Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Writing Wednesday - Plans for 2014

I've decided to make Wednesday a day to focus on writing, at least on the blog. I've been doing a lot of thinking about this blog, my future life plans and how they might work together, if at all. I admit sometimes I really don't feel like blogging and see it as more of a chore. I think those who don't have a blog, don't realize how much work it is. Or how much time it takes to take pictures of projects or materials (fabric or yarn or something else) so that it looks good enough for a blog. Not to mention the time to sit and write the actual post. I don't want to commit to doing anything that causes me to look at it with dread. If I'm going to keep blogging then I want it to be because I still want to blog and share. But what does this little rant have to do with writing?

I'm not really sure. The words above just kind of spilled out when I put my fingers on the keys.  And maybe that is what I am hoping to happen more on the blog this year. I want there to be more me and maybe fewer crafty progress posts. I'm obviously going to keep doing posts about knitting and quilting but that isn't the only thing this blog is supposed to be about, as the title Stitch 2, Write 1 suggests. If I am going to describe myself as a writer, I need to do two things. First, I need to write. I spend too much time thinking about writing and not enough time actually doing it. I hope to change that this year. Second, I need to take writing seriously as a career if I want to be taken seriously as a writer. Now these two things seem obvious but often get lost in the day-to-day struggle of finding time and energy to write.

 I'm using this space today to declare where I'd like my career as a writer go this year. These are just hopes and I realize that my role as a mom of 3 kids will always come before my writing. However, I also need something that is mine and writing is that. This year I plan to blog about writing every Wednesday. I'm not sure yet what those posts will look like but it will be interesting to see what happens. It's totally possible that the posts will be one sentence long: "Didn't write this week, everyone sick.", but it's also possible that I'll have something to share as I am now putting some pressure on myself to write about writing every week. I'm also planning on taking the first half of the year to focus on editing the novel I wrote during Camp NaNoWriMo in June 2012. It was the first in a planned series that I still think is a good idea and would like to explore. I began editing it at the end of 2012 but didn't touch it at all in 2013. I hope to edit it enough by the end of June that I'll be ready to share it to get some feedback. In the fall I'd like to finish editing it and begin sending it out to publishers/agents. That step sounds really scary as I know I'll be rejected many times but right now I believe the novel has potential and that the planned series could be good. It's just a matter of finding others who believe that too.

Near the end of last year, I was looking through old files on my computer when I came across some old poems. Some of them were complete crap. Almost laughable. And others surprised me that they were actually good. I had sent poems out to magazines when I was in University and had one published but I wasn't quite ready for the rejection letters and the poems weren't really ready for publication then. I plan to polish some of these poems, perhaps write some new ones, and send them out this year. I never thought I'd be sending out poems again, but poems take less time than writing a novel, right?

Which brings me to one of my "resolutions" for 2014. A nice orange notebook from the dollar bins at Michael's with my initial on the cover. Inside I am writing a poem a day. Are they any good? Probably not but they are getting me writing everyday. Even if the poem is only a couple lines long, at least I wrote something. I'm also doing it in a notebook with a pen and not on the computer because I miss writing in a notebook. When I was younger, that's where I wrote all my poems - during class of course. It will also help with my penmanship which has really gone downhill the past few years. So far I've written one every day this year.

This isn't a resolution, but something fun I received for Christmas this year. We have plans to start it this Friday. My husband has suggested taking over the dining room table every weekend with a puzzle. Is it any wonder why I love this man?

Got to love it. Salinger, Plath and Atwood! Plus many more. My daughter was excited that J.K.Rowling was included.

This week I started reading this book and it's probably the main reason behind this very wordy post. I could write all day, everyday, but if I don't have an audience or an online presence in any way, it's unlikely that I'd get an agent or a publisher to even look my way. The world of publishing has changed and authors are now asked to be more than just a writer, they need to market themselves. Authors need to get their names out there and show publishers that they are worth spending money on because they already have an audience. I  don't have much experience with this and there will be small changes to the blog as I learn how to really use it to benefit me. I have no plans to add ads or anything like that, but perhaps it will start looking more professional. And having an online presence elsewhere is also recommended. I'm still not on Facebook and I don't plan on joining any time soon, however, I will admit that I'm on twitter. I don't tweet that much. I joined in 2011 so I could tweet about NaNoWriMo the first time I did it. I wasn't quite ready to share with family and friends on the blog about my writing, and twitter allowed me a place to brag about word counts and complain about days with no inspiration. I know I'll need to embrace twitter if I really want to use it as a way for people to know me as a writer.

I guess that brings this post to a close. I've written enough, or at least that's what my tired brain says. Time for bed. Although I have a poem to write first.

2 comments:

  1. i'm really excited for you, Rachel. if/when you have things you'd like to share, i'd love to read them. i can't be that helpful with the actual technical aspects of writing (not being a writer myself!).. but i know what i like to read! and hey, easy to get signed copies of your books :D

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  2. Well said. Well written.

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