Thursday, June 24, 2010

Daily writing

Writing every day was one of those habits that I tried to resist for years. Decades really. I've known since I was 9 years old and first fell in love with Stephen King that I was going to be a writer. But for some reason I didn't want to do that writing every day thing. Even though I read somewhere that's what you needed to do to be a writer. I still didn't want to do it. Procrastination. Fear of not having anything to say. Or what I would say was crap. Or I should only write when I'm inspired.

Funny thing about writing is that you aren't always inspired, meaning what you write at first isn't always inspired. Most people know this, and full-time writers who get paid to write know this down to their core. It took me creating a contract with my mom committing to sending her one chapter a week for an entire summer for me to realize that not only do I have to write every day but that every day writing might suck. Then you do a magical thing called editing. I wrote every day for 13 weeks and finished a 77,000 word first draft (about 1,000 words a day). Two years later, the final draft (at least the most final draft right now) is at about 100,000 words.

I'm getting to the point when I'm going to start quering my young adult fantasy novel. I should have done it weeks ago but I was struggling a bit. Not necessarily with the query letter but with the idea of a bunch of agents rejecting my novel based on my query letter. And not really with the idea of rejection based on a query letter but on the bigger fear of what if they request a partial (part of my novel) or a full copy and then reject it? Oh god. That just sounds awful even typing it.

So instead of sitting around and worry about rejection, I've decided to start writing again. It feels good and terrifying to start up the daily process of writing. That's 1000 words a day for 15 weeks (yeah that's right I've upped the ante) to crank out a second novel in the series. But along with my 1000 words a day goal, I'm going throw daily blogging into the mix. I've loved blogging on beauty for the last six months, which surprised me. I knew that I liked writing, but I'd had two unsuccessful blogs in the past where I couldn't sustain weekly posts. There's something to be said for writing on a topic you really care about. Apparently Trader Joe's and Inspirational Quotes wasn't enough to get the creative juices flowing.

I got lost down the rabbit hole of the internet today and stumbled upon a blog by writer Penelope Trunk that was interesting enough for me to open up and read 35 million of her past posts. One that really got me going was Penelope's Guide To Blogging. It doesn't say anything about regular blogging, but that's sort of implied. You gotta have content for people to want to visit you often. Although digging deeper down the rabbit hole I found this article on really easy instructions for how to start a blog. My two favorite are 5. Practice Practice Practice. and 6. Ignore Your Lack of Readers. So I'm going back to my daily exercise of writing every day which now is going to include a morning Beauty By Ilana post. And I'll ignore the fact that no one is reading except for my awesome cousin Allison! And sometimes my mom.

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