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[personal profile] 2corbies
So, I thought I'd say a few words on my habits as a writer. I come from a family of writers, and I have occasionally considered trying to make a living at it. (My sexual orientation, come to think of it, is probably best described as "writers and geeks.") Since I was a kid, I've produced an enormous volume of fiction, much of it original, but most of it fanfic. When I was in college, I paid almost $2000 to recover a damaged hard drive which contained several gigs of pleasure writing. I once spent two years on a fanfiction epic for a very obscure anime called "Legend of the Galactic Heroes."

I never finished my LoGH epic. Nobody ever read it. I still revisit it, or one of it's better spinoff stories, from time to time. Same with the several dozen partial novels I have lying around. Needless to say, I'm not seriously thinking about writing for a living anymore (which is a good thing, considering how most of the folks I know feel about it).

But, that's the kind of writer I am. I'll spend years on something that's never going to be finished and never going to see the light of day. So, really, writing stuff, even short stuff, which gets finished and edited and actually posted for people to read? That's a huge step for me. I am in complete awe of authors, in fandom or IRL, who produce large volumes of finished work. I have absolutely no idea how they do it.

But I still write a lot more than gets finished. I'm actively working on at least a dozen due South fics, and have maybe twice as many that are dead-ends I've discarded, or stuff I've gotten to the point of needing a beta, and then balked. I love prompts, but they are the enemy because they give me more ideas, and tempt me to start new projects before the old ones are finished.

(I'm actually the same way with yarn craft, my other major hobby. Fiber stores are deadly. I routinely have to buy a new drop spindle, because I've got a project on all the ones I have. And I honestly think the reason I crochet more than I knit is because you can take the crochet hook out of the project, and use it on another one, without having to worry so much about raveling!)

So. A reference on [personal profile] helens78 's journal led me over to this writing tracking website 750words.com. It gives you points for writing at least 750 words a day, which, I've discovered, takes me about 20-30 minutes. That's if I only write 750 words-- usually at that point I'm on a roll and I'm good for at least 1500. So, in the last week I've written close to 10,000 words for the due South Kinkmeme here and on lj. What of it gets posted will likely be unattributed, 'cause I'm rather shy.  Posting something, whether fanfic or a podfic recording, is a major effort of will-- actually pimping it on the noticeboard is huge.  Participating in fandom is something I took on as a sort of personal challenge, and I'm so delighted that people seem to like my stuff!

At this point in my life, I'm relatively content with my writing habits.  That definitely wasn't always true-- when I was younger, I'd beat myself up over every unfinished story (which resulted in a lot of psychic bruises, believe you me).  But, now, I've come to terms with doing things for enjoyment, without much expectation of excellence or lust of result.  Whether yarn, music, reading, writing, exercise, whatever, my time is so limited that I have to be able to set it down when needed, with nary a second thought. 

I've been absolutely bored to tears while I've been out of work these last few weeks.  But, in lots of ways, the enforced idleness has been wonderful-- and wonderfully productive!  It's the first time in years I've been able to devote hours a day to reading and writing and other things I enjoy.  I hope I'll be able to keep some of the lessons I've learned (750 words a day, maybe, please?) when I go back to work.  But, if not, so be it.  It's still been a nice sabbatical.
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January 2011


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