Lately I’ve been a bit lackadaisical about my writing. I need to get back on track.
While writing 500 words a day is definitely a practice in diligence, I feel like I’ve stopped ‘practicing’ at all in other aspects. Reading other blogs, for instance, and noting the writing techniques of other writers; building my “writer’s toolbox”, which I intend to be filled with various techniques, new words, etc; or generally treating my writing like the priority of my day. Over this past week, I’ve barely even started clacking away at the keys till six in the evening. To help improve my habits, I’ve come up with some rules (and penalties). To help improve my writing, I’ve come up with a 4-week set of goals. The following takes effect as of Monday, August 12.
- At 10am each weekday morning, I will read/catch-up on a minimum of two blogs in my subscription feed.
- Afterwards, I will find and read through at least one new blog.
- Saturdays, I commit to looking over the blogs any newcomers to SniggledyFrippits.
- By 2pm, I will begin my daily words.
For each bullet point I fail, I will suffer one of the following: no sugar or sugary items for 24 hours, one solid hour of housework to be completed by 10am the following morning, washing all the dishes currently in the sink by hand, or no YouTube surfing for 24 hours. My partner gets to choose the punishment.
If you’re going to punish yourself.. you might as well make the punishments beneficial in another aspect of your life!
With the ultimate goal being to participate in NaNoWriMo this November, I need to start preparing myself; fifty thousand words is a lot. So below I outline my four week plan to help improve my writing and get me started in the direction I’ll be taking come November. The weeks shall be defined as Monday-Friday. Saturday and Sunday I reserve for reflection, preparation, play time, etc.
Week 1: Character Exploration
This week, each entry will explore a new character and/or type of character. I encourage myself to make each entry as unique from the previous one as possible. If a character is a do-gooder in the first entry, a proper villain should probably follow – though it doesn’t have to be as black and white as that.
Week 2: Settings/World Building
This week, each entry should be a description of a new – you guessed it! – setting. Here, I should diversify in genre, as well. Western, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, etc. all have very unique worlds, even if within them settings are still quite diverse. After all, the Disc World series is not set in the same type of fantasy world as Tolkein’s Middle Earth; but it would be better not to get caught up in a singular genre.
Week 3: Writer’s Toolbox
This week I’ll be exploring concepts of writing itself – first person vs. third, the use of different tenses, formal vs. informal, the use of bathos, etc. I need to play with writing and explore it more as a craft. This will also take a considerable about of reading since I expect this to be quite the education.
Week 4: Continuous Plot Work
The final week will perhaps be the most difficult – I must come up with a new idea for a story and write a minimum of 500 words along its plotline each day. I’m not allowed to write 1,000 the first day and divide it into two posts. If I write that many words, that’s how many I’ll publish that day. My tendency to only write on a subject when I feel like it leads me to many incomplete works. This simply will not do in November.
I wonder if having set topics to write about each day will help or hinder my getting started. Anyway.. now that I’ve written all this out and shared it, I feel motivated and committed.. yet terrified. I don’t want to let myself down. This is important to me.
Best of luck, future self!