I took a bit of planned time off in November. I have a number of good projects I could be working on, but I thought it would be a good time to close out the end of the year working on fundamentals. I’d like to develop a consistent writing practice, where I’m at least banging out a few hundred words on something every day. I want to determine a good system where I have a list of projects to work on, and I know exactly where I am on each of them. One of the things I’d like to take the time to do is learn how to treat my writing like a professional. The big difference between me and a pro (besides talent and more money) is that ability to really nail down a schedule and stick to it.
So what I’ve been doing is trying to stick to a consistent publishing schedule for the blog — Monday, Wednesday and Friday if you haven’t noticed. In addition to that, I’ve been trying to come up with bits of short fiction in both the Bird and Sleepwalker universes just so I can get a better handle on the setting and the characters I’m working with. Finally, I’ve been writing bits of interactive fiction for some adult stories over on writing.com. They’re all rather low-stakes things I can work on, and if I need to focus on a particular thing — like deconstructing a particular type of scene, or dialogue, or working my fingers around a particular character type — then bundling in these writing exercises is the perfect excuse.
By using this time to experiment with my writing and how I develop my practice, I figure that by the time the new year rolls around I’ll have a good foundation for branching out a little bit. I already have an idea of what I’d like to do for January, but first things first. My “professional” development as a writer is still a work in progress at this point.
So! This is the plan for the next month. I’ll be working on this blog, trying to stick to my established schedule of Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I’d like to refine my movie and book reviews so that they’re more informative and/or entertaining. I’d like to make sure that my short fiction (500 – 1500 words) is tight and efficient. And I’d like to make sure that I write more entries about what I’m discovering about the writing process.
I’ll keep trying to write short fiction based on the writer’s prompt published by the Furry Writers’ Guild. This month, I’ll try to expand beyond the Bird and Sleepwalkers universes to whatever idea grabs me first. And I think it might be a good idea to actually plan to work on a different thing each week. What do you guys think I should work on? I’d welcome your suggestions!
In addition to the blog and short fiction exercises, I’ll keep working on the interactive chapters over on writing.com. I’d like to make sure I’m writing at least three a week, though I’m not sure that’s going to be possible towards the latter end of the month when the holidays end up getting crazy, but we’ll just call that a test of my discipline. 🙂
Later on, I’ll be focusing on editing a few short stories that I’ve put in a drawer for a little while. Most of them are related to what I’m planning to do in January, and I’d like to get a good head start on that. We’ll see how well that goes.
All in all, it’s a little ambitious, but I think it’s time I step up my writing. Hopefully by the time 2013 rolls around, I’ll have developed enough consistency (and cultivated my practice) to start publishing things on FA, SoFurry, Weasyl. Later on, I can think about actually submitting to other zines and publications.
For now, though, it’s all about being consistent with my writing and working on the things that I need to work on. Let’s see how well I can do that.