It’s a Sunday, and Sunday is a blog post day. Given that I’ve only missed one Sunday post this whole year I’m pretty proud of myself. I’m well on the way to actually achieving this years New Year’s Resolution. However, once again this Sunday has snuck up on me. Honestly you think it’d be less of a surprise by now, but once again I woke up this morning with absolutely no clue what I was going to write about today. So, then I figured that I could write about that.
Most of the reason I never have anything planned is simply because I’m a disorganised mess 95% of the time, but part of it is also due to the way I write and the way my brain functions. I struggle to focus on more than one writing project at once, and at the moment I have three on the go at once.
It was four, but on Monday I finally managed to finish my ‘Echo in Space’ fan-fiction that I’d had rattling around since February. I wouldn’t mind it taking that long, but I literally wrote less than 2’000 words. So now I have my weekly blogs, my daily prompts, and the story idea that’s decided to take over to work on. Whilst balancing a job, a horse, and renovating a house.
At the moment my story idea is very much in control, which whilst that’s good for my ambitions of one day actually writing an honest to goodness book, it’s not so good for keeping up a regular blog post schedule (because I’m definitely not organised to schedule things weeks in advance like I should). Unfortunately, once I’m in a specific mindset I find it very hard to break out of it. Jumping between my character’s headspace and then writing an unrelated blog post is a struggle.
My actual writing method is a bit all over the place as well. I don’t have any kind of formal writing background, I’ve never taken any courses and the last time I studied English Literature was at GCSE level. I very definitely have my own method of writing that I’ve developed over the years.
That’s not to say that I haven’t tried looking for writing techniques or methods. I’ve read a few blog posts and articles here and there about how to write and tried things that have been suggested to me. All I found that was a more structured approach to my writing didn’t help at all, rather it just zapped most of my creativity and made it harder for me to write. Go figure, it’s like people aren’t all the same and don’t all work the same way. Who knew?
My own personal method is fairly simple, I usually snowball an idea in my head, decide roughly where I want to take it and what I want to happen, or what points I want to make, so that before I even put pen to paper I have a rough idea of where I’m going to end up.
Given that I’m a big lover of the traditional pen and paper route, and usually have at least three notebooks on the go for various things at once, so once I have an idea fleshed out in my head I put pen to paper and just write. I used to get really stressed out if things weren’t perfect on the first go, but I’ve learned to care less about what I’m writing and just get the words on to the paper.
My paper copy is essentially a first draft, and often contains a lot of crossed out words, scribbles, and annotations all over it where I’ve changed my mind about something that I’ve written (which happens a lot, I’m not going to lie). Once that version is complete I like to let it sit for a little while before I type it up.
I’ve found that leaving things for a little while before I get to the typing up stage helps me to edit it a bit better, and be a bit more objective, even if it does mean that I have a tendency to make a few more changes. I edit what I’ve written as I type up, before going back once it’s completed to check for any glaring errors. If it’s a blog post I’ll then post it to my blog site and check it once more before publishing, often the change of scenery helps me spot errors.
That’s what I like to do in the perfect world at least. In reality it doesn’t always happen like that. If I’m rushing I’ll often just type something straight onto my blog. Today, despite my rush I did manage to write a draft before typing up, and I had a few drafts I could have used. I just didn’t like the way that they fit in with my blog at the moment.
Despite the fact I tend to fly by the seat of my pants a lot, my blog does have some kind of vague structure, at least within my own head. Though admittedly it’s probably a lot less obvious to others. So yes, I probably should write with a bit more of a plan and a structure, but honestly, that’s just not me.