Friday, May 10, 2024

Writing inspiration: Clearing the decks for a writing summer

 Grades are in, and as I said over at Dame Eleanor's, I deliberately did not submit to the conferences I usually attend, however shiny they might be. Herewith a few random bullets of writing inspiration (or should I be all modern & say "writing inspo"?) for me to keep in mind:

  1. This is meant to be a writing summer, whether that means doing the #1000words challenge or something else. A sit-and-write group? Already signed up. An accountability group? Same. Let's let them work their magic without conference paper distractions.
  2. Fun fact: the things that have generated the most ideas and the most writing, brainstorming and otherwise, are these: 
  3. Being under the gun to write a conference paper. Q: But wait--didn't you give up conferences for the summer? How's that going to work? A: The stress of that became too much, so I'm trying something different.
    1. Committing to the for brainstorming & putting down any stupid idea that comes into my head, because eventually something useful comes out of it. It's boring until it isn't.
    2. Taking notes or making notes on texts I'm reading, because sooner or later simply summarizing becomes too boring and I branch out into thoughts, questions, speculations, or just plain writing parts of something larger.
  4. So, to sum up point 3: the beginnings of generative writing and getting past writing anxiety come from (1) stress or (2) boredom. I'm choosing boredom over stress and will see how it goes.
  5. Another task (Task B) that is ongoing is kind of low-hanging fruit: it's satisfying because it has to be done, but the time spent on it doesn't translate into writing. Moreover, there's no stress involved with it, so my tendency is to sit with the writing anxiety for a few unbearable minutes and then say, "Oh, I need to work on Task B anyway." Solution? I'm limiting myself to two hours of Task B per day.
  6. Finally, after making pretty much no progress on the next idea I had for a book project, I remembered this axiom from somewhere: Don't write about what you think you ought to write about. Write about what excites you. I've had an idea that excites me for a while now & am going to pursue that. 
Hope your summer goals are off to a good start!


xykademiqz said...

Love reading about your plans!

My plan for the summer is to draft the second novel (definitely doable in under 3 months with my typical pace of 8-10k words per week), then clean up and submit by end of August. It's the second book in a series and the publisher of my first novel has the right of first refusal, so it's going to them.

I also have to edit and submit four research papers, two in various draft stages, so planning on one per month. Finally, start on several proposals as I have new students coming in and have to pay them all somehow.

Will be busy.

Which means I will probably procrastinate by reading two books a day and then it will be August. đŸ˜¬

undine said...

xykademiqz--thanks! Your whole comment is writing inspiration, by the way: 8-10K words per week on your SECOND novel--congratulations! One per month on research papers is also a great goal.

I've already backslid on my plan by devoting many hours a day on Task B, but the good news is that (1) I've gotten a lot faster at it and (2) it's almost done!