This week, I have achieved what I set out to do: I finished the first draft of my short story! Those last few pages went by so quickly but that might have just been the sheer enjoyment of using my typewriter over actually writing fast, who knows? That little stack of typed pages with the tiny punctures from the viscous full stop sat proudly on my desk for the whole of one evening until I had it in my hands and jammed it through the scanner onto my laptop. I had to settle for a free, somewhat temperamental OCR program which didn’t scan quite as accurately as would have hoped but saved me time in the long run instead of copying out the manuscript word by word.
It was then out with the red pen and metaphorical scissors for the long awaited editing. Those pages are now covered with scribbles, spelling corrections, rephrased sentences, suggestions for alternative words and phrases to check for repetition. I was surprised to find very little adverbs as it happened but I did remove a lot of “that”s (which I suggest you do too: you’ll be surprised at how unnecessary they often are and how much they disturb the flow of your prose) which found there way in.
Once I had finished with the corrections and ticked