I created another blog. And I posted one entry last night. The blog was supposed to be about my writing and how I was getting my act together this year. For some reason, I needed to keep it separate from this blog, this rarely updated, neglected, blog about nothing in particular. But then today, I decided it was all rather pointless, keeping it separate from Box of Crayons. So I’m going to post it here and I’m going to keep posting (hopefully … ) about writing. Anyway, I’m being silly. Here is the post:
1: MAKING SHIT HAPPEN
I've made enough excuses over the last few years about why I haven't yet written a novel but the two excuses that get the most air-play are that it's hard to write while a full-time uni student and that I just can't do it.
Both are bullshit.
People who hold down full-time jobs, study part-time and raise a family at the same time can write novels. All kinds of people write novels all the damn time. My excuses are invalid.
As part of my vision for 2013 (which you can see here), I used the Penguin logo to represent either a job with a publishing company (preferably Penguin) or to have a book published (preferably with Penguin). I decided this year - with just one more semester to go until I finish university - was the year I was going to get serious about this writing caper. I would like to be able to call myself a writer and not feel like a liar. And then, on 2 January when I was searching for something else, I happened upon the Penguin School of Popular Writing, touted as a one-day seminar for aspiring writers of commercial fiction. Remembering one of the reasons I quit my Saturday job was so that I could attend writery-type things, I booked myself a seat.
The seminar was today (19 January) and it was fantastic. I took about a thousand pages of notes from all four of the speakers and I'm planning on writing a review of the day later in the week but for now, all I can think about is what Fiona McIntosh had to say. Fiona has written 26 books in a 12-year period, so I'm going to trust she knows a thing or two about stuff. Her advice wasn't sugar-coated and was no-nonsense. "You are just writing a bloody story," she said. "It's not that hard." And good crap, have I been making it hard for myself.
She also said that a novel shouldn't take any longer than a year to write. If it does, something is wrong. I've been working on this particular story since 2010. Admittedly, my effort has been quite half-arsed, but it's still been three years.
So, now that I'm all motivated and inspired, I am giving myself a deadline of the end of June. If my novel isn't finished in first draft form by the end of June, I am going to stop writing it and start another story. Not quit, just change focus. I'm not giving myself a year because I have already written maybe almost half, maybe at least a third, and I think six months is more than sufficient. It's time to get serious.