There’s new linky starting today over at Beautiful Misbehaviour and I’m really keen to join in. It’s called ‘Writing Warriors‘ and Stephanie has designed it to help people with writing goals support each other. Hopefully by sharing what we want to achieve and posting about how our ‘writing week’ has gone – and then reading and commenting on each others posts – we will all be more likely to succeed. Great idea!
I thought I’d use my first Writing Warriors post as an opportunity to reflect on where my own ‘writing journey’ (I’m wincing at the term, but it seems like the right one to use) has taken me this past year or so. I’ve been pondering various issues recently and maybe sharing them here will help me to sort them out.
I decided to dedicate some of my time to writing nearly a-year-and-a-half ago. My middle son had just started nursery school five mornings a week (and my third son was, as yet, unborn) so I suddenly found I had some time to myself in the morning. What better way to use these precious hours than to write? I started a blog to chart my progress but before I’d even published any of my posts, I decided that blogging would be a distraction. Instead I spent the following year just writing.
I wrote a whole mishmash of stuff: short stories mostly with some poetry flung in, and I also made a start on a book. I wrote about pregnancy, and when my third son was born I wrote about labour and birth just to get over the ridiculousness of it (I do not give birth easily!) Apart from one competition entry, I didn’t do anything with my writing. It’s all just sitting around on my hard-drive gathering dust/pixels/bytes/whatever the technological version of dust is.
Then September rolled round and I suddenly felt like re-starting my blog would be a good idea. I wasn’t quite sure why… maybe I wanted some company with my writing endeavours? Anyway, I decided to just go for it and see what happened and I quickly found myself loving it. I discovered the Prose for Thought linky over at Verily Victoria Vocalises and really enjoyed joining in with that community of writers, reading their work (by turns inspiring and intimidatingly good!) and getting feedback on mine. I also found Prose for Thought great for encouraging me to write something creative and ‘get it out there’ on a weekly basis rather than just squirrelling things away on my computer.
To begin with, putting my work on my blog took some courage (I was having a lot of visits from the nasty, squelchy, demon of self-doubt) but now I’m kind of used to it. The poems I write (they’re almost always poems, for some reason… even though I really want to write prose!) aren’t perfect by any means, but I figure that if I re-write them till they’re perfect I could be doing that till the proverbial cows come home.
But the problem is, I don’t have much free time (I have three kids and a baby who is with me all the time) and I’ve started to find that all my ‘writing time’ is being used up by blogging (and I don’t even post that often!) I almost never spend time on the book I’m attempting to write.
And I’m also wondering if publishing a poem that I’ve only just written that morning, on my blog every Thursday (to link with Prose for Thought) is really a good thing to do… I do wonder if I need to spend more time on quality control.
Plus, I’d really like to start submitting some work to competitions or publications, but I never seem to find the time to research what is out there (although thanks Stephanie for that list last week!)
So those are the issues I’m currently pondering, and I’d love feedback and/or suggestions from any other writers out there. Particularly:
- How do you juggle writing and blogging? (I’m frankly in awe of some writer/bloggers out there!)
- How important is blogging to you as a writer? Would you consider giving up blogging to give yourself more time to write? Or are they one and the same thing?
- How useful has blogging been to you as a writer? Has it given you opportunities you wouldn’t have got otherwise?
- Do you ever write something and quickly publish it on your blog, or do you only publish poems/prose that you’ve spent time perfecting?
This has been a rather rambling post. I’m normally more concise, but felt the need to write it all down this time!
I’m going to think through these issues this week and come up with some solid goals and some sort of plan for how to achieve them in time for next week’s linky!
I’m looking forward to reading the other Writing Warriors posts. Together we can all achieve our writing goals!