Weighing down the brach
Weighing down the branch

The third week of 2018 is almost over, and so far I'm keeping up with my goal to write something every day. It's been very up and down what word count I reach each day and what quality I'm able to crunch out, but I've at least put words on (digital) paper.

Week one I wrote a fantasy short story in English. Mainly, this text was just to practice writing and try to build a habit of writing. I started with a character let this character leap out into an unknown wasteland. From there you questions like "why is this person here", "where is he/she going", and "who is this person". So while writing I basically just tried to answer questions about this character, and what was driving her. Then I looked for a structure to the story - how would the story end, what obstacles are there, how will the obstacles be overcome, how will the character be changed by the experience. Mostly though, what got me forward in writing this story most of the time was thinking about interesting, exciting or fun to read about. All in all it was a really good exercise. I started writing on Monday and finished the first draft on Sunday.

Currently, the writing plan I'm trying out is to get a first draft out there, trying to not think too much about if it's good or bad while writing it. Then a second draft, then have someone give feedback on that draft, and then a third and final draft. Between the first and second draft however I'm going to try to let the story "rest" for a few weeks so that I can look at it with fresh eyes.

Week two and three things went a bit more slowly. I decided to try my hand at writing a story for an american science fiction short story contest, so that's what I did. It turned out however, as I learned in the middle of this week, that the contest was for last year and that there would be no contest in 2018 So that sucked...

Writing the second story has also been a lot more up and down than the last one. I can probably attribute a lot of that to this being more of complete story than the last one, and also that I kept running into problems with my story and where it was going. At the start of this week my story felt completely pointless, and I've had to really push myself to rework the story and find interests and find something to drive the story forward. The idea I had for the story was also probably too big for the limited word count of the contest (1500 words).

I still think the story can turn out to be a really good one, but it's a lot slower to write than I would have liked. I've had a lot of moments of feeling like I'm wasting my time writing it, but I'm getting better at squashing those thoughts. In years past I would probable have stopped writing at that point and done something else for a long time and then have had to pretty much start all over again with writing.

So I'll keep toiling away, even on days when I only manage a handful of words and I throw those words out the next day. The important thing is to keep trying and keep learning. For as long as there's something to learn.

And that's a very, very long time.

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