Saturday, 6 January 2018

State of the Delirium Address 2018

At the start of last year, I was pretty bubbly about how 2017 would go, despite having spent most of 2016 learning how mistaken I was in about where I stood in terms of writing.

Heh. heh. heh.

Looking back at it, it all seems very sensible. I was going to write every day. Given I knew I was also going to job hunt, get married, prepare a visa, house hunt, and stress about all four of those, that maybe wasn't so practical a goal. Throw in a second job hunt, adopting a cat, giving back a cat, finding everything I needed for the new house, and so on... yup. Writing every day went south.

Although, being honest, what really got the writing habit was

a) Lengthy periods of depression
b) Trying to edit existing works

Doing that fine detail polishing is hard. Just about anyone can write, particularly if they're willing to let themselves write badly. Taking that first draft and turning it into something you'd be genuinely willing to ask money from people to have is probably not for anyone. Trying to do it got me in some extremely lengthy periods of paralysis.

The other two resolutions - learn more about structure, question more - they went better. I don't have structure nailed, but I am no longer in a blind panic when trying to write something and wondering what comes next. And I learnt a lot in general, although I could probably question more. One of the problems with asking questions about writing is that, after a while, the answers often become very specific to the book itself. That makes asking the questions pretty difficult unless the audience has read your work. Its possible I need to find a writing group and stop relying on forums so much.

It will surprise no one - particularly as everyone reading these posts knows me and has already heard it - that all the goals that were meant to come from doing the process properly were missed. They went so far south that they became anti-Santa.

This, however, is only important in terms of what I can take from it. What's important is what happens now.

I think I'm right to keep structuring my goals about doing the right things and trusting that if I put in the performance, the result will come.

I'm still going to try and write every day. I probably won't but that doesn't mean I shouldn't be trying to do that. In terms of making sure these sessions are as productive as possible, I want to finish each writing session by writing down my lead-in to the next session. I write a lot better when I know what I'm writing as I sit down to it.

I'm going to edit something every week. That's been a weak point, so I need to practice it more, learn about it more. Besides, I've got a lot of words written that do me no good without the final polish.

And I want to be able to point to one new thing learnt about writing every week. There's no such thing as too much knowledge, too much information about writing and storytelling. Not that I've got anything to point for this first week, although I'm still musing about how Wicked started as a comedy and ended up as a tragedy

If I keep doing these things then, at some point, hopefully this year but maybe later, my dreams will come true.

And if not, then at least I shall enjoy myself in the process. Or shall are my delirious thoughts at the start of this year.


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