I written on the blog before that I haven’t really been able to write like I’ve wanted to based on the demands of life. I expect that to continue for the near future for reasons that I won’t go into here, but I’m going to try my best because I feel like I’m missing a “piece” of me by not writing everyday/reading things for myself rather than school everyday.
I was really excited after reading the article on PBS.org profiling author Jesmyn Ward called “Persist. Read, Write, Improve,” by Elizabeth Flock. It was a short, but informative article and it really seemed to set out a “path” that I wanted to follow for 2018 (the closest thing a New Year’s Resolution as it were). My goal was simple. I would persist through 2018 by reading and writing every day and at the end of the year, I would (hopefully) see improvement.
This is my most favorite thing to do, but I haven’t been reading like I wanted to. I think it is because over the break, I was able to devote an hour (sometimes up to two hours) just to read every day and make substantial progress on my books. I just don’t have that much time in the day. I finally decided to devote half an hour to reading each day. Also, last year I didn’t really have anything to read because I only certain authors (the few who aren’t drawn to the Dark Side of the Force with the allure of “GrimDark”). However, ALL my favorite authors published material last year, so I want to read all of my favorite series and I just don’t have the time and it is really frustrating. I’m also “supposed” to be reading books for school, both books and articles assigned for class as well as books in my “field” (English) on my own. It is hard to enjoy my “reading” time when I have to read a book called Multimodality during my “reading time”when what I want to read is Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson.
Maybe I could read school books during the week and my personal books on the weekend?
This is where I really feel that I let myself down. Partially, it wasn’t an intentional act of laziness on my part. Forgetting the computer, one week, and the charger, the next week meant that I was without my computer for essentially a week and half (pretty much all of my time here school). Now I did have access to the school’s computers and since I have the blog and many of my writing files online, I could have gone there to write, but the frigid weather and uncertainty of the car starting put a major damper on that, so the end result is that none of the goals that I set for January were finished. I’d really wanted to finish a Rough Draft, Working Draft, and Edited Draft every month, but perhaps that was too ambitious based on the amount of school work that I have.
While I can’t devote two hours every day, perhaps I just need to find a way to better utilize the time I do have. I was up early to work on the blog–perhaps shorter, more consistent blog entries and use the remaining time to work on the writing projects I have in mind?
What I really want to see from my writing and my reading is an improvement in my ability to write long. I don’t want just write short stories–my real desire is to write novels, screenplays, graphic novels, and pilots for television (of course, Sci-Fi/Fantasy based). While I most certainly want to improve my storytelling abilities on ALL fronts, I really feel that improvement is needed in my ability to write long and to craft stories that can exist in the long-form media in order to see success as a writer. That’s what I’m hoping Jesmyn Ward’s advice will help me accomplish this year.