Monday, May 26, 2014

Resurrecting the #DailyWriting Tag

For most of last year I used the #DailyWriting tag on twitter as an aid to writing.  I set a target of either typing at least 500 words or handwriting 3 notebook pages a day (roughly 1-2 hours of writing).  Before going to bed I'd tweet the word/page count.  I doubt the people of twitter cared either way, but having the illusion of witnesses was a good way to keep me honest.  It was a good discipline aid.  One of the best tips for writing is to make it a habit.  Once it becomes a habit it's a lot easier to keep the words flowing and a few pages every night eventually pile up into a full novel.

I stopped doing it earlier this year.  A big part of that reason was because I'd become pissed off with twitter and all the self-righteous, holier-than-thou jerks that stink out the place.  It was also because I was worried it had become a creative straitjacket - that I'd end up joylessly grinding out a bare minimum of useless words every night because of trying to keep to arbitrary targets.

I was also worried about how it would look on my twitter feed.  Posting word counts is often sneered at as something those vulgar self-published types do.  It's just not the done thing.

By the way, that reason above is without a doubt the stupidest reason of the lot.  A quick check of most of the more vocal, sneery writery types on social media will reveal them to be rather light in the publishing credits column.  Give those characters a wide berth (and most online writing communities in general, though there are exceptions) and your muse (and readers) will thank you.

Anyway, I decided to stop using the #DailyWriting tag.  I was getting the pages done anyway and there was no need to bore the world with the proof.  Then indiscipline crept in.  A couple of weeks ago I was off work and had a good writing week where I finally burst through a Succubus Summoning chapter that had been blocking me for a while, as well as finishing off another short story that had been clogging up the tubes for a bit.  Then the following week I was a lazy cunt and barely got anything done at all.

After that I decided to resurrect the #DailyWriting tag.  I'm a shameful procrastinator.  Once I start writing I can normally clock in a good hour or two.  Starting that first hour and not bumming around on facebook or youtube is the problem.  It's surprising how much difference a little tag can make.  When I stopped using it I'd have those nights where I'd fart around until the clock ticked past midnight and then think, fuck it, it's too late.  The first night I decided to start using it again the same thing happened, but instead of going to bed I thought, no, let's get those 3 pages written first.  Sometimes a little psychological push is all that's required.

So the #DailyWriting tag is back and you can follow my feed here:

It also has the nice side effect of reassuring people I'm still alive and writing during those periods when this blog goes quiet.  I know a few people were concerned about that given the shit that went on earlier in the year.  It should also give an idea of what I'm working on currently and how far along I am.  (The next chapter of Succubus Summoning needs a further 2.5-3K words typed up and a full edit before posting).