poems every week for a month (0/4)
011) Turn a bit of family history/memory into fiction
012) Journal every day for a month
013) Take part in a writing festival
014) Submit a piece of writing for publication/production
015) Leave a couple of lines of poetry lying around in public every day for a week (0/7)
016) Put together my writing database

+ 007 is exciting and do-able. Thinking I might do a stage play, completely free myself from all the distractions, (i.e. desire to direct the thing Right Now,) that come with writing for screen-type things.

+ 008 terrifies me. It’ll take a lot of planning, but not so much planning that I start hating the thing so much I can’t write it. Very aware I’m setting myself up for a potentially hellish November.

+ 009 is a nice way to be a bit goal-oriented about my short fiction, keep knocking them out even if I hate them, and maybe come up with a few ideas I want to redraft.

+ 010 is just because I really like the Guardian’s Poster Poems section and took part regularly for a little while but fell out of the habit. You get some very nice feedback on there and a lot of the regulars are really quite talented, coming up with some bloody good stuff.

+ 011 is something I’ve been meaning to do for a while. Some of the stories my older relatives come out with are fascinating and evocative and would be lovely to write. Even just stealing the settings would be fun. Plus my mum and dad have both had interesting lives. Obviously this could overlap with 009.

+ 012 is so I can look back on a month and prove to myself I had a life. I journal as-and-when, to avoid going insane. Forcing a bit of structure on myself will mean I’ll write about everyday things I wouldn’t usually bother going over but which I’m always happy to have a record of later on.

+ 013 because festivals are fun! Not sure which one yet. Depends if I can afford to travel or not. Liverpool has a couple.

+ 014 : Eek. But really, if I haven’t battered one single project into suitability for submission by the time 1001 Days is up I will be very disappointed with myself.

+ 015 is a bit of fun, because everyone could use some poetry in their lives, and I love the idea of leaving things lying around for random people to find, whether those things be sketches or books (as in Book Crossing) or whatever. Notice I don’t say “original poetry”. I could end up copying down lines from favourite poems and leaving those, rather than anything I’ve written myself, along with a comment from myself to keep it in the ‘writing’ category. Maybe. Or maybe I’ll write a full poem for that week and only take lines from that. I don’t know.

+ 016 : See below. A database of all the stuff I’ve ever written. Ever. So I can find everything, organise myself, and do other related things.

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Started putting this together, think it’s going to be incredibly useful, if only in its assembly. Have never properly gone through all my notebooks and picked things out and put them in order. Will be really helpful simply from the perspective of organising character sketches and collating nice lines. Hoping I might discover unifying themes or old ideas I love or get a new spark for one of my on-going projects. I’ll probably find that I’ve re-written certain things many times in several different ways and that’ll be interesting. Might even be able to mash some things together into some sort of draft for… something. I don’t know.

Anyway. Good process. Long process. Strange process. Working backwards through notebooks, searching for the little elongated rectangles in the margins that mean “prose/poetry/line” and the capital letters of project titles.


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