I’ve been slack at providing the promised updates on my writing activities. Fortunately, my negligence means that I can wrap up my last three months’ of updates in a neat, tidy, ‘Spring’ brand package. It’s almost as if I had planned it all along …
If it’s not too much of a contradiction, I’m fairly comfortable declaring that my morning shift efforts have finally become a habit, even while admitting that I don’t actually manage to get up every morning to write. This is to say: getting up at 6am (or so) to do an hour’s (or so) writing now feels like a perfectly normal part of my normal routine. Unfortunately the part where I have to get out of bed is, and probably always will be, something that makes me ponder the ultimate futility of life, the universe, and everything.
I’m not helping myself much by not having a clear plan for my writing: I’m mostly winging it for now, which is fine as the ideas keep coming and I have plenty of stories that need a second or third draft. Also, the writing can sometimes be drudgery. I’m still coming to terms with the indisputable fact that a first draft of any story will always be just about the worst thing I’ve ever written. The second draft merely confirms the awfulness of the first draft, and by the time the third draft comes along I’m usually over the whole thing.
The way I’m dealing with this at the moment is to write a first draft, then file it away and leave it while I go back to working on something else. I’ve made a pact with myself to try and finish a fairly lengthy story (about 25,000 words) I’ve been working on for the better part of two years. Once this is done I’ll go back to some of those first drafts. However, the real point of the morning shift is to get me to a place where writing a novel becomes a realistic prospect. At the moment this is looking good. I’ve not counted, but I’d be pretty confident in suggesting I’ve written more in the last three months than in the last three years. I’ve also written drafts of three entirely new stories since initiating the morning shift, and wrapped up one short story. So the signs are good.
Anyway, cut to the chase. Here’s are the specifics for the last three months.
Most of September was given over to the second draft of a new story called Drones (the first draft of which was written over 9 mornings in August). I also managed a couple of blog posts, but they’re usually done in my lunch break (like this one!)
- Number of morning writing sessions: 13 (out of a possible 22 weekday mornings)
- Words written: 2,056 (mostly blog posts, some new content for Drones)
- Words edited: 10,512 (all Drones)
October was entirely given over to a third draft of my long/short story entitled There Is A Light That Never Goes Out (hereafter known as There Is A Light…).
Due to the length of the story, this was a third draft of the second half of the story, the second half of which underwent a fairly fundamental change. Keeping up here? However, even though there was a fair bit of new text written to accommodate this, I’ve still counted it all as words edited.
- Number of sessions: 17 (out of a possible 23)
- Words written: 0
- Words edited: 16,497
I completed my third draft of There Is A Light in the first couple of sessions, then started writing a new story called Neighbours. I also managed a short blog post.
My mornings took a bit of a hit due to a couple of reasons. Firstly the fluctuating spring temperatures meant that I didn’t get as much sleep as I wanted some nights, so the morning shift was sometimes sacrificed. Secondly, my wife left her job at the end of the month: since it was her alarm that more often than not got me out of bed, it took me a few days to adapt.
- Number of sessions: 11 (out of a possible 20)
- Words written: 5,221
- Words edited: 1,461
Come back soon(ish) for my December update, and find out if my pact (with myself) to once-and-for-all complete There Is A Light … actually succeeds …