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Posts Tagged ‘summer writing’

Creating a Summer Writing Plan, Part III

My summer writing plan in five steps:

1. I have chosen to have a set amount of time to write each day. I think putting in my time will be more effective for me than holding myself to a word count. It’s not that I think I’ll get more writing done this way, it’s that I think I’ll pour more talent into my time if I set it aside to be used instead of wasted. I want to try writing for two hours a day, Monday thru Wednesday and Friday thru Saturday. That’s ten hours a week. If I lose time one day, I make it up another time during the week. I’m down to one job now – this shouldn’t be difficult to do.

2. Thursday mornings are for sending out submissions. I’ll do this every two weeks starting on June 4 and let you know what I’m sending where. Submission day takes the place of a creative writing day, though I’ll be doing technical writing in the form of query letters and database keeping.

3. My writing will be split between short projects, long projects, and priority projects. I’ll work on one until another one calls me, all while leaving room for new ideas to be explored. I’ll do my best not to let this backfire into a situation in which I have a lot written but nothing finished. I’ve detailed my proposed writing projects below.

4. I’m going to challenge myself with challenging projects. I’m going to try tackling more time-consuming projects first (see long projects) and more emotionally-difficult projects (see nonfiction short projects) as soon as possible to challenge myself. The priority projects still stand, since they’re both under deadline.

5. I’m going to have a lot of fun along the way. If I’m not, then I need to stop. Writing cannot be work. Writing cannot be work.

My Priority Projects:

– My Application for something big. I won’t divulge what the “something” is until I hear the outcome, but this needs to get done and get done fast.

Sketch Comedy for a show I’m writing and acting for in June. It’s The Weekly: Yesterday’s News Today and features sketches written the same week they’re performed that are about current events both local and global. It will be interesting to see how the pacing of this show works and I’m excited to be asked to do some ensemble work.

My Short Story Projects:

Lucky Seven (fiction, short story), a story that’s gone through two drafts and has been sitting around waiting for a polish so it can make the submission rounds. I dig this story and it deserves to be treated better than I’ve done with it.

Wing Sauce (fiction, short story) got amazing notes and suggestions from my NCC writer’s group of fellow instructors during the first week of March and has sat on my hard drive ever since. It’s about a car crash and love, and it’s hitting too close to home. After my wife survived a pretty bad car crash with a broken leg mere days after getting workshop notes, there’s a part of me that’s really invested in the story (her, too, because she liked this story when I showed it to her) and there’s a part of me that just can’t work on it right now. My wife goes back to work next week, so I think I’ll go back to the story.

Meeting Santa Claus (nonfiction, short story) may sound like an odd story to work on in the heat of the summer, but I wonder if writing this and preparing to submit it now sets it up for a better chance to appear somewhere in the Christmas season.

Her New Scar (nonfiction, short story) is a piece that’s only a few scrawled paragraphs at this point. It’s about my wife’s latest surgery scar from her car accident and other scars from her past. It’s something I think would be good for me to write as we walk away from the accident together.

My Long Projects:

My Super Secret Screenplay (script) doesn’t have a third act. It needs to be finished, it needs a new draft, it needs new readers, and it needs to be looked at with fresh eyes. I stepped away from it for some time on purpose so I could come back to it when I’m ready. And I’m ready.

Scrawlers stories, comments, and blogs need to be a regular part of my writing over the summer. I’ve been away from blogging too long and my taste for it has returned. With the new Scrawlers redesign, I’m excited to write and comment there again, too.

My Super Secret Novel (fiction) probably deserves to be looked at this summer, too, but I’m honestly not in any hurry. I feel like I already have a pretty full load as it is.

So that’s my plan. What’s yours?

-nm

Creating a Summer Writing Plan, Part II

So I’m creating a summer writing plan and I encourage you to join me. I’ve never really done this before and I don’t know if it (I) will succeed, but as one who never churns out as much or as quality material as I want to, I’m open to trying anything new. The best plan is, of course, your own plan. I’ve chosen to create a plan that suits my needs and I invite you to take what works for you. My plan needs a mix of short-term ideas and long-term ideas. Below are some of the things going through my mind as I develop a plan.

Short-Term Ideas I’m Considering:

Write a specific amount of words OR for a specific amount of time. If I choose the words option, they don’t have to be elegant prose, they just have to be there, finished. If I choose the time option, I don’t have to have a polished gem at the end, I just have to put my time in.

Set up a regular time slot to send out submission queries. I’m a lazy submitter when it comes to sending my work to magazines and contests, which frankly is ridiculous. This helps me actually get my writing out there.

Create regular blog updates on my plan. This will help me become beholden to someone.

Long-Term Ideas I’m Considering:

Choose a mix of both short projects and long projects. I’m not the kind of person who works on one thing at a time very well, though I also have difficulty finishing things. Setting myself up to have a few smaller projects I can finish as well as larger projects that will take more time may be the key.

Prioritize which projects take the most time and talent. I tend to work on what’s easiest or most interesting first instead of tackling more difficult, more “work”-like projects. I think the opposite approach may be something for me to try.

Know when other summer activities preclude me from meeting my short-term goals and work them into the overall plan. It’s easy to say, “Gosh, I’ll be on vacation that week so I can’t write,” and then not make it up. This summer, if I can’t meet my regular schedule, I want to do my best to make up the time.

I’ll post my plan tomorrow. What about you? What are some ideas or goals you have for your summer writing plan?

-nm

Creating a Summer Writing Plan, Part I

There’s a part of me that says I should go with the flow and write what comes to me this summer. That planning it out isn’t going to feel spontaneous or even trusting of myself, that I should allow myself complete freedom for maximum creative potential.

Then there’s the part of me that says I should decide now what I want to tackle this summer for writing. That if I don’t have goals I’ll waste time and be too haphazard in my efforts, that a little direction could go a long way in helping me be as succssful as possible.

And then there’s the part of me that says I’ll never finish what I plan but I’ll also never do anything if I don’t make a plan at all. That’s what they call a paradox. And it frustrates me to no end. When all is said and done, I believe I’ll make a summer writing plan that has both short-term and long-term goals with room for spontanaity. My deadline? Thursday. Tomorrow I’ll post some tips on setting up a plan.

What if we make that your deadline, too? Can you post a comment with your summer writing plan when I post on Thursday (or maybe your reason for no plan)? Wouldn’t that be something? The challenge has been issued today. Tomorrow: tips. Thursday: plan. Add your own challenges, tips, and plans in the comments between today and Thursday’s posts.

-nm