I talked about this briefly last week, but I wanted to discuss the merits of the idea of the types of things I write in more depth.
After looking back on what I actually spend most of my time doing, I realized that much of what I’ve worked on in the recent past—since I started up again—is this blog and editing. That is, if even the creative writing aspect of editing where wholesale new ideas are written to cover for ditched ones counts as revising and editing, thus not truly creative writing in the purest sense.
I think, to a major extent, that’s true. For the time I’ve logged, I still spend a fair amount of time just thinking about ideas or posting ideas. Last month, August, I spent about 10 hours working on this blog. I wrote all my ideas up at the beginning of the month and spent the rest of it editing. I don’t count the revisions and editing as time. Nor do I count the time it takes to actually organize A Journal of Impossible Things, because that’s kind of insane and also, tends to happen randomly throughout the day. Now, that means, since I recorded about 37.5 hours writing, that I only spent about 27.5 hours revising. Not an acceptable amount. I did say that, several times in previous posts.
The only minor upside would be that I have spent a fair amount—unlogged—doing creative writing. I know this because I have scraps of paper from my job and my notebooks when I am not at my computer, where I have jotted down ideas. Also, I did some creative writing for this blog.
All of which is to say that I need to do MORE creative writing that isn’t tied to my novel. Because, at this point, at much as everything else develops my skills from a technical perspective, I feel a bit rusty in terms of actually writing freely.
Also, I haven’t done nearly as much reading as I would like to do. Yes, I know, I did get a book review out for Star Trek – the Light Fantastic but that book didn’t take me long. I had been in the process of reading several technical manuals and science books, but too much of that linguists approach had filtered into my writing so I know I need to read more fiction.
In terms of making progress in reading, the process has to be similar to writing. With reading, instead of identifying the amount that needs to be completed (and then hoping my hands don’t stage an open rebellion) I can focus on reading one chapter a night. At least. That way, I know I’ve definitely made progress, but if I feel the need or desire to read more that night, I can. As long as it is a complete chapter.
So, yes. I’m not thrilled with my own personal progress, but recognizing the problems and attempting resolutions is the best way to make actual progress.
Do you ever fail to accomplish your goals in terms of reading and writing? Did you think you were meeting them, only to realize upon self inspection that this was clearly not the case?