Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Don’t Kill a Winning Plan!

The Dark Side by Anley Piers

This April was probably one of the toughest months in the past few years with absolutely no time or will to write. I am not much of a complainer, most certainly not in public, but I had to say this so you understand the premise of this text, not writing regularly.

Back in 2011, one of my new year’s resolutions for 2012 was to write every day. Retired from my job, I then suddenly had all the time in the world to really write! Till then, I had written random bits and pieces, whenever the so-called inspiration stung my writing nerve. It was time to exercise that writing muscle.

2012 was spent in a frantic determination to write daily and often several times a day. I decided to write short fiction, such as drabbles or micro-fiction. I also wrote poetry, or something similar! The result was quite obvious. After a few months, the time elapsed between sitting at the computer, checking the visual/word prompt and starting to write was considerably shorter.  Given any prompt, I would have three, four ideas immediately. Then, I just had to draft the text, edit, review and post. I posted at the 100 Word Stories, the Virtual Writers, the OzlandishWritings, the Flash Fiction Writers and my own blog regularly.

By the end of 2012, I felt I had achieved my goal! A new year was approaching and I needed a new goal, with the important incentive of a close friend who insisted it was time to move on from the short-fiction, and he was right. It also happened that I was challenged to write for iRez by Vaneeessa Blaylock who encouraged me to write longer stories, if I wanted. What perfect timing!

The goal for 2013 became to write a short-story monthly. And I did, January, February and March. And that’s when the problem started!

Writing a short-story, for someone new to this length of text, demands a lot of planning and drafting and exploring. Added to this, I wanted to write short-stories inspired by locations in Second Life, a virtual world, which meant finding the place first! This process was a lot of fun, I must admit, but it involved little writing. Out of the average 30 days of a month, I’d find myself writing for about a week only.

You may ask, so what? Isn’t that what happens to all writers? Research, planning, drafting, writing? Writing is only one bit of the whole. Yes, true, it is. However, the writing muscles, as we know of legs and arms muscles, for instance, need to be exercised every day! That was not happening and the writing muscles were getting slow. Writing was becoming more painful and it was definitely taking longer, with the need to a constant editing ad re-editing till the final text version.

In another life, I was a teacher. All teachers know that they cannot survive in front of a class without a plan, without goals. So, I needed to adjust my plan. For April, I’d write every day, short-fiction plus I’d work on the longer piece. And that’s when life decided I would not do that in April, but in May (hopefully, fingers crossed!).

One month writing basically only once a week for the 100 Word Stories challenge, is certainly not enough. The writing muscles are rusted, words don’t flow as easily. Now, it’s time to restart.

Moral of the story: Never change your plan radically! If it’s working, add to it! Write every day, short or long texts, just write. It doesn’t really matter what. Write!


  1. Anonymous5/27/2013

    Hi Lizzie... I've been wanting to comment on this post for ages, but each time I start I have so much to say I just fumble around for words. I'm just going to say I really like this post. I've been reading your work but haven't commented much on posts lately. You need a "Like" buttone so you'll know who has been around. :)

    1. :) Thanks! I have been looking into your suggestion, but I think I need to associate it with Facebook. I haven't found a "Like" button from Blogger specifically. *kicks Blogger* Hope you're well!