Thursday, January 7, 2010

Onward into 2010

There are many changes coming. But the more things change, the more they stay the same. Technology is going to impact everything this decade-- and its alterations to writing and publishing are already beginning. Will this change the way we write? Will this change our definitions of "good writing?" I certainly would not be surprised if it did.

Still, I am glad for those things which will not change. As the determination to keep to my new resolutions has not yet worn away, I want to focus on what I can control. I can't control the change in technology. Perhaps the shift is alluring because it will happen despite my thoughts on it bending one way or another. It is a meter by which the American culture can be gauged even as people choose to alter their own material reality.

What can be controlled is my own part in the system. Which, as we all know, is dependent on time-management. I was once very good at both selecting my time to write and duplicating the environmental requirements to trigger "inspiration." It's a psychological trick. I am working on organizing my life and setting aside "writing time" that is predictable, regular, and surrounded by my requirements in such a way as to flip the switch on the writing mood. Tea, coffee, music ... some trigger is required... but it has to be different from what I did in the past.

Likewise, time for research must be set aside. I am about to embark on a new project, and this one makes research necessary. I have to spill over Chinese mythology and history, as well as Irish mythology and history ... and California history. This needs to be managed too, so I don't evade my writing responsibilities.

The revision of Novel One continues, but I'm only going to allow a day a week for it. Then there is blogging...

But if it were not for these things, the industry as a whole wouldn't exist. You need a product to market. And while it is important for writers to understand how it all works-- the focus remains on the writing. Experience the pure creative mental space of the rough draft, and enjoy it. Revising can be just as creative, but more analytically and (IMO) more neurotically so.

By the end of the year I want my organized life to contain my writing in a balanced, focused way. I am not in a point in my life that I can unleash the passion and let it reign for 8 hours or more a day. Earthly concerns interfere too often for me to allow my desires to guide me. I cannot stop writing either. So balance, time management, organization with the goal of producing final drafts--that I can do.

Technology may change, and the options for New Project and Novel One might be different from those currently available, but neither control my writing here and now. I make my decisions while researching both industry and whatever subject matter pertains to my novel-writing. What impact the changes proposed at CES hold for the future remain to be seen, and part of me is excited. Another part thinks the excitement is distraction from achieving my goals in baby steps. So here's to a year spent walking that slow road toward my goals!



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