I like to write things. I sort have alluded to this already, but if you didn’t know now you know! In an effort to be more productive, I thought talking about my writing struggles might help me with my writing. On this blog not only do I critique writing, but I also talk about books. I’m currently writing a book, so what better place to write about my experience than here.
At the beginning of the year I set a few writing goals for myself.
- Actually finish something!
- Get to the halfway point of the book I’m currently writing (preferably finish the goddamn thing).
- Write at least one sketch and film it
- Complete first draft of a TV Pilot
Alright, I know you’re probably looking at this list and thinking “Becky, you crazy woman, that is an insane list! You should probably focus your efforts on one thing!” You’re probably right. I’m not sure how great of an idea it is to work on multiple projects at the same time. There’s just a lot I want to accomplish. I think the best way for you to understand my thought process behind this list is to tell you a little bit about my whole journey as a writer.
I started to write short stories in like middle school. I got super into it in high school. Back then I strictly wrote short stories and unfinished novels. In college, I discovered my passion for film and TV. Obviously, I decided to get my feet wet writing for that medium. I took a screenwriting class, wrote some short scenes, but things did not change until I was randomly asked to write for this sketch comedy show.
I think it’s important to note that I did not have any experience writing comedy sketches at the time. I did not submit any writing. This opportunity sort of fell into my lap. I wound up auditioning for the theatre department’s shows my last semester. The director for the sketch comedy show thought I was funny. I didn’t get picked to act in the show (it was really competitive) but I was funny enough that he asked me to write for the show. I said yes because I had nothing better to do and like to write. I did not realize how much this experience would change me. Both as a writer and as a person.
Okay, so I’ve always known that my writing had humor in it. You need humor to offset the drama. I did not realize how central it was to my writing style. As I learned more about sketch writing through the process of the show, things just started to click. I could write ridiculous scenes and not be afraid to push the norms. The critiques were constructive but also made me feel like I was doing something right. They also made me realize how funny my writing is and how much of a comedic writer I am. I had sort of an epiphany. I suddenly wanted to keep writing comedy, but also be in my own stuff. A crazy dream was born.
That dream being wanting to create my own TV show. It would be a comedy of course. Ideally, I’d like to be in it but hey, I’ll take what I can get. Hence goal #4. I’ve been waiting to come up with a great idea for a TV show and I think I have it. To sort of prep me for writing this pilot, I want to write some sketches first (goal #3).
This last year and half, I’ve gotten super lazy with my creative projects. I wasn’t writing much of anything for a while. It was bad. I think it will be helpful to write short sketches to get me back into the swing of things so to say. Then I hope to tackle actually writing this damn pilot. I think it will be doable as writing sketches do not take me as long. The pilot itself will only be around 25-40 pages.My book on the other hand…
Oh my book, my book. What am I going to do with you? I’ve been working on this current novel for roughly two years. You’d think I’d have a first draft finished, but no. To be fair it started off as a short story. Somehow it morphed into this three (maybe four) book thing. When I come up with novel ideas they always somehow manage to morph into gigantic projects. Also I’m currently working on the draft for the second book and not the first. It’s completely backward, I know.
The short story (that I didn’t finish) acted as the first book. Instead of going back and writing that, I decided to go forth with the sequel. I think I was just so excited about what happened in the sequel that I wanted to start putting words on paper. Now I’m like a fourth of the way through? That may be giving myself too much credit.
Surprisingly, this has been extremely beneficial to the story. I’ve been able to really flesh out my characters and figure out how to intertwine their stories. It also has given me more direction for the first book. Had I initially gone back and wrote the first book immediately, it would be a completely different series. This weird process has also allowed me to navigate through the ridiculousness that is this book.
I’m not sure if every author says this when they are writing something, but I don’t think I’ve read anything like the book I’m writing. I’m still not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing yet. I’m trying not to worry about it too much because I’m writing this book for fun. While being ridiculous it is also hilarious, and I’m a little obsessed with it.
My current plan is to get halfway through the book I’m currently working on. Once I reach the halfway point, I’m going to go back and start figuring out the first book. This might change depending on how I feel once I reach the halfway point. I do not want go back at this moment because I’m hoping to flesh out the world and my characters more. I know this process seems so backward and I’ve never worked like this before, but it’s my book and I can do what I want. As I stated before this is really just for fun. I’m not even sure I will publish this when it gets finished.
That’s sort of an overview on my writing. Future posts will be more centered on one project. Hopefully they won’t be this long either. These posts are more for me than anything else as it allows me to get my writing frustrations out. It will also allow me to document my writing process and progress better.
I’ll be traveling abroad soon and am hoping to accomplish some writing and brainstorming on my trip. We’ll see what happens though.
P.S. If you’re still with me and have made it to the end, I love you and you deserve some kind of an award.