Busy, Busy

Blog No. 81

I’m writing this on Wednesday night (which I sometimes do) because I am going to be away from Thursday to Sunday. I’m calling it a writing retreat but it’s really just a trip to Wheatley with the members of Adventure Worlds. We rented a house on the lake and are going to spend as much of the time as we can, writing and doing writing related things. (I’m not sure what those things are right now, but it’s all about the writing). The main idea (for me) is to have the full Friday and Saturday to see if I have it in me to do an eight-hour-day of writing – to see if I can treat it like a job. I expect to have to take a break or two, but I want to have a steady stream of words on the page and a steady amount of time spent doing it. I have a lot of little goals, finish the story I’ve been working on, get another small one done, sort out some novel and novella stuff, but as long as I’m writing, I’ll be content.

I will say there are a couple of things I’d like to do besides write (but they are all part of the process). I hope to start my days with a quick walk/jog to get my blood pumping and get a good start. I’ve noticed when I’m more active, I am more productive. It’s probably just a good spillover from the benefits of an active life, but I’ve been less active in the last while, and I’d like to get back to it. The same goes for reading (almost exactly). I write more, and better, when I read regularly and I tend to feel better overall when I get some good reading in instead of spending too much time with other time wasters. It’s likely that we’ll do some fun things in the evening too, but I’m less concerned with that than my productivity. After all, it’s not a vacation.

Over all this year I have been doing alright with my writing, but every once in a while everyone needs the kick in the butt, or jumpstart, or a hurdle to climb. Sometimes it’s that challenge you give yourself that helps you improve when you’ve hit the wall. This weekend is going to be a challenge and after I’ll know something about myself, my writing, and my abilities. I’ll either be happy and push to work harder, or disappointed and push to work harder. Like I said, I’m happy that I’m writing more than I was last year, but I’m not even close to what a productive writer should be doing.

I’ve been working a lot this month, juggling submissions (which is a good thing) trying to get my own writing done, trying to get things done for the collection, getting things ready for the trip and trying to stay on top of my daily responsibilities. It’s been a hectic time and the rest of the summer looks to be filled with more of the same. I am at the cusp of something so is Christian and Adventure worlds as a concept. I am sleepy and I feel a little overwhelmed some days with everything I have to do and everything I want to do and all the things I should be doing. The amazing thing is that, even when my writing isn’t very successful, I find after a tough day of work, I look forward to it and feel better after having gone – and written. I take it as a good sign and I’m looking forward to seeing what I can do this weekend and how I’m going to react to that.

On another brief topic, the first part of my next story is going up Monday. It’s a new experience too. My first story wasn’t finished when I posted it. My second – wasn’t either, but it ran away from me. The third was finished and it felt much more complete. This one has been sitting for while, waiting for my next spot on the calendar. It represents a story with two or three more times the experience as The Star That Was the Sun, simply because I wrote two or three stories in between. I’m interested to see how it ends up after it is edited and posted. I can’t wait to see what my fellow Adventure Worlds writers and readers think of it. I don’t think it’s better written than The Star. (I happen to like how that turned out). I do think that it is written by someone who is better at writing. That is all very confusing, but I think it means that it was easier to write and the less obvious bits (structure, language, setting, etc) seem to me to be a bit more advanced. That’s going to happen, as is writing a not so good story every now and again. It’s like playing a sport. You can get better but still have a bad game. I hope the story is good. I really like the concept and it was pretty fun to write. I’d like to think that my enjoyment in writing the story will be apparent to the readers, but it’s a different story to them than it is to me. I’ll have to wait until Monday to find out. In the mean time I’ll be writing like it’s my job.

3 thoughts on “Busy, Busy

  1. JO

    have fun Ben! Hope it goes well. Even if it goes badly, and you murder one another, the survivor we’ll get to write a great book about it.

  2. Thankfully we’ve all survived (but it was close). So we don’t get to write a book about it, but we did get a good amount of our other writing done.

  3. Pingback: Never Enough – Ben Van Dongen

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