New Ways of Doing Things

I love trying new things in my writing. Sometimes, its trying a new genre and other times it is using a new piece of software or hardware.

Recently, I’ve been experimenting with my new iPad for writing during my commute. This is a pretty important thing for me to try, actually, because I’m finding the demands on my time to be stronger and stronger with every passing month. If I’m to give my family and friends the time they deserve I have to find other times to write.

If I were to be completely honest with myself, I would have to admit that I hadn’t been making much progress on any of my projects the past while.

So, I put Pages on my iPad and began the grand writing experiment. I was very happy to manage 2,000 words my first week. Considering I can do more than that in a dedicated day of writing, it might not have seemed all that great, but knowing I hadn’t made ANY progress for the past few months, it was a fantastic achievement. Even better, I was writing every single day I was commuting. That was exciting for me.

Then, I went away for vacation for a week. I knew coming back would be the real challenge for me to see if the habit had taken (I hadn’t been doing it for the requisite 20 days yet).

I’m happy to report, not only did I continue using my iPad to write every day, but I’ve already (in 2.5 days) managed to match my output from the entire first week of writing with the device.

To make it even better, I began to try a new method of working within the project document. You see, this particular project is the collaboration project I’m working on with JR Murdock. We made a lot of effort to plot the entire story prior to writing it and I’ve often gotten myself into small jams where I have to reference the next plot point. For this particular iteration of the project I plugged all the plot points (written and unwritten) into the document so I can reference them sequentially.

That helped me to determine what sections have been written, how they relate to other scenes, and so on. It has really improved the workflow for me (and hopefully for JR as well).

I would call this experiment to be a complete success. It has me writing again and I’m excited about the project. I can’t wait to get to the revision stage so we can get this story into a more complete, submittable format.

The project, as a whole, is an experiment on many levels. It is my first collaboration, my first steampunk novel and, as you have just read, I’m using new technology (to me, at least) and process to do the actual writing. My writing partner and I have also been using Skype extensively to talk about where we are at and what we need to do next.

Not every experiment has been as successful, but they all contribute to my own understanding of my writing process and what I need to do to succeed. I suspect that as time goes on, my process will continue to evolve to accomodate my life.

What kinds of things have you tried that have improved your own writing?


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