I love blogs about books. They remind me that my mania for reading (especially fiction) is shared by so many others. And I especially love blogs about writing and writers. They make me feel less crazy. Less alone. They make me believe it's okay to be every bit as nosy as I am: I want to peek over other writers' shoulders and say, how are you doing that?
I didn't think I would start a blog about my writing life, though. There are so many already!! Written by people far more clever, talented, and hey--published, than I am.
But in the midst of this year, of straining toward the finish line, of writing more than I wrote before... well, I've gotten a little lonely. And while I still love reading about other writers, I wanted to add something to the discussion. Put myself out there again.
I have loved posting these last ten days, blowing the cobwebs off my old blogging brain. I feel terribly rusty, though! My voice is coming out all weird, and I'm so sorry about that. I feel more awkward doing this than I thought I would, but hey, that's all part of writing, isn't it? Getting out there, feeling weird, and shrugging it off, because after all, it's just practice.
I'm just practicing.
But because I've read good blogs and bad blogs, writers I loved and writers that put me off, I wanted to give myself some guidelines. To keep on track.
Ever find when you're writing that you do exactly what you hate in other books? I have so done that. Mortifying to realize it, but good too... Anyway. To keep myself clear, here's what I've been thinking of, for the Lucy Flint Project:
work six days a week: it's so easy to just talk about writing, and not so much write. I don't want to fall into that! I'll write first, blog second. (Usually.)
post often: simply because, if I don't, I'll forget I have a blog, ha ha! But seriously, I hope to stay focused on these new goals, and if I stop holding myself accountable, stop reaching out, stop trying to meet other writers... the momentum stops. And the goals get hazy.
celebrate the small things: I'll be honest, I'm not awesome at this, but I want to be. I'm so much happier when I recognize the little victories, and toast them appropriately.
be honest: I've met a handful of people lately who are flat-out amazed that I'm a writer. They want to know all the little details about my day, and it makes me laugh--you'd think I was doing enormous work at my desk, rather than just tormenting my little make-believe protagonist. But it makes me realize that this really is an incredible vocation. I want to see it all for what it is, and not hide the mundane parts, or the times when I feel inept, but also not forget what's great about it.
I WILL NOT:
complain: it is just too darn easy to complain. So easy for me to sit here and whine, whine, whine, but who wants to read that? And seriously, it doesn't help any of us. So I'm gonna quit. As of now. Really. Right now.
seek ugly perfection: I'm a lifelong perfectionist, and it's taught me two things: seeking perfection never works, and it makes me miserable. Books are never perfect, though they can be excellent, and they can and must be authentic, and for heaven's sake, they should have a bit of beauty. I'm seeking those three things when I write now, and I'm not looking for hard and fast and false perfection.
... So. That's where I'm starting, as I look ahead at the year of writing, agent-seeking, and conversations with other writers. This is what I want to hold to.
Off we go.