Sunday, June 20, 2010

Daily Doses

By Pat Cunningham

First, an update: Mom’s still in the hospital and we’re scouting nursing homes. Some days she does better than others. We’re taking it a day at a time. I’ll keep you posted.

And now, delayed from last week, this week’s blog.

Lazy creature that I am, my writing tends to be sporadic. I used to stick notes in my journal saying why I hadn’t written anything that day. Finally it hit me: if I’m going to presume to call myself a writer, I should try to write daily, and not just a list of excuses, either. On July 1, 2006, I vowed I would write something every single day, come hell, high water, jobs, illnesses, and pens running dry in the middle of sentences. I haven’t missed a day since.

What do I write? Whatever occurs to me. Scenes, character descriptions, conversations, vignettes, flash. Entries can run anywhere from a couple of paragraphs to several pages if I get rolling. As long as pen meets paper for more than a sentence, I figure I’m good for the day.

So far it’s paid off. It keeps my writing muscles limber and inspires ideas. What I thought was just a throwaway entry sparked my first vampire novel. I expanded another entry into a story I recently sent to an anthology. (They’re still holding it. Cross all fingers.) I have another beginning I want to expand into a full story. Some may already be stories and just need some tweaking to sell to a flash market. Ten bucks is ten bucks.

How about you guys? Do you feel guilty if you don’t write something daily, or doesn’t it bother you? Does anyone else have a stack of spiral-bound notebooks in their closet, or am I the only loonie? Yes, I write on vacations and holidays. I jotted an entry in my purse notebook while sitting in the emergency room last week so I wouldn’t miss a day. Am I nuts, or devoted? You be the judge.


Savanna Kougar said...

Pat, I vote for both, nuts and devoted. I can say that because that's how I see myself. Crazy and determined.

I do have stacks and stacks of stories on paper [before computer], including in spiral-bound notebooks. I never made a promise to myself to write everyday. But, I'd say for, at least, a decade now, I've written most every day.

Heck, I didn't even know there was a flash market. Ten bucks, eh?

Savanna Kougar said...

p.s. Glad your mom is hanging in there.

Serena Shay said...

Hey Pat,
Glad to hear your mom is doing better!

hmmm, I prefer devoted with a splash of nuts which I think every writer needs, especially paranormal writers. Thinking up all of those unique stories takes a lot of creativity or nuts. ;)

I shoot for writing everyday, even if it is blogging, flashing or even joting down ideas. I too keep a notebook in my purse and I find myself using it all the time.

Pat C. said...

Thank God. I'm not the total wack job I feared I might be. Others share the illness. Yay for us!

Mom got moved into a nursing home today. It looks pretty nice. We'll see how it goes from here.