It’s easy to get out of the writing habit.
If you’ve been busy with other things, it can take an effort to get back into writing mode.
Last week we were visiting relations in Cornwall, and I let go of my muse. The result was similar to letting go of our puppy on the beach: freedom for us both until I want him back in the car.
Before Cornwall, I had been trying to make sense of Canva and Gimp so that I could put together a cover for a print version of The Godmother.
Before our trip to Cornwall, I been editing a friend’s novel as well as The Godmother, so it’s been a while since I actually wrote anything.
Meanwhile, Scribble magazine’s annual competition, which I usually enter, has a submission date (by snail mail) that is getting nearer and every day I don’t get around to tackling it. I’m beginning to wonder if my husband’s procrastination is contagious.
But this week I have answered not one, but two calls to action on the writing front.
On Wednesday, I came across a blog post inviting readers to produce a poem to a prompt and post it in the comments for (optional) feedback, I naturally chose to do that rather than tackle my competition entry.
(I am never one to turn down free feedback. Should anyone be interested, the post is at https://caroljforrester.com/2020/09/23/poetry-inspiration-aint-i-a-mug/ .)
I was taking a break halfway through my verse, when I opened an email linking to the Short Story Framework I’d requested earlier from storyaday.org. The website’s strapline is “WRITE TODAY, NOT ‘SOMEDAY’!” which spoke to my procrastinating soul.
The Short Story Framework download concluded with three actions, and a request to email back confirming which step I planned to take. Since it was already 5pm, I emailed my intention to write my story next day and post on social media (with the tag #StoryADay) when I had finished it.
“Next day ” arrived yesterday, and was passing swiftly; by 3pm I still hadn’t started my story. Having committed to writing something (and not wanting to waste the effort) I finally sat down with my competition prompt and the Framework yesterday afternoon.
The prompt hadn’t inspired me so far, but I went with the only whiff of an idea that had presented itself and filled in the Framework with names for my characters (something I normally do on the fly,) and a goal and an ending.
There’s nothing particularly new or different in this type of planning. It’s just that I don’t normally do it. Not only did I fill in the Framework, I then went on to put together a rough scene list on an application called Scapple, which I downloaded some time ago and have yet to become familiar with.
And I did it! After interruptions, to feed the dogs and then us, I finished my first draft around 9pm.
It needs work. The characters are still two-dimensional, and descriptions need polishing (what descriptions?) but I have something to work on. And I’ve always prefered the fine-tuning to the composing.
At some point I will post it on here. If it gets placed or published it will appear first in Scribble’s Autumn or Spring edition, but you may get it sooner than that.
Meanwhile, I have some editing to do…