Sunday, October 25, 2009

Hunting the Muse: My First "Writing Day".

Today was definitely a case of hunting the muse as I set about the task of dedicated myself to working on my writing. Funny enough, the muse struck in quite an unexpected way -- I found myself resisting at first, but then I just let go and went with it.

My intention was to spend time on finishing up my short stories and maybe working on my novel. Can I call it that? My novel? Sure, why not. (NaNoWriMo is right around the corner and I've been thinking about joining in this year, so I guess that would qualify my project as a novel rather than the ambiguous term of "book-length project"...) But as fate would have it, I ended up writing several articles instead. I think the total number for the day was about 10. The minimum number of words for each was 400, but I wrote at least 500 words on most and some went over 1,000. Even at 500 words a pop, however, that's still at least 5,000 words for the day, which isn't a bad shake by any account. Granted it isn't fiction, but it's still paying work.

I suppose by some standards that means that I was a professional writer for my first scheduled "Writing Day" and that's nothing to frown about. At the very least it means that I spent my day as a Freelancer, even if the pay isn't the best. Some of those articles, however, were worth an upfront payment of two dollars, plus whatever residual ad revenue they bring in. To put that into perspective, prior to writing these new articles, I'd already made $1.61 for the month. Yeah, it's not much, but it didn't take any extra effort to make that buck sixty-one either. My highest paying article to date has made a paltry $4.18 USD, but it continues to pull in a little extra every single month.

The important thing, though, is that I did spend my day attached to the keyboard and I spent that time working on my writing. That's definitely a step in the right direction! With my monthly article submission goal met, perhaps I'll be able to focus my next session on my fiction work.

Now, as far as what I've learned lately about my writing, well... it's been a rough to realize how "purple" my recent prose has been. I've also developed a lazy "as" problem. My writing has been saturated with it, and it really is a nasty habit that does more damage than it does good. I'm going to try not to get hung up on it while throwing down my initial draft, I'd hate to stop the flow of words, but it is definitely something that needs to be fixed in the first revision.

I've also decided that posting first drafts of my work is generally a bad idea. As such, I will work to run my draft through at least one revision before posting it, taking special care to refine any overly purple sections and killing my "as" infractions. The last thing we need is for this blog to turn into a bloody "as"-tray.

Also, I have started to wonder... What is it that you all come here for? In other words, what content would you like me to provide? Thus far this blog has been a recording of my hunt for the illusive muse, my journey toward becoming the published author that I've dreamed of being. Is that enough for you? At one point in time I was naive enough to think that I had what it takes to offer writing advice, but the further I progressed, the more I realized that this is a journey and that I can only teach my own experiences. As of yet, I can't really consider myself a professional. My writing resume is paltry and scant. To pretend I had any inkling of professional advice to offer would turn me into nothing more than a fraud. So, I present you with this question: What is it that you would like to read about when you visit this blog of mine? Are my experiences dealing with my writing journey enough, or do you expect to see something else? Help me help you to help me -- or something like that.

2 comments:

Jena Isle said...

Hi Brady,

Well, for me I come here because I see myself in you. When you succeed I feel glad about it. It exudes a positive concept because your experiences are real and not fabricated.

And because you write well. Your articles are always a joy to read even when you're ranting, he he he. I admire your style.

Two of my friends and I, will be participating in the Nanowrimo next month. It would be good if you join us so we could prod each other...lol...

All the best.

Jim Murdoch said...

Too many writers blogs devolve into talking about what's going on with their kids at schools or their MFA course or stuff like that. Most of them post too often and don't have enough to say. I'd be happy to read one good post a week from anyone. I subscribe to so many other sites that I'm never short of something to read. I think I had 40 new posts in my RSS feedreader this morning and that's not counting the muisc and film sites I look at too.

I am interested in your literary journey and how I can best encourage you. To be honest I've not read that much of your writing but for some reason I've taken a liking to you. So, talk about your writing. To do that you have to write or at least try to write. That requires commitment and you have very little free time so you have to be realisitic: find a little time to write and a little time to write about what you write or what you're thinking about writing or what you think about writing. It's all good. But you need to keep our interest.

I'd avoid posting huge chunks of works in progress online. Yes, they fill up a lot of space but who has the time to read them? You need to find some sort of group where you can get critical feedback. Your normal readers don't have time for that. But a couple of paragraphs of anything, even the odd short story or poem is fine.