Welcome one and all to the blog, for my first post of 2014. With it being the first Wednesday of the month, this is also my entry for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.
This is a double return for me, as due to a combination of distractions and lack of discipline, I’ve not been blogging regularly (I’ve had a 29 day break and a 38 day break between posts within the past 82 days), and this is also my first Insecure Writer’s Support Group since October.
The original purpose of this blog, when I first started out just under twenty-six months ago, was to write things on a regular basis. To get something finished regularly, to give myself some sort of satisfaction from finishing things off. But I think that, at some point, I began to set my standards for myself too high – most of what I’ve written, whether talking about story structure, writing reviews or attempts to start a series that have fell apart after one or two entries, have been around a thousand words. (The exceptions to this have generally been links to things I’ve written for other sites.)
I’d be interested in feedback from others on this – if you’re a writer or wannabe writer who started writing a blog as a way of staying in practice, do you ever feel you’ve set the standards for yourself too high? That doesn’t necessarily mean that I’ve set the standards for quality too high, but I think maybe three or four hundred words – just introducing a concept then playing around with it a bit – can be better than fully exploring it at a length that may drive readers away.
I tend to lose track of the blogs I read when I’m not writing my own. (If I’ve not commented on yours very often recently, this may be why. It may also be because I’m a bit of a jerk.) Just before and just after Christmas I’ve been catching up on emails from the blogs I’ve subscribed to (or deleting, where I’ve been too far behind), and came across an interesting entry by the excellent Robert Bruce of 101 Books, talking about his advice for bloggers.
I found all three of his tips useful, and two in particular – to plan ahead as it can be stressful having only a few hours to sort things out the next day; and to post regularly, to keep in the habit. (If you want to learn what the other tip was, that I personally found slightly less useful, you’ll have to follow that link.)
Bruce argues that getting into a positive routine, where you actually sit down to write stuff, is a major part of writing success, and it’s a habit I certainly haven’t ever mastered for a particularly long period of time.
Maybe the new year will be when I turn over a new leaf…
As a commitment for the new year, I’ll try and write three posts a week, roughly two brief ones around 300ish words in length, and another at my ‘normal’ length of about 1,000 words.
Hopefully that’ll be on top of the links I post to articles I’ve written elsewhere.
Sometimes, when I’ve had a piece of writing slowly stewing away in the back of my brain, it can just be a matter of taking twenty minutes to form the ideas I’ve had into words, effectively more a matter of dishing up rather than having to cook.
If I try and make the 300 to 400 length one of my new ‘defaults’ hopefully that should happen pretty regularly.
I’ve got a few currently on the backburners – thoughts about trying to construct and stick to a writing routine; highbrow fan-fiction; and the way my various ‘works in progress’ that are fighting for my attention between them, and as a result, not really progressing.
Hopefully by keeping things short and sweet, and posting on a regular basis, my ‘current’ content will interest more readers in the new year…
Happy new year one and all, may your hangovers be bearable!