Today is Election Day in the U.S., so don't forget to get out and vote!
Now that I've that quasi-obligatory reminder out of the way, let's move on to today's topic. It's my turn to pick the subject for the current Blog Chain. Since it's not just November, but also National Novel Writing Month, I wanted to pick something related to NaNoWriMo that wasn't the usual, "Do you participate in NaNoWriMo? Why or why not?" Here's what I came up with:
National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), writers attempt to write
50,000 words in 30 days. Do you set daily writing goals for yourself,
either a certain word count or time spent on writing? Does this include
other writing-related activities, like research, plotting, or revising?
Do you focus on reaching the end of the journey (such as finishing your
current project), or do you enjoy the writing process along the way?
Since I'm the one who chose this topic, it's ironic that I don't set a daily word count for myself. The reason for that is that I spend much of my time rewriting/revising a story instead of cranking out first draft. In general, my daily goal is to work on my projects for at least an hour, if not longer. (Ideally, I'd love to write all day, but real life has a lot of distractions.) I don't count research as part of this time, but I do include activities like drafting, plotting (whether this be a formal outline or jotting down ideas when I can't figure out what to put next), revising, or even formatting/publishing. I usually plan to work on one particular project during a session, but if my mind gets stuck (as can happen when I'm left with the dregs of the day for my writing time), then I may switch to another project. Sometimes that helps, sometimes it doesn't. All I really ask from a writing session is that I've made some progress, even if it's a page or less.
As for the end of the journey versus the writing trip itself, both are important. While it can be a struggle at time to work out the plot or to include all the emotional and descriptive details that bring a scene to life, it's very gratifying when the pieces do come together. I love the way the story takes on urgency when I approach the end. Finishing is always a reward too; I have my own way of ending a draft (I put in lyrics from "The Book Report" from You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown), and I give myself some other physical reward too.
For more approaches to this topic, please check out Kate's post from yesterday and Christine's post tomorrow.