April 19, 2017

19:04:2017

Today’s beats come to us from Canadian folk group The East Pointers. I use their music to write to as they do a lot of great instrumental tracks, however this one, Work That Way, does have lyrics as well.

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Current chain of writing days: 19

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I’ve been working on quite a few things recently. My WriEvDaFoAM (write every day for a month – I know, an acronym that you have to explain might not be doing its job) is progressing along well and because of that I’m getting things done. I’ve recently finished a short story that ended up turning itself into a novelette. Stories can be interesting like that. However, I haven’t edited it yet and so in the thinning down process it could well transform itself back into the short story I originally thought it would be. I’ve also started a few new projects. In addition to writing a minimum of 600 words everyday I’ve also decided to spread that 600+ words over multiple projects. This decision came after attending a screenwriters talk and having a chat with a few fellow writers afterwards. We got onto the topic of how each of us write. Some spoke about how they have to work on a multiple of things at once, some preferred having two projects they were working on at a time, and some, like me, focused solely on a single project; taking it completely from start to finish until moving on to the next thing. Interestingly this was a pretty even divide, proving once again that there’s no one way to do a thing. This got me thinking about my method and caused me to question if it’s the best way for me to do things.

Working on a single project at a time does have some pros. It usually means that individual project is completed faster as forcing yourself to keep writing the same piece every time you sit down naturally means it’s getting more hours of the day dedicated towards it. Maths. Likewise, having only the one project to work on means I’m more likely to obsess over it a bit, forcing my brain to work through idea after idea for it until it becomes the best it it can be. However, it also means that when I hit a wall with that story nothing’s getting done, no new words are being written. Ultimately, that’s why I decided to mix things up a bit. Hitting a wall with a story is, from my short experience, unavoidable. You never know the exact shape of a story – even if you’ve planned it all out things have a way of changing once you start writing – and so part of the process is wading into the mud of your mind and trying to sculpt something tangible and solid to continue the story (note: this is just a metaphor, mud is a terrible medium to sculpt with). Meaning that there will be times where you simply don’t know what comes next. You might know the bit that happens after whatever will come next, but you still need to get there, and you want to get there in the way that best serves the story. So, you hit a wall. I think this is a good thing, it just means you now have something to mull over. But here’s the thing. Turns out this ‘ol brain of mine is capable of doing two things at once, sometimes even three! I know! Amazing. So, while in the past I would focus hard on that mulling – mull away like a champion – now I’m minimize that word doc and opening another where, still amazingly, the mulling doesn’t get in the way of other writing. Arguably it even helps as my consciousness is focused on a new problem leaving my subconscious to work out the old one.

This learning how to write thing is a continual process, but that’s also the fun of it. It will take a lifetime to master – if not longer – which means I’ll always have something to do. I find that very comforting for some reason.

Alright, well I best get on with it. Lots to do.

Talk soon

Damian

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