A Garden Beginning

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Writing Goals: Beginning

I have decided to make a public commitment to writing everyday. I want to prove to myself that I can write a novel. Right now I have five pages. These five pages have taken me many months because I am not writing everyday.

I know there are a few people who occasionally look at this blog who have dreams of doing something (writing a story, making a quilt or other artwork, maybe making a movie, or following through with an exercise program). We lack the work ethic, but not the enthusiasm. There was a semester at HSU when for a health class I had to make a health-related goal. I chose to weight lift. I followed the program fairly well because I kept a journal recording my progress. Well, this blog will serve as my journal. It is better than a paper journal because it is open to the public, which means there will be more pressure on me to carry on.

For the next two weeks:

I will write thirty minutes everyday. I will think about my story at every meal I eat, to keep the story fresh in my mind.

Walter Mosley, in his essay, For Authors, Fagile Ideas Need Loving Every Day, says the following.

Writing a novel is gathering smoke. It’s an excursion into the ether of ideas. There’s no time to waste. You must work with that idea as well as you can, jotting down notes and dialogue.

The first day the dream you gathered will linger, but it won’t last long. The next day you have to return to tend to your flimsy vapors. You have to brush them, reshape them, breathe into them and more.

It doesn’t matter what time of day you work, but you have to work everyday because creation, like life, is always slipping away from you. You must write every day, but there’s no time limit on how long you have to write.”

Another author, Kent Haruf, in his essay, To See Your Story Clearly, Start by Pulling the Wool over Your Own Eyes, suggests writing blindfolded to help you turn off the inner critic and just gets some thoughts down. So to keep my writing from becoming too much of a chore, I will try different things to keep things interesting.

(Both of these essays are in Writer's on Writing.)

I will try writing blindfolded. I will try writing on the computer, by hand in pencil, and in pen. With different sized paper. Before sleep, I’ll read another chapter of Writer’s on Writing and other books about writing for inspiration.

I’m going to think about doing writing exercises once a week on this blog with anyone who is interested.

Lastly, I will document my progress on this blog at least once a week (I won’t be posting my story, but how I’m doing on my goals).

When these two weeks are up, I’ll decide what to do next.

If anyone would like to share their thoughts on projects that just keep nagging and nagging, please do. If anyone would like to join me in my commitment, that would be really cool. You could post your progress as comments on postings titled “Writing Goals” if you like.

Job update: I’ll be in Flagstaff at least until February. The Arb has received more funds to keep me on till then.


At 11:32 PM, Anonymous Peter said...

Good for you. Will I get a signed copy?

At 6:21 PM, Blogger Mick Lind said...

It may never be published. But it will be written! If it becomes good enough to publish, sure. For a small fee.

At 7:04 PM, Anonymous Iman :-D said...

Hahaha! This is soo awesome "Mick!" I will definitely be the fire under your toes nagging you the whole nine yards if you like so keep posting!


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