Tag Archives: deadline

Thoughts on writing

I missed my ¬†deadline last night, just fell asleep in front of the TV as I drank a cup of tea and woke up minutes after midnight. I loaded the photos, posted, and found that although I was annoyed at missing the cut, it didn’t really matter.

I might be finding it hard to cut down on blogging, but I am, at least, managing to keep up the writing challenge I have set myself. One haibun essay, ten haiku and a poem a day. I did try writing a longer blog post on this subject but it quickly became dull, as mentioned here, so it remains in draft. After the 100 Day Challenge I’m only thinking of doing this for a month. A hundred days was gruelling.

The general idea is that I will use the practice challenge to gain more fluidity in writing and to build up ideas. If anything good comes out of it that will be a bonus.The haibun essays are generally usable, and some of the haiku aren’t too bad but the poems are mainly rubbish. With practice this may change.

I seem to remember from rugby training that it’s important to practice doing things perfectly, but with writing it’s slightly different as part of this is about overcoming the internal editor. There are a lot of ways to switch the internal editor off, and many posts. The one I’ve linked to there was at the top and was as good as any.

The best way I have found of switching of the internal editor is to write and keep writing, Don’t go back unless you spot a typo, and if you miss it don’y go back just because there’s a red squiggle in the text. You can do that later. I’ve just been back and fixed five typos in that paragraph. I’m not very accurate, but the inaccuracy doesn’t really affect the sense of the words.

I’ve often thought of writing a post and not sorting the typos. There are always some I miss anyway (I just re-read a post from four years ago and found a “their” where there should have been a “there”). I’m sure if I did that most of you would be able to read it OK. I’m told that as long as you have the first and last letters in place the brain will mostly sort out the rest.

Another thing I find is that the writing equipment affects the fluency of my writing. For haibun and poetry fountain pen is better than biro. Both are better than word processor.

Strangely, I can blog directly from the key board. In fact that’s the easiest way. Same with articles. It must be the way my brain works. Or doesn’t work.

A big stumbling block with my writing is the copying from longhand onto the computer. I really do not enjoy that bit, even though it isn’t really that onerous. It’s a few poems, not chunks of text. It’s not like actually doing any work.

A New Start

Time, I think, for a new start.

I’ve allowed myself to lose focus in the last month or so and I actually missed a deadline this week. Normally I have a list of deadlines to work tom but I’d let it slip. Suddenly I realised that the 30th June was only days away.

I hate submitting at the end of a submission window because you’re never sure if a rejection is due to quality or due to the fact they already have enough good stuff.

Add an extra variable, that I hadn’t been completing ¬†enough material, and I had to make the tough decision to let the deadline pass.

I didn’t like doing it, but it’s better to leave it than submit rubbish. It was due to go to an editor I hadn’t sent anything to before and I didn’t see any point in making myself look unprofessional.

I have now set myself a number of targets, which I’m not going to share until I see which ones are working. This is, I admit, a bit of a cop out but I feel happier that way. It’s also erring on the side of modesty as I’ve set myself some stiff targets. If I hit them all and tell you about them it might look like I’m boasting.

However, one I will reveal is that I’m back to daily posting. This Day One. It’s the easy one. Day Two might be trickier.

I will also reveal that I’m setting myself a target of at least 185 words per post. That avoids the temptation to take shortcuts because it’s about practising writing, not just ticking off the days.

Fine words. Let’s see how it works out.

The pictures are poppies in the front garden. Each morning three or four open up. By the evening they have blown away. We have several clumps of them and, apart from some minor deadheading, we don’t do anything to them. They even planted themselves. You have to admire that in a flower.

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Poppies growing from cracks in concrete. The rumpled effect smooths out as the day draws on.