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Plotting My Next Steps

Wednesday’s 1,600-word post was actually a few evenings in the making, and I contemplated my next steps even while writing it. So, I’m now composing the obligatory post about how I plan to commit the act of writing. Before I continue, let me first assure you that I have every intention of making this the last such post for a good, long while – I view this sort of thing mostly as the literary equivalent of masturbation. It has its own virtues in the appropriate place and time, but it pales in comparison to the real thing.

My first thoughts focus upon what use, if any, I make out of the years of writing I left strewn about on LJ and other locations. I know I left good material buried in those various caches – writing that I can certainly rework in one fashion or another. However, might it be better for me to write from scratch and just use my previous writing solely as reference material? Of course, I don’t necessarily need to engage in an either/or approach and could take it on a case-by-case basis.

Beyond that, I already decided a couple other things. First and foremost, while I do want to push myself and make sure I set aside sufficient time for this endeavor, I won't set any concrete goals regarding output. Initially, I think the most important goal should be spending a minimum amount of time each week on writing. No decisions yet regarding how many hours per week to target, but I’m going to start with five as my tentative minimum and see where it goes from there. Writing posts for 14,000 Phillies won’t count towards that goal.

The other decision I’ve already made is that I will be setting up a new blog solely to showcase my essay writing. Even though it’s been a long time since I posted on LiveJournal with any sort of regularity, I don’t want my essay writing to get lost in the detritus that still occasionally clutters up my LJ page; I want the essay writing to stand on its own. Of course I’ll post links to the new blog from here, as I post new material, but for the moment I’m still trying to determine the name of this new blog. For now, the frontrunner is “Tales From Mooseville,” but I’m not going to settle on anything until I have new material to start posting.

In the meantime, I began compiling a list of subjects for the first round of essays. I haven’t started composing one yet, but now that I’ve gotten this post out of my system, it’s the next thing I’ll be working on. While I’m hammering out my initial piece, I’ll finish lining everything up for the new site I intend to create.

Finally, it occurred to me that I should incorporate far more essay collections into my regular reading list. The fact is that I actually read very little in this genre, despite the fact that I enjoy writing them. Although I have no worries about developing my own style, reading good essays and understanding what makes them work can only help to improve my own writing.

With that, I’m done with the literary masturbation. I hope to have the first essay up within a week. I’m not promising great material at first – not even good material, for that matter. The fact is that I haven’t done a lot of this type of writing, so I expect that I have plenty to learn. However, it’s an education I eagerly anticipate.


( 2 moose calls — make a moose call )
Mar. 10th, 2014 01:47 am (UTC)
Yeah, I agree that the time goal should be the only goal set in the beginning. Don't worry about word count or any of that other stuff. Even if you just stare at a blank computer screen and don't get anything written initially, once you get in the habit of setting aside time for writing, the words will follow.
Mar. 10th, 2014 02:29 am (UTC)
Thank you for chiming in. I'm always grateful to hear the advice of those who went down this path before me.
( 2 moose calls — make a moose call )