Less is More?
by Steph Beth Nickel
I’m writing this at the end of October. I will let you know in the comments how I did with my goals for November.
Prioritize your current WIP (work in progress). Make room on your schedule. Keep your appointments with yourself the way you would with anyone else.
These are all good pieces of advice.
You are a unique individual, a creative.
Sheer willpower and including my two current works in progress on my schedule have not been enough to keep me writing.
While it isn’t surprising that spending four days with my coauthor and working exclusively on her second memoir got me back into the groove of working on Keep Looking Up, what happened recently goes against conventional wisdom and fuels me up even more.
I was going to sign up for NaNoWriMo again this year and commit to working on my YA speculative fiction novel, which I’ve been working on off and on for several years—yes, years. Instead, I have committed to FlashNano. The goal: write 30 short stories in 30 days.
Am I crazy? Possibly…
There are times in my life when the more I take on, the more motivated I am to work on projects I’ve neglected for far too long.
I recently wrote a 1400-word short story to submit for possible publication in the InScribe anthology that will be published in 2024. Whether it’s chosen or not, I’m pleased with how it turned out.
Because I wrote “Love Your Enemy,” I’m primed to work on Deb’s memoir and the YA novel as well as dive into the adventure of writing more short stories.
Of course, I’ll have to focus on my goals in order to accomplish them. I’ll have to add them to my daily Action Plan (aka my To-Do List). I’ll also have to set aside other things that I won’t have time to accomplish.
But by the end of November, I should have many more words written and polished. And as a writer, I’ve come to realize that none of the words we write are wasted.
Here are six reasons I’ve come to this conclusion:
- Practice may not make perfect, but it does make us better writers.
- Working on a new or different project can help us get unstuck with our current work(s) in progress.
- The more we write, the more it may fill the writing well or charge our writing battery.
- When we write works that seem to flow from us, it may give us the wherewithal to get back to those projects that we find tedious and uninteresting. (Most writers have to work on this type of project from time to time—or frequently.)
- We may end up publishing a piece we originally wrote just for fun after we revise and polish it.
- A piece we write may spark a longer work that gets picked up by a magazine or book publisher or one we choose to self publish.
So, I’ve found that, with writing, less is simply less. And more? Well, the more I write, the more I’m motivated to keep writing.
How about you? Do you need to focus on a single project, or does writing unrelated pieces motivate you to get back to those works that you’ve been neglecting?
Steph Beth Nickel is a freelance editor and writer and an author. If you would like more information about her services, you can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You’re invited to visit her website: http://stephbethnickeleditor.com/.
You can join her Editing Tips Facebook group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/418423519384351.