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Write to plan or just plan to write?

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Wednesday, 14 January 2009
Last year I half-heartedly set a few writing goals:  write one or two marketable short stories, complete my YA novel for the June writer's conference in Austin, and get three (I think it was three) more humor essays published.

Half-hearted goals inspire half-hearted effort and no matter how low the setting they remain ever unattainable.

I did write some short stories - still in very rough draft format, certainly not publishable.

As for humor essays...I wrote a couple but the one that was published - and not really an essay as much as a short manifesto - was my Miranda Rights for Writers which I wrote on a whim in answer to a forum thread.  It was picked up by Writer's Digest (bless them) and published in their October issue.

Finally, except for one scene where The Kid is picking broccoli out of his teeth with a pocket knife after dinner, I didn't even crack my YA novel.  I have a general idea of the plot line, but I lack a clear view of my main character.  There's a veil between us through which I can make out his basic form and see how, what, when and why he moves, but cannot bring his face into focus or call his name.  This is my block.

Last year I was ready to give up on writing.  Throw in the towel.  Email and Christmas cards; that's it. 

I've been miserable.  Like when I first quit work to be a SAHM (Stay-At-Home-Mom) and found it hard to define who I am...what I do...what makes me tick. I dunno.  I dunno. I dunno.

So, this year I made a new resolution:  just write and read a lot.

I've been writing a little every day.  I've been reading a lot every day.  My novel is going to take awhile.  Maybe years.  As The Kid takes shape in my mind's eye, he might even grow up, mature, add enough flesh that he no longer fits the kids' clothes I'd picked out for him.  Maybe he'll want me to let him try on a Big People book.  Perhaps, Through Midas' Door (my working title) will be a story for any age.  I'll cross that threshold when I come to it.

For now I'm writing, learning and loving my life.

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