RSS

Career Reassessment – The One-Week Writer

22 Mar

Day 1

I like books. Yesterday I went out and got myself a diary, new pens (various colours) and an adequate supply of chocolate. The plan is that today I begin my great writing experience. I’ve decided I’m going to be a writer. I am determined to write the next Great British Novel and to that aim I have armed myself with a good measure of patience, a significant expectation of initial teething problems and a fanatical belief in my abilities.

Power up laptop. New word document. Title. Hmm… First problem. I don’t know what I’m going to write about so, naturally, I can’t give it a title yet. We’ll have to settle for Document 1. And… open.

Blank page, completely white. Brainwave – I can make it smaller if I use the zoom function. In fact, I should customize my toolbars right now.

Phew, that was hard work. I think I deserve a break. To the kettle!

Feeling guilty for having written zero words so far, so I resolve to do a writing sprint. Six sentences, and then re-read.

My name is Vera Parker and I’m enjoying my retirement… Well, at least I think I might enjoy it once I get used to waking up later than six o’clock every morning. I’ve been retired for a week now, and although Greg, my long-suffering husband, has hidden the alarm clock, I still can’t seem to be able to lie in. One minute after I’ve first opened my eyes I’m out of bed and shuffling off towards the kitchen for a nice cup of tea, which means that by quarter past six I’m already sat in the conservatory watching the wildlife in the garden, and they all take their time waking up, too…

That’s how I noticed the next-door neighbour at number ten dragging four heavy bags to his car and then driving off. Nothing odd about that, you say… Maybe not, but the house was in darkness, not one light was showing, and he looked quite uneasy as he piled the bags in the car. I’ll get my cardie on and then I’ll have a look around the garden, to see if there are any obvious reasons why he took off so early in the morning.

Wow, I’ve written eight sentences. Spell check. I’m so happy about this achievement that I decide to take the rest of the day off.

Total words written day one: 196.

Status: successful.

 

Day 2

I read somewhere that reviewing the previous day’s work before breaking new ground is good practice, so I run to the printer and print off my first 196 words.

Bright spark: I have just thought of a title. Veronica Goes Easy. I must rename my document, so as not to confuse it with the myriad others that I will undoubtedly have very soon. I mean, if I keep going at this rate… what’s the minimum number of words for a novel? Quick Google – 66,000. So, at 196 words per day – fire up the calculator – it would take me 336.7 days to finish it.

Almost a year to write a book. A whole year, if I take the odd day off. Not too bad, I suppose. I can afford to take a year out of my life to produce a masterpiece.

I re-read yesterday’s eight sentences carefully. Something doesn’t seem right. I make some changes. By the end of my writing day, this is what I have.

My name is Vera Parker and I’ve been retired for a week now, and although Greg, my long-suffering husband, has hidden the alarm clock, I still can’t seem to be able to lie in. One minute after I’ve first opened my eyes I’m out of bed and shuffling off towards the kitchen for a nice cup of tea, which means that by quarter past six I’m already sat in the conservatory watching the wildlife in the garden, and they all take their time waking up, too…

That’s how I noticed the next-door neighbour at number ten dragging four heavy bags to his car and then driving off. Nothing odd about that, you say… Maybe not, but the house was in darkness, not one light was showing, and he looked quite uneasy as he piled the bags in the car. I’ll get my jumper on and then I’ll have a look around the garden, to see if there are any obvious reasons why he took off so early in the morning.

I’ve cut and reshaped the first paragraph and replaced ‘cardie’ with ‘jumper’ to make it easier to non-UK English speakers to understand the story without a hitch.

Total words written day two: 3 (title) + 1 (jumper) = 4. Words taken out: 30. Overall wordcount 170.

Status: pleased with the progress.

 

Day 3

Must do some proper writing today. Today must be all about progress. Review, write. Review, write, Review, write.

I get a cup of coffee, a large bar of chocolate and start up ‘Veronica Goes Easy’. This is the result after two hours:

My name is Vera Parker. Greg, my long-suffering husband, has hidden the alarm clock because I can’t lie in. One minute after I’ve first opened my eyes I’m out of bed and shuffling off towards the conservatory watching the wildlife in the garden.

That’s how I noticed the next-door neighbour at number ten dragging four heavy bags to his car and then driving off. Nothing odd about that, you say… Maybe not, but the house was in darkness, not one light was showing, and he looked quite uneasy as he piled the bags in the car. I’ll get my jumper on and then I’ll have a look around the garden, to see if there are any obvious reasons why he took off so early in the morning.

