Sunday journal ~ rhythm

I’m contemplating a regular (semi-regular?) Sunday journal post, in which I muse briefly on recent creative endeavours and/or achievements. If it gets too boring, I’ll stop, but let’s see how we go…

This past week I finished reading through the messy first draft of the novel I’ve been working on for the past, er, while. Some of it I liked; in fact, some of it is in much better shape than I expected. But not all of it. There’s a lot to do. A lot I want to do and a lot I need to do.

Now I’m reading back over my writing journals for this period to dig out any nuggets of gold therein. Already it’s illuminating. I had forgotten the false starts and misdirections in the early stages of this novel. It’s funny to relive my thought processes as I came up with ideas, discarded them, deployed them… and in some cases forgot about them. The journey of writing a novel is an interesting one.

This week my mission will be to get some rhythm going. Revising and editing is a different process from writing the first draft, not to mention the fact I took January and February off from this project. It’s disheartening how quickly habits can disintegrate.

So I’m going to start by setting time goals, and carving out that time. Some of it (most of it?) will undoubtedly be cafe time. I’m still adjusting to working from home, so until I hit my stride I think it’ll be more effective to partition my different activities into different environments.

Go with me, here! Yeah, OK, it’s also very pleasant getting out of the house, away from the work, to sit in a cafe and be creative. Since the ability to do this is one of the reasons for my change in career, I’m going to make the most of it!

My aim is to finish reading through the journals this week and come up with a plan for any structural changes I need to make. It’s very exciting!

And that’s where I’m at. Wish me luck for a productive week!

10 comments

  1. I love this idea for a post! And I relate. I was recently going through an old journal and found a really pretty good scene I’d played around with there for my WIP. I’d completely forgotten I’d even thought in that direction with the story, much less actually written a scene about it!

    Have fun this week!

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    1. I probably have a bunch of scenes in the ‘cuts’ folder of my Scrivener project too – no doubt many pertaining to the false starts and misdirections I referred to here… It’s funny how we can’t bear to throw anything away, isn’t it. No matter how bad it is. And sometimes it’s GOOD, but just doesn’t fit any more or is unnecessary to the overall weave.

      As to this proposed series of posts, I just wonder whether it might be boring for others if I ramble on about my writing project every other week. But I’ll try to keep it short and as interesting as possible. Thanks for the vote of confidence!

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  2. “It’s disheartening how quickly habits can disintegrate.”

    As thoroughly and absolutely as I can relate to everything in this post, this is one of those lines that hits me over the head with true frustration and head-scratching-wonder. I mean, why is it that we can fall out of sync so easily and then it’s so blooming hard to reclaim our good habits and productivity.

    Feeling your pumped-up mojo and love your plan. May the writerly force be with, Ellen! Looking forward to your updates ;-D

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    1. It’s such an uphill battle, isn’t it? I don’t know why it has to be so hard. I mean, it’s something we WANT to do, right? You’d think we’d naturally prioritise it. But noooo… There’s always something easier to do. I hope I can find a routine that works and fits around this home-based reelancing gig!

      Thanks for your support, Barbara. πŸ™‚

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    1. My writing journal is basically my brainstorming and status diary. I’ve formed the habit of writing in it before I sit down to write. I usually state where I physically am, how long it’s been since I last wrote, where my head is at — pretty much anything I feel like. Sometimes I moan about how hard it all is, sometimes I’m fired up by something. Depends.

      I then make note of where I’m at in the story, what has just happened, and what is about to happen next. I try to make note of scene goals, conflicts, what needs to happen to progress the story. If I’m midway through a scene, this is quick. If I’m trying to figure out what’s going to happen next, it can take a while!

      As a result, there are a lot of ideas thrown around, some of which I pick up, others I discard or forget about. Sometimes I make a note of something I want to change in the revision — and THESE are the things I’m looking for when I read through it now. But I also ask myself a lot of questions during brainstorming sessions, and I don’t always answer them. So I’m picking up on unanswered questions that need to be addressed as well.

      I also tend to make note of how many words I write in a session — and whether I am happy or not with my progress. The whole thing makes for very interesting reading now!

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