One of the comments I received on my monthly writing update, The Next Chapter, has prompted me to write this post.
The comment was:
I’m learning a lesson from this, have seen it happen to many others, how the blogging/social media/screen time eats up the creative writing time. Writing must come first, thanks for this warning.
I’m glad when anyone takes anything useful away from my blog and so in one sense, this is great.
That’s not what I intended in writing the post. At all.
I had to go back and check. Was I inadvertently whiny? I strive for a factual reporting. Things are always open to interpretation, but I don’t think I was complaining about anything.
It’s true, every one of my 7503 “new” words I counted last month was written on this blog, but that wasn’t all the writing I did.
I edited a short story for publication, which ended up reducing the number of words in the story, so I couldn’t properly count those. I went through Initiate of Stone and made notes for my next revision, fairly extensive notes, as they involved the elimination of a character from the story. I have flags, and notes in different colours of ink in the ms, and pages of handwritten notes, which I inserted into the binder after.
I did a reverse structural analysis of IoS as well, also by hand, and I had to go through about three attempts before I actually had something that both satisfied me and made sense.
Though I wasn’t successful, I attempted to write a piece of creative non-fiction. This was done by hand, and I’ve decided not to count those words, because, frankly, it’s a pain to keep track of anything I don’t write on a computer.
So it was a productive month, it just wasn’t productive in the usual way.
Plus, I wrote about A Rewording Life, a wonderful project I have been privileged to become involved in, and my opportunity to review an ARC for K.M. Weiland. I forgot to mention my continuing involvement in @M2the5th’s monthly Twitter chats with Roz Morris focusing on her Nail Your Novel books.
When I’m not at my day job, I’m writing, or thinking about writing, or learning about writing. It’s the way I roll.
Since I began these monthly updates, the preponderance of words has always been on the blog.
And I don’t begrudge a single one.
Back in February, I attended WANAcon, and one of the sessions that has stayed with me was Kristen Lamb’s Blogging for Authors. In that session, she said that blogging teaches discipline. It teaches the writer to produce quality content on a schedule. It teaches you to ship.
I don’t begrudge the time I spend on social media either.
I read articles by fabulous writers every day and share and curate what I think are the best of the best. I’m not telling people about the last meal I ate, or playing endless games. I use SoMe with purpose, and I’m happy to say I have developed some legitimate relationships with some truly talented authors.
My SoMe activity is as much about my development as a writer as attending conferences and workshops, reading writing craft books, and, yes, writing.
I’m addicted to learning and SoMe is just one manifestation of that.
I don’t want this post to sound defensive, but sometimes, I assume things when I blog (and you know what happens then). I just want to be clear, and completely factual about why I do what I do.
Nor am I saying that everyone has to do what I’ve chosen to do. SoMe is not for everyone. Blogging is not for everyone. We all find our own ways to get the words on the page. It’s just been something I’ve taken to. And it works. For me.
My commenter took my post as a warning, and maybe that’s what she needed. While I’m happy my post spoke to her, I’m also a little sad that the rest of my message was not received.
The rest of my message?
I’m doing well, and, yes, I’m writing. Writing is a lifestyle for me. It’s a spiritual practice. It’s a kind of therapy. Everything I do, even my day job, funnels into my writing. The word count is only the tip of the iceberg. That’s why I write a post to go with it, to share all the writerly goodness of the past month.
Thank you to all of my readers and commenters. YOU. ARE. ALL. FABULOUS!