Monday, 4 October 2010

How to write a writing blog

Okay, that title's a bit presumptuous. It really deserves a question mark at the end, as I'm very open to suggestions at this point. Still, for what it's worth, I aim to write a writing blog here, an occasional chronicle of my attempt to earn the name 'writer', which also feels like a pretty presumptuous title.

I've picked a strategic day to start this off, since I've given myself an entire week off work, purely to devote myself to writing. It feels like a sort of test, or at least a preview -- this is The Life I Want, where writing is the thing I'm supposed to be doing, and not the thing I'm sneaking in between everything else. I didn't get any housework done today. Didn't have time. Had writing to do.

It's a strange position, being an unpublished writer. There's not much to put on your CV, so it makes for some awkward explanations if you go and mention it to someone. The most you can come up with is, 'I, um, write', but lots of people do that. You're certainly not expected to go prioritising it over anything else, any more than somebody who likes to knit is liable to turn down an invitation to the pub -- or, say, take a week off work -- because she has knitting to do. I tend to assume that published authors don't have that problem, but I could be wrong. People have funny ideas about how writing works, and they don't often realise how much staring into space is involved.

So this week, I get to stare into space as much as I want, without having to explain it to anybody (except, apparently, the three friends and my mother who are likely to read this blog). Today I wrote over 2500 words, which for me is, well, lots. I sat there in the moment with my characters, in my pyjamas, with dirty dishes in the sink, and I found out what they wanted to do next. This is going to be the best week ever.


  1. Not knit, but crochet maybe -- if only I had work to take off from!

    Didn't know you cared about housework, or about dishes in the sink, but I'm really glad you're ignoring them to ... WRITE!

  2. Well, at least you're going with "writer" rather than "author". I think that's a bit of an east coast/west coast lingual difference.

  3. So wait. Are you blogging about what you're writing somewhere, or are you writing on your blog?
    I knew about a couple of your weddings this year, but I didn't know you had a hat-trick. Beauty! Seems like there's a gold mine there for some kind of epic/mad cap love story if you're into writing that sort of thing. Something along the lines of "4 weddings and a funeral" except not really, and the people getting married don't change, just the people attending. If this works out and then becomes a movie, my only stipulation is that you can't use Hugh Grant to play Badger. That's right out.
    Have fun this week. Take your vitamins.
    - Uncle Rob

  4. Rob: If we get a movie of our wedding drama, Ron Livingston is totally playing Badger. And I've got dibs on Janeane Garofalo.

    G: Is it a coastal thing? Possibly. I don't have the guts to say 'author'; seems to imply a product, somehow, while 'writer' is more about the activity...

    JeanneB: Hi, Mom!

  5. Nice. As a fellow semi-embarrassed, nothing to "show" for it unpublished writer, it's comforting to know I'm not the only one out there. Good for you for having the guts to take a week off to write.

  6. Way to go!
    Does it count as "a week off" if it's doing work?
    Does it count as "work" if it's Awesome fun?

  7. Kelly: What kind of stuff do you write? I've had a blast putting stories up on Highly recommended.

    Derek: Very, very good questions. ;)