Planning, you say? Why, I never thought of it!

My dears,

you may have noticed my absence over the past month or so.

This is due to the fact that, despite my many letters to complain about this, there are still only 24 hours in a day, and only 7 of those damn things in a week.

The trouble is, I decided in the middle of this year to make a concerted effort to do some serious writing. Writing that I would send out. Out into the wide world, my friends, instead of just self-publishing it here where the only person who decides if it’s worth publishing or not is the CEO of Blathering Industries, ie, me.

But I found that I just don’t have the time to do that and also write a blog post every week. This is because I’m trying to put a lot of effort into the non-blog writing, to actually research, and rewrite, in short, to reach a certain standard that, let’s face it, I just don’t reach when I begin a blog post 27 minutes before I’m supposed to be at a friend’s house for dinner. (and need to allow time to change out of my tracksuit pants.)

So I got all organised, like. I wrote myself out a plan, like. A plan with specific goals and deadlines and all that. I was quite surprised at myself, I gotta tell ya.

I discovered that a writing plan can be pretty simple. Mine lists specific tasks: for example, I’ve listed 2-3 specific pieces of writing with an action to “find suitable market and send out for publication” and I’ve picked out 1-2 call outs for a themed piece of writing, and listed those with the action “write up a draft idea for this call out.” It’s not brain surgery, as it turns out. Then, I’ve listed some overall goals to achieve in that time, eg: 1 piece accepted, and 1 new piece written. Keeping it very realistic is the key, I guess.

Anyway, I recall that I bored you by talking about planning, a few months ago, at the time of the Inaugral June To August Plan.

Since then, I have moved seamlessly on to the August To November Plan, and I’ve just popped over here today to let you know that, to my astonishment, this planning and goal setting has been going quite well. (Who knew that planning and goal-setting worked? Imagine how my life could have gone, if I’d known this earlier.)

By quite well, I mean that since embarking on this new approach, I’ve had one piece of writing accepted and published on an online literary journal and a second piece accepted by a zine. (Which will be online as well as available in hard copy.)

Of course, in that time, I’ve also had about 8 rejections, and of course, some of those were for the piece that has now been accepted into the zine. But we know that writers have to keep persisting don’t we?! Perhaps I should mention that one of those pieces had been sent off in various forms and been rejected, probably about 8 times over the past 8 years.

But that is where I’ve decided to make a serious try at writing. 8 lame attempts to submit a piece of writing in 8 years is nothing! A serious writer would have submitted it 84 times in that time! I’ve never really prioritised writing before, and I’ve been pretty willing to give up, and find reasons not to write, so in the past I had short bursts of trying to seriously devote time to writing, and then I’ve given up again for long bursts due to full time work, and then, due to devoting that writing time to writing a blog instead. While I wrote this blog regularly, from 2010 until the middle of this year, I did not send a single piece of writing off anywhere else.

So that’s why, while I’m trying hard to have a go at writing for something other than my own blog, this blog will only be sparsely updated. When I reach a point where I am earning squillions from writing and can afford to spend 24/7  writing, I may begin posting regularly here again. I like to keep my goals realistic though, and I have to tell you, I don’t see that happening in the December – February Plan.

Thanks to those few loyal regular readers who’ve joined in the blathering over the years. I have not been on the WordPress site for weeks now so I don’t know what you are all up to.I will make an attempt to catch up with your blogs. And maybe I’ll link here when my writing is published. I’m unsure, as that would mean revealing my – currently anonymous – identity. This dilemma about anonymity and how much freedom that gives you to tell stories that affect yourself and people close to you, must be a hurdle for all writers, that I have yet to feel comfortable about.

Anyway, in the meantime, stay tuned. And keep writing.

 

 

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9 Comments

  1. I admire your commitment to your writing! I don’t make plans and goals because I can’t handle the pressure. Oh, the pressure 😦
    Of course, I haven’t gotten anything significant done either. Lack of goals, you know…

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    Reply
    • It’s a vicious circle isn’t it! Now I’m wasting a lot of time planning and not actually doing much writing. Oh dear.
      BTW, in my searches for places to submit writing to, I see heaps of calls for “flash fiction” – so you shouldn’t have trouble finding some options if you ever do decide to try writing for something other than your blog!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  2. Write on!

    Neil S.

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  3. Congratualtions on your two publishing successes. I hope these are but forerunners presaging many more.

    While it is tantalizing to know that your published writings are out there but that we, your blog followers, do not know where to find them, I accept your need for anonymity on the blog and counsel you not to abandon it unless and until you are completely content to do so. The freedom this gives you is a treasure not to be abandoned lightly. We will continue to follow your posts and be happy to know of your triumphs in that sphere euphemistcally known as the “real” world.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Thanks Silver Tiger. It’s ridiculous of me I know. Maybe I’ll get past it. How do famous authors cope when they suddenly hit the big time? Do they have to scrabble back and madly delete all the posts they wrote on their blog when they were a nobody, revelling in the privacy of anonymity, about past friends that let them down or family members that drove them crazy or that dysfunctional workplace they worked in?

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      • Writers, famous or otherwise, are, first and foremost, people. Whatever way you can imagine that people might react to fame, someone somewhere will have reacted in that way. Some writers publish under a pseudonym for the whole of their professional lives. Some start pseudonymously then revert to their real names. Some only ever write as themselves. There is no rule, no law. You are free to choose the way that suits you best.

        I would suggest that you leave things as they are for now, having fun with the blog when you have time between your more “serious” activites. The character of your blog is such that it will not offend anyone or have a negative impact or your reputation if ever the Writer is revealed to be the Blogger. And think of the excitement among your fans when one of them discovers the identity of the two personas!

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  4. Making plans is easy, sticking to them is far harder, I find….so well done you! Good luck with your writing. If your non-blog writing style is anything like your blog writing style you have it nailed, according to me.

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    • Thanks Anne, that’s very encouraging. Actually I find that light-hearted takes on life is not a style that has a very wide market, unless perhaps you are already well known and get a weekly column or something. Most outlets looking for creative non-fiction require writing that is so deep, or so experimental, that it will rock their world and blow their minds. A bit more rigour would be good for my writing, so I’m willing to work on it, but I’m not sure I have the intellect that can produce the kind of writing that some journals want. But I’ll persevere a bit longer anyway and see how I go.

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