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All content copyright 2010 by Chelsea Biondolillo. Seriously.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

365 days of being a writer: day 6

A friend emailed me about this project and asked for a bit more clarification. Rather than be all friendly and write a letter back, I decided to answer him here.

Why the project, and in a blog?
The year I got laid off started a year of writing and submitting my writing. Most of it was rejected, but I sent off a ton of stuff to editors. The next year (last year) I put almost everything into getting into school for over six months. When they all said no, I was crushed, disheartened, full of raging self-doubt. And, to top it all off, too bummed out to write for several months.

I wasn't totally sure of the purpose of this project when I started--and really, at less than a week in, I'm just taking my first guesses. But here they are:
  • Accountability - putting it up here where my three readers, all of my Twitter followers, and everyone from high school and jr high (a.k.a. Facebook) can see it will make it just a little bit more real. Hopefully.
  • Perspective - I don't want a repeat of last year. If all ten of the schools say no in 6 months I want to appreciate all of the other work I have done, every day, toward being a writer--being paid to write. I want to be able to see day after day of effort and success in carrying out the process.
What are the rules?
I have to write down what I did toward furthering my long term goal of being a professional writer. Ideally, this is mostly "write," but some days it may be about studying my genre, applying for jobs, or putting together submissions packets. I have had a big hang-up for awhile that goes something like "if you really wanted to be a writer, you'd be sitting down every day for an hour and writing." Since I don't, I feel like I have failed before I've started. This is not helpful, and is not true. It is true that I need to establish a better routine and hopefully this project will help with that, too.

Am I worried that I will spend more time talking about writing than actually writing?
Yes. All I can do is my best. With any luck, my best will improve.
How did today go?
Ok, this wasn't in the letter, but it does need to be addressed before I publish this baby and go to bed. This was my first weekend day and I had very high expectations. I ended up being rather crushed with oversleeping, an involved Indian food breakfast, and astronomy homework. My to-do list was tackled, but items were only started, not finished. I managed to outline and partially draft my McSweeney's column submission, and I finished half of a Demand Studios article. Tomorrow, I want to finish the DS piece, (and possibly a second), plus write up a draft for a knitting pattern, and take a stab at a rough draft of my column. That also seems overly ambitious, but maybe my expectations will adjust along with my writing practice throughout this process.

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