…and my goal for 2020.
When I was in High School, I had an English teacher that used to always give us the best advice on writing. One of her tips was to start writing without formatting, paragraph structure or a set direction. Just write all your thoughts down when they are fresh in your head. After everything is on paper, that is when you pick and choose. You can edit sentence structure, delete lines, add more details, or completely rework the order in which things came out on paper.
I have often used this as my main method of writing. One of the things I do with this blog is write without editing. A better final product could be earned by me spending lots of time reviewing, rewording, editing, and adding to my posts. However I purposefully leave them RAW as I refer to it. You get the thoughts as they come out. Unfortunately this may lead to the occasionally type or grammatically incorrect sentence. However it lets you read something purely as it comes from my mind. Full of the emotions and originally wording that was intended. On occasion I will go back and re-read old posts, editing those as I go. Which may mean some of my Older posts have new information in them.
I’ve always loved writing. I remember my first day of Kindergarten I went to school. They didn’t teach you how to read or write then. It was focused on letters, which I already knew. My first day of school I got home and I was sobbing. My mother wanted to know what was wrong. I REFUSED to go back to school because I had been there a whole day and they hadn’t taught me how to read or write yet.
My mother accompanied me to school the next day all the way to the classroom so she could talk to the teacher with me. The teacher told us that we wouldn’t be learning to read or write until first grade. I was so devastated. I let it go and tried to make the best out of school.
The first day of first grade I was super excited. This would be the day I would learn to read! Apparently, I was under the idea that it wouldn’t take more than a day to learn this. Like most first days of school though, we didn’t do much learning. It was more paper work and syllabus. A list of supplies and getting to know the teacher and class were the main priorities. History repeated itself, and I got home from my first day of school in tears.
I had been going to school for a whole year now, and still couldn’t read or write. Clearly they were lying to me and I was NOT going to go back. Once again my mother had to go to school and talk to my new teacher. My mother now had to fight me every morning to get me to go to school. I arrived late every morning for the first few days of the first grade. Eventually we started learning how to read and write. I was ecstatic!
I was quickly ahead of the rest of the class. Writing three complete sentences would take everyone else about 15 minutes, while I would be done in only a few. Which often lead to me making larger than necessary periods at the end of my sentence from pure boredom. I would lose points for having a period at the end of the sentence that was bigger than the rest of the sentence.
Eventually when we started reading out loud I would get frustrated. I would read with a good flow and love to read out loud. I’d be very upset because of the fact that some kids would get to read bigger paragraphs than I could. I JUST WANTED TO READ!
My whole life I wrote stories. Short stories mostly. I would hand write stories and hand them to my teachers just for feedback. I may not remember all the teachers I’ve ever had, but I most definitely remember all my English teachers.
One of my Professional Wrestling idols is also a New York Time’s Best Selling Author. Having achieved the number one spot THREE times if I’m not mistaken. His name is Mick Foley, and he’s published several books, mostly in the memoir or autobiography section. The thing that inspired me the most about his writing style, is he is completely computer illiterate. He wrote all his novels on SEVERAL spiral bound notebooks. Handed them to his editor and had a book happen from it.
NOTHING CAN HOLD YOU BACK IF YOU ARE MOTIVATED ENOUGH!
I once filled an entire spiral bound notebook with a scary story. It’s probably SOMEWHERE in the basement of my house in Boston. If I ever find it, I will most definitely type it up and edit it. All I remember is it being funny and spooky all at once. I don’t remember anything about the story other than one character being presumed dead only to find him alive and well in a tunnel behind the fireplace. Something to that effect.
My problem is I never finish anything or I throw it out/delete it. I’ve written countless stories and tales over the years that would have been phenomenal books for young adults. I could have made a little compilation if I hadn’t gotten rid of it all. Even to those day I’ve probably started about four or five book ideas. I wish I had made it a little further with any of them but I find it hard to keep going. I get to a certain point and just lose all the drive I have behind it.
I’ve got one book saved on this computer in which I’ve taken a completely different method of tackling it. I’ve got a rough plot outlined for the entire book (instead of my usual write as you go method, which obviously is not effective). I need to continue it, because it’s an intriguing story that I want to be out there.
I always find myself saying, “I don’t have time”. I don’t have time to reply to letters. I don’t have time to blog. I don’t have time to work on my book. I don’t have time to clean. I don’t have time to work out. Yet, on the same side of the coin, I find myself laying there for hours not knowing what to do with myself when I have free time.
I’ve found that stress can make you feel like you have no time, when in fact, there is an abundance of it everywhere. Time is unlimited, and you can litterally do with it what you please.
So I need to set up a goal.
I am going to try and make it public so that I can be held accountable. I am going to give myself a reasonable timeline too.
By the end of 2020 I am going to have a book finished. Completely edited and finalized on my end. I would like to have a first rough draft done by June. Which gives me six months to finish my first draft. Then another six months to work on subsequent drafts and editing.
Most people set their goals on January 1st, leave it to me to procrastinate until February 11th to set myself some goals.
I look out the window at the cloudy morning sky and I feel a little hope. I’ve decided today too, will be a new beginning.
Wish me luck.