Monday, June 30, 2014

Day 83 - Taking Stock

DWS had a post today about The Time of Great Forgetting - the time between New Years and the Dog Days of Summer when writers have slowly forgotten their goals and ambitions of the beginning of the year.  A good post for anybody doing goals.

One of the suggestions he gives is for people to treat July 1 as a secondary New Year and make your resolutions all over again.  I'm not doing goals this year, but I thought this would be a good time to stop and think about things.

Last year I looked back and realized that goal setting hadn't helped my productivity any.  I realized that over the years, I had done more by chasing enthusiasm than by putting my nose to the grind stone.  So I've spent the past year working on making "chasing enthusiasm" a strategy.

It has been less than the year I was going to play with this strategy, but I think I can say that "Chasing Enthusiasm" isn't something you can just do.

I did predict that.  I said that, when I was chasing enthusiasm, I would do great bursts of work on many things and not finish things so much. (Or I would finish them all in a different burst of enthusiasm many years later.)

So as predicted, I didn't finish much in this past nine months or so.

But the thing that bothers me is that I also didn't do as much raw writing as I had hoped.

I did do more than I have done in recent years, but not what the theory said I should.  Part of the problem is that I when I am on a roll, I come up with a dozen new ideas in every writing session.  I come up with new ideas faster than I can play with them and abandon them.  I don't even have time to note down the basic idea.

On the other hand, my personal satisfaction level has never been so high as it is right now.

I think I'm ready to try to find a balance.  Satisfaction is one thing, but I still have these stories that won't exist if I don't write them down.

So I think it's time to play around with some goals again.

Rejoining ROW 80

I've decided to rejoin A Round of Words in 80 Days for the third quarter, which will approximately coincide with the rest of this 175 Day not-really-blogging effort.  I will post the specific goals sometime this week when they do the "goals" Linky for ROW80.  (It begins July 7, and as usual I will start on July 6 to make the ending match up with the last check in day.)

I expect my goals will be pretty simple: 1000 new words a day, to get In Flight finished, and The Man Who Ran Away mostly blocked in.  Beyond that is all chasing enthusiasm -- I will undoubtedly be doing some higher productivity days, but also doing art and game making etc.

In the meantime... the blog.

I've had some interesting thoughts on what direction I'll take my blogging.  I've been thinking about what I want to do, what I like to do, what I just happen to do whether I want to or not.... and also what is useful to the world.

My current thoughts are.... I think I might keep this blog as a personal writing progress blog.  Maybe even cut it back more.  But I will also start a new blog (and maybe ramp up one of my others).  The blogs I tend to follow most closely are the "aggregator" sites -- blogs that act like newspapers or magazines, posting many times a day.  Sites like Passive Voice, or Daily Cheap Reads, or for politics, Daily Kos. Or for that matter, like Elizabeth's "Twitterific."

I really think that the subject of mystery fiction could use an aggregator. And I"m not sure it would be that much work.  (I'm also not sure it won't be a lot of work.)

More on that tomorrow probably.

See you in the funny papers.


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

The good news is that you're feeling happy and satisfied! That's saying a lot for creative people. :)

I'm interested in your problem of too many ideas and getting overwhelmed by them--are these brainstorming sessions? Does this just happen as you're writing over the course of the writing session? Could you stick in the ideas as comments on the ms in track changes? My ideas are more like dawning revelations, but I've found recently that I like track changes for adding them (I put them on my outline, though, and I can't remember if you outline).

I think a mystery aggregation would be very cool...for craft (writers) or for readers, though? One great resource is Margot Kinberg, who has an astounding recall of crime fiction. I think it's interesting for both writers and readers:

The Daring Novelist said...

It's like brainstorming, except not when I'm trying to brainstorm. So I'll have an idle idea and three more will occur to me before I even find a pencil, and then I'll have forgotten the first one.

As for the aggregation blog: Margot is exactly the kind of blogger I would want to be linking to as "news." She has a lot of interesting things to say.