So what happened? I had several great story ideas, most of the uncompleted stories should be salvageable. Most of the stories had endings and a theme, which is sometimes a problem for me in short stories. But they still didn’t get finished. I tried writing in a couple different locations, we adopted a new cat, I critiqued about five stories (and still need to do more, sadly) and I tried writing on the bus during my morning commute.
So, here are the lessons I learned:
1. Commit to writing. Two hours every day, no exceptions, no distractions. That can hurt but if I limit my absence from family and fun to two hours a day, I think that’s manageable.
2. Write where you’re most productive. For me, that’s my library in the Throne of Writing(tm)
3. When it’s time to write, write. I was most productive when I sat down, put my nose to the grindstone and just wrote. Don’t stare out the window.
4. Research and critiquing time doesn’t count towards writing goals. A couple of stories I wanted to write didn’t have the tone or information I wanted. I wasted my time and my story momentum by running around or trying to find reference material. For this project, I need to write from my right side of my brain.
5. Spend your time writing stuff that you can potentially sell. I had fun writing these stories but if I can’t market them, then all I’m doing is blowing off creative steam.
6. If you’re bored, go write. Video games are time sinks and to be honest, I prefer writing. Weird realization.
7. Hang on to everything you write. Most of these short stories didn’t get done but with a little work, I may still reach my ‘30 in 30’ goal.
Tonight, I go home, write for two hours and hopefully follow my own advice.