I haven’t had time to review the second paragraph, but I’m finally happy with the first.

Total words written day three: 0. Words taken out: 43. Overall wordcount 127.

Status: I’m starting to wonder if writing is really such a good idea. This book will stay with me for almost twice the length of a human pregnancy. Scary, since I am not yet sure of the side-effects.

 

Day 4

Right, I am determined to take the bull by the horns, as they say. Think positive. Today will be successful.

My name is Vera Parker. Greg, my long-suffering husband, has hidden the alarm clock because I can’t lie in. One minute after I’ve first opened my eyes I’m out of bed and shuffling off towards the conservatory to watch the wildlife in the garden.

That’s how I noticed the next-door neighbour at number ten dragging four heavy bags to his car and then driving off. Nothing odd about that, you say… Maybe not, but the house was in darkness, not one light was showing, and he looked quite uneasy as he piled the bags in the car. I’ll get my jumper on and then I’ll have a look around the garden, to see if there are any obvious reasons why he took off so early in the morning.

Must break off here as I’ve run out of both coffee and chocolate.

Total words written day four: 1 (changed watching to to watch). Words taken out: 0. Overall wordcount 128.

Status: Unsure. Does this one extra word count as turning the tide or not?

 

Day 5

Feeling a little down today, so I’ll just play some background music as I review my writing once more.

My name is Vera Parker. Greg, my long-suffering husband, has hidden the alarm clock because I can’t lie in. One minute after I’ve first opened my eyes I’m out of bed and shuffling off towards the conservatory to watch the wildlife in the garden.

That’s how I noticed the next-door neighbour at number ten dragging four heavy bags to his car and then driving off. The house was in darkness, not one light was showing, and he looked quite uneasy as he piled the bags in the car.

This reads better but looks much too puny. I should write more, but I just can’t find the enthusiasm. Perhaps I’m all burnt out. This is all too stressful. I need a break.

Total words written day five: 0. Words taken out: 40. Overall wordcount 88.

Status: Could be better.

 

Day 6

I really, really don’t want to sit down in front of my computer today. But I shall make an effort. I do want to be a writer. Well, I did… on Monday.

My name is Vera Parker. I was in the conservatory when I noticed the next-door neighbour dragging four heavy bags to his car and then driving off, looking quite uneasy.

I can’t even remember what this story was supposed to be about. A nosy neighbour? Or maybe a ‘Miss Marple’ style mystery? Not sure, really. This requires more thinking.

Total words written day six: 0. Words taken out: 58. Overall wordcount 30.

Status: At 30 words per day I’ll be writing this book for six years. I’m not ready to cut out six years of my life, six years of coping with this amount of pressure.

 

Day 7

I’ve decided today is make or break day. I jump straight into reviewing. I stop when all I have left is the first three words.

My name is

Huh! I can’t even remember my own name, never mind make one up. This writing lark is bad for me, tormenting, unhealthy…

Writing is the worst career choice I ever made, even worse than dog walking. Hang on, the phone is ringing.

That was Rory. We were in the same year in college. He was made redundant about a month before I lost my own job. He wants to meet up. He can’t wait to tell me all about his newly discovered vocation. He’s going to be a cover artist. He’s given himself a week to come up with the goods.

Hmm… I like pictures…

Must go shopping for Photoshop.

Advertisements
 
4 Comments

Posted by on March 22, 2012 in Just A Thought

 

Tags: , ,

4 responses to “Career Reassessment – The One-Week Writer

  1. brianmedler44

    March 22, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    Patience…Talent will out.

     
  2. thedailyblisspursuit

    March 22, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    🙂 Funny. I’ve tried the diary thing a few times, and for some reason can’t get it to work. My brain has a persistent twang of paranoia regarding my ‘diary’ content being physically accessible to the people physically in my life. I cannot ‘write for real’ that way. Better to say, “I’ve not yet learned to free myself in this way.” It is definitely something everyone should do. I helps you to know yourself- a trait that I find comes to me in small snippets all through life, and not nearly often enough. The more you can do to PULL or DRAW OUT what’s inside you- all the better.

     
  3. Ahmad Taylor

    March 23, 2012 at 3:29 am

    Pretty good one E! Pretty good! =)

     
  4. ellamedler

    June 7, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    Reblogged this on ellamedler.

     

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: