Thursday, August 29, 2013

"If It Ain't Broken, Don't Fix It!" - Time for a Reality Check

Before: Don't tell me I need to write every day. I can't write every day. It's a setup to try to write every day. Therefore I am deciding that not writing every day is okay. I can do that. Right.

After, note to self: That was a dandy idea. Really. Take some pressure off. I still support that decision. But, hey. Look. Really? How successful was it?

C'mon, be honest!

It really was a great experiment. And some days, I just can't do it. Really. Well, unless it's NaNovember. I seem to find time to write practically every day in November, no matter what. No matter how much VRS I'm working and how much freelance work and shows and even teachingt on top of that.


So I'm easing back in to the "daily writing." It's not daily, yet. It might become daily. It might become daily except weekends (and my weekends don't mean Saturday & Sunday; I work every Sunday). It might be three or four days a week.

It might be like "choose your own adventure" except that mine will be "choose your two days off this week." For times like when I'm preparing to interpret a play. Or maybe those are excuses, too, and I still need to write no matter what.

It was okay to give myself permission to not write every day. And the reality is that I haven't generally been getting as much writing done as I'd like. At least not on the books (memoir and novel) and the short stories. Although I have picked up the pace.

And I was doing some other writing. For the professional standard practice paper for our national organization (that one still isn't done; it's in the review before getting member feedback phase). And business correspondence, though most of that doesn't really "count" in the way I'm talking about writing at this moment.

Anyway, rambling aside... Right now I have a weekly writing date with another writer/author and I have a weekly meeting with a writing group. And last week I wrote on three other days. Pretty good, huh?

It feels great. And if you're following me on Twitter, you maybe saw that I broke another of my "rules" today. See, I'm what is called a "pantser" in NaNoWriMo; I write without an outline. For me it doesn't matter : short story, novel, memoir, poem, script. I write it as it comes. Sometimes it flows and sometimes it's messy. And, yes, editing can be a pain when the writing doesn't flow. But I swear - really, really swear - that some of my best writing wouldn't have come to light if I tried to plot and plan it out. I wouldn't have thought of it. And I am fine with being a pantser; totally okay.

But today I did a mind map, which looks a lot like an outline, for this book project I've been thinking about for about six weeks. An outline! Me! I'm okay with that, too. It's a non-fiction book, so maybe that accounts for some of the difference.

We'll see.

So the adage about "if it ain't broke, don't fix it?" I'll still hold that thought. And be open to the possibility of change. At least for change in the right circumstances.