“Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.” John Steinbeck, interview with Robert van Gelder in April 1947 as quoted in John Steinbeck: A Biography (1994) by Jay Parini
This is the fifth piece in my Project… series (and the title chapter in my next book about writing). For anyone who hasn’t read the first two books in this series or the relevant posts on my blog, here’s a refresher for you:
*Project October is all about intensive writing.
*Project November is all about rewriting, polishing and finalising.
*Project December is all about publishing.
*Project January is all about starting all over again.
So what is Project June? For the purposes of this series, there had to be another Project… piece. I toyed with the idea of Project February, mostly because February comes after January. But I didn’t know what Project February was. I still don’t.
Eventually, I realised that the advice that I wanted to give and the month that went with it was all about the middle. I’d addressed the start, the sprint to the faux finish and the actual finish; the only thing left was the part in between.
Day 22: 2,174
Day 23: 0
Day 24: 0
Day 25: 0
Day 26: 0
Day 27: 0
Day 28: 0
Day 29: 0
Day 30: 254
Day 31: 0
Day 22, another Sunday, another of those one day of the week days that I have to myself. It took a little while to get into the writing. I started one blog post but it hadn’t had enough time rolling around in my brain. I wrote two other blog posts instead. I went online, added and scheduled all the blog posts I’d been writing onto my blog and then wiped clean my whiteboard, which was full of all the blog posts that would be appearing in the second half of 2018, the things I’ve been writing during this Project October. I find it very motivating to have a whiteboard full of dates showing when blog posts still need to be written for. So now it shows the first half of 2019 just waiting to be scheduled. I didn’t write as much as I would have liked to but sometimes you just can’t avoid having to do other stuff.Continue reading
Day 15: 0
Day 16: 1,412
Day 17: 0
Day 18: 0
Day 19: 184
Day 20: 0
Day 21: 0
Day 15 was a Sunday, traditionally a good writing day, except it was also football day, so I headed to my grandfather’s and watched the game with him. I had good intentions of coming home early and writing into the night but it just didn’t happen. I’ve never done a Project October of blog posts before and I usually have longer to come up with ideas and let them roll around in my mind. Because I’ve written thirteen pieces, I’ve steamrollered through the ideas I’ve had and I feel like I’m down to the dregs. I need some more ideas.Continue reading
Day 8: 0
Day 9: 0
Day 10: 0
Day 11: 1,198
Day 12: 0
Day 13: 0
Day 14: 3,860
Finding the time and the motivation to write this week seemed harder than last week, although in retrospect it shouldn’t have been. I’m brimming with ideas, more than I can turn into blog posts without coming up with new ideas. The writing just didn’t flow like it did in week one.Continue reading
Day 1: 2,723
Day 2: 0
Day 3: 0
Day 4: 1,151
Day 5: 0
Day 6: 0
Day 7: 4,065
Last year, I set out to do a Project October intensive writing month (31,000 words in 31 days) and ended up writing a grand total of zero words (you can read all about it here, here, here and here) due to a variety of circumstances. Almost immediately after that, I went back to a full-time, non-writing job that has ever since taken up an awful lot of my time, more than I ever planned for it to. And even though I’ve written a little bit here and a little bit there, compared to the three years I spent writing full-time, I feel like I’ve written virtually nothing.
As I approached the half way mark of2018, I decided it was time for another Project October. I made the decision that I wasn’t going to work on any of my fiction. I was still trying to finalise and publish my latest novel, Black Spot, and while I wanted to be writing, I didn’t want my focus pulled away from getting that book out there. Plus, I was running out of blog posts rapidly. So I decided to aim for 31 blog posts in 31 days. Not only would that fill out my blog post schedule for the next seven months, it would be a significant contribution towards finishing Project June, the third book in my series of non-fiction about the writing, editing, publishing and marketing process (since Project December, Project January and Project June are all collections of my blog posts).Continue reading
“I was drinking a case of 16-ounce tallboys a night, and there’s one novel, Cujo, that I barely remember writing at all.” On Writing, Stephen King
One of the persistent stereotypes about writers is their fraught relationship with alcohol. For some, it’s absolutely accurate. But for most of us who write, we know it isn’t true. While there may be plenty of creatives who struggle with sobriety, it’s no greater in percentage terms than members of the general public experience. Still, why let that get in the way of giving it go?
Stephen King is the cautionary tale but what he did was alcoholic writing. Drunk writing is less intense, less destructive to life in general and a much more rare occurrence.Continue reading