in Focused Writing

Writing to me is just practice. Practice in writing, practice in thinking, practice in storytelling. This attitude allows me to suck. Because that is what you do when you practice. You suck at something for so long that people notice that you are making less mistakes than the rest.

And then suddenly you feel like a god. Because you have gone through the same mistakes, and corrected your behaviour.

I ponder if there are things that I can do better (there are). I am planning on making a world-bible (atlas, and encyclopaedia combined). Before that  I need to become better at drawing maps. Because if there is one thing I will need then it would be a lot of maps.

I coach writing, and my coaching mantra has become this: I’ve done it, you can too!

I’ve been on that ladder. I was doing 500 words a day. That was hard for a time. It needed hours of my time. Some days I spent nearly two! That is a long time to get your 500 words out. It felt so hard that there was nearly no reason to continue, that is how those days felt. But the next day I had a new day, try again. There were days I could write for 1500 words. That was something I had never experienced before. I fell in love with writing.

It gave me two things: It allowed me to experience my bookverse, and it allowed me to see that I was doing something. Working on that one thing I had been dreaming of doing for years. Writing those things into existence.

How does it feel being a writer? Horrible. That’s the truth. I’m one of the first writers that I know of in my family. Which means that I am that one person, whom everyone is asking when the book is done. It’s kind of like being an IT professional, or that computer person that everyone goes to. “Yes, I can fix your computer. No, I don’t know when it’s done. Yes, it’s working away, It’s a really slow computer.”

But that has all been exchanged with “When is that book of yours done?” And I have to explain to them in an exhausted tone that I am not writing on one book. I write on multiple. Then their kicker, the one that goes for my balls. “Where’s the paycheck? You can’t live on no money.” Now, that is a loaded question. To me it feels like a powder-keg. You see I’ve been unemployed for five years.

It’s a harsh truth. But it is the truth. And I HAVE tried, I have been out there. Tried to ask employers. Worked on being a better applicant. I just wanted somewhere to work. When job-searching, people just didn’t notice me. And that annoyed me. I gave up. It yielded too few results in too long a time.

I didn’t give in to depression however, I hid. I hid in the Internet. Made myself someone people on the Internet would like. I learn games easy, so adopting new games came fair enough and I like being nice. So that’s what I did with my time.

I entertained myself. And I love it. You can drown whatever sorrows you have in the Internet. Without feeling the pounding head-aches that come with alcohol.

Sometime during this period I discovered Jeff Goins. I listened to him, I watched him grow. Joined a couple of the webinars that he sent my way. He was interesting. And he made me think of writing. I’d been fantasizing of making my own epic fantasy world. I’d made a few attempts before, at writing. I realised on one of my writing bursts, that I could combine all the stories I’d written before. It wasn’t all that hard.

I had to relax, or scrap a few rules of magic. But that was fine. I decided to make the rules of magic as follows: Whatever culture you have, influences what you can and cannot do in magic. If your culture tells you that you cannot use magic, because your left nostril is a little bigger than the right one, then that is your truth.

This opened up so many angles to me, that I don’t have any problems when I get a writer’s block. I just end up changing character… Yeah, I don’t do outlining. Which is something I am working on, as with so many of my other projects. I’m working on it.

“But you HAVE to outline! Otherwise, how will you know where you are going?” the short answer is that I don’t. The long answer is that I dooooooooooooooon’t. Now, joking aside. This does mean that I have to be more sensitive and effective at remembering stories. Which is why I spend longer training to write than people that does it the regular way (Outline one book, write one book, rinse, repeat). It means that my outline is not in “a year or so”, it means that the outline is “unknown”. I’m fine with that. My financial future has been “unknown” for five years.

I still look for jobs, but when I apply, I still get either no reply, or a negative reply. It doesn’t get me down any longer. I just sit down, every day, and write. It’s becoming a part of my life. Slowly. Today, I write 4000 words a day. When I started some 194 days ago (10th of march now.) I wrote a mere 500 words a day. And that was hard. Here comes the kicker. I write 4000 words in 50 minutes. When I am not distracted, which has become an integral part of my writing process.

When I apply myself, I don’t do half measures. I don’t go writing 500 words in an hour and am happy with that, I improve that. Then I level up the requirement. Sure, I could have gone with 500 words per day. Then be happy with it. But I would not have written 648,828 words if I did. And I would not have challenged myself to go for 100 000 words on day 3 in my first NaNoWriMo ever. (I won, writing 141,281 words.)

I would like to do the same with a job somewhere. I’ve looked into writing for on-line publications, but most of them requires educations which I don’t have, or a driver’s license, which I cannot afford to get.

End of pt 2. (No, it’s right. I’ve not edited part 1 and 3 yet, but this part is fine enough)

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  1. 😀 the end is very funny 😀
    so you read and write for weights?
    btw I really like your 500 Words GSheet, seems advanced accountability tool! thanks for sharing it!

    • Thanks, I also really love my gsheet 😛 It’s why I use it, and provide a template for people to use for free :3

      I interpret “so you read and write for weights” as “so you read and write to practice”, is this correct? If so, I do 😉