Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Savings account

On the (mostly fiction) writing front, I've made a couple of changes recently. These seem to be having a positive effect.

First off, I've transitioned from saving documents on floppy to preserving them on CD-R. Yes, up through most of this year I've been using floppy discs. In general it's an okay system. As long as something doesn't go wrong, that is. One thing that can go wrong is for the little metal or black plastic clasp to come off in the external drive. You never really feel safe using it after that, since once they come off they're always loose and jiggly. Even worse, sometimes these discs just up and decide they have to be formatted. Which they already are, or you couldn't have used them in the first place. But never mind that, they demand to be formatted here and now and everything you've saved on them gets lost. Doesn't happen that often, but I'm as glad to stop worrying about it.

The other thing I've started doing is to schedule an hour a day for writing. I figure out when I want to stop, and that tells me when I need to start. Then when I start, I keep going until the hour is up.

On paper, you can get as much done in two days working a half-hour each as one hour altogether in one day. And for some people maybe it does work like that. But for me, once start with under forty-five minutes, self-fulfilling prophecy kicks in and I think, "Ah, can't really get anything done." So you just do a couple of paragraphs. Or a couple of sentences. Or try to sketch the idea in Microsoft Paint. Committing to an hour, or something very close to it, allows me to build up a head of steam.

Or a head of lettuce. Maybe I should get some feedback on that.


susan said...

Sometimes I draw and paint because I want to and because I'm excited about an idea I'd like to develop into an image. Other times (and often during the course of a painting) I struggle to get it right. It seems that whatever idea I begin with always shifts and changes during the execution.

Your plan of writing for an hour a day is the first exercise in a book I read about writing a novel. It seemed like good advice.

susan said...

Ooops, you've got spam :-)

Ben said...

Wha happened to the spam? I don't see it. I probably shouldn't question it's being gone, but in the past I've always had to remove it myself, and I didn't even know it was there.

I think overall it's good when your work changes and warps from what you thought it would be. Sometimes when you're in the middle of doing something you just get a better idea. It's a matter of being in the right frame of mind so that you can enjoy the process instead of fretting over it.

susan said...

What I saw was about 30 links for ugg boots. Maybe it left when I did - a good thing too.