Tuesday 19 June 2012

#15Habits - Latest Update

Latest update on my progress following Jeff Goins' 15 Habits for Great Writers series. You can find my previous update here.

Day Seven (Wednesday) was all about "starting ugly". This is no great mystery for anyone who's written for a while - in other words, your first draft will always suck. It almost has to - there's no way that the words can get from your head to the page and be perfect first time. Now, I disagree with the sentiment to MAKE it ugly first - why would you purposefully make it bad just to improve it later? No, I think it's far more useful to simply do it, and be aware of the fact that it's going to need work, and then work on it when you're done. The challenge was to "make something ugly" but as I'm already writing a first draft, I figured I'd just keep working on that. If you read my last update post, you'll see a pattern emerging.

Day Eight (Thursday) was all about building, with the idea being that it's all very well starting something, but you have to finish it in order for it to mean anything. Therefore the exercise of the day was to finish something - an essay, a book, pretty much anything outstanding. Unfortunately my day was way too hectic to even get to my emails so I didn't read it until the day after, so I decided to make sure I finished a clutch of blog posts that I've started.

Day Nine (Friday) was about connecting. Jeff wanted people to go looking for potential fans, friends and patrons, but networking is already a fairly large part of my writing life, so I figured I'd just focus on those connections I already have - it's just as important to maintain the connections you have. I like talking to people on my Twitter list and finding out how their day went, even if they never buy one of my books. If I like them, I want to talk to them - and that's the thing. These are people I connect with, NOT fans. I cannot stand writers who refer to their followers or friends as 'fans'. Don't be so presumptuous.

Day Ten (Monday) was Share. Jeff counselled everyone to share their platforms - as it happens, I regularly retweet blog posts, or share them using my platforms, and I like using my blog to post book reviews and guest posts. As it happens, last Wednesday saw my review of Nerine Dorman's Inkarna, and tomorrow will be her guest post about the book! Sharing is an integral part to creativity anyway and it makes sense that it would also help promotion. After all, I can tell you about my book but wouldn't you rather hear from someone else who enjoyed it?

Day Eleven (Today) was Declutter, and Jeff advised that people both tidy their spaces where they work, and ditch the unnecessary crap from their writing. Um, problem. I don't have one place where I work - I don't have the luxury of a writing desk, or somewhere permanent to pitch camp. I either write at my desk at work over lunch, or I find a flat surface at home on which to plonk my laptop. So it's a bit difficult to tidy something I don't have. As for decluttering my writing, I work pretty hard at eliminating the fluff at the best of times - I know you're not supposed to, but I very much edit as I go, and I'm always disappointed in myself when I use an adverb or a clunky line of prose. So...yeah. Beginning to wonder how useful this series really is for me!


Becky Fyfe said...
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Becky Fyfe said...

I am coming across the same feeling lately. I'm pretty much already doing what we're told to do each day, so not learning much that's new.

Icy Sedgwick said...

I suppose there is so much in the way of information online that it's difficult to find anything new, but I feel like on one hand, this is just affirming that what I'm doing is right, but on the other hand, it's getting a bit tedious...

JoniB said...

And then there is the "one size does NOT fit all" line of thinking. No matter, I'm enjoying your daily review of the 15 Habits. Please don't stop!

(I giggled at your "plonk" word, too. I can just see that!)

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