Saturday, November 18, 2017

On Writing: Revisions and Motivations

I apologise for not having posted since the special Halloween post. I wasn’t feeling my best one week and then the following week I was really busy with both my day job and writing. In relation to writing, I didn’t make that Halloween deadline for the short horror story I’ve been working on. I’m almost done revising it, so I will have it ready for my critique group soon. Which is the upside of missing that submission deadline: I have a chance to have it critiqued. I wouldn’t have had time for that otherwise.

Writing for a Publication’s Deadline as Motivation

I may either use this story for another magazine accepting submissions or my next short fiction collection that I have taken a hiatus on since last year but plan to resume it in the upcoming one. But I think I got much more done on the story than I would have if I hadn’t been writing for a submission deadline and was doing it for self-publication instead. So if you are a self-publishing author like myself, maybe that can be a great motivator for any writing project: aim to write it for a publication that has a deadline and then as that deadline nears decide whether you want to continue submitting it to the publication or if you want to self-publish it.

Limited Time and Space as Writing Motivators

I will be forced to get motivated with my writing even more this upcoming week. As with last Thanksgiving, I will have family coming to visit for a week and so will be limited not only on my time to write but on space to write in. I live in a small apartment, yet believe family should stay with family when they come to visit for several days, especially when they’re closer relatives. But that is no excuse for a writer to stop working on projects. Steven King worked in a near closet-size wash room typing his stories on a kid’s desk when he and his family lived in a small mobile home. So, if need be, I can work sitting on my bed in my room with my laptop in front of me. Laptops were made for that reason, weren’t they? Or I can go to a local cafe or fast food joint.

Revising My Novella: A Follow-Up to Last Year’s NaNoWriMo

I’m not doing NaNoWriMo this year, but have been taking advantage of the time with an alternative to it: revising my novella from last year. I finally pulled it out of the filing cabinet at the beginning of the month, after it had been stashed away there for nearly six months, and started doing surface level revisions and making marginal notes where changes in content are needed. The story is coming across as really cheesy but then it is a first draft, my first full draft of a novel of any sort to be exact. I printed out four of the 100 pages to first see how it reads and determine if it’s intriguing enough to even bother continuing with it. That’s what writing the first draft is all about: getting a story written out completely to see if you want to bother going on revising it or to trash it. It’s an experimental stage that helps you decide if your idea is worth writing about and seeking a publishing route for it (traditional or self-publishing).

So, how do you motivate yourself to write to completion? Do you accommodate for your writing time and space when family and friends come to visit during the holidays? Are you participating in NaNoWriMo or are you doing an alternative to it? Feel free to leave your answers in the box below.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving, and until next time!

Silhouette of a woman raising a meat-carving knife
Mother's ready to carve the turkey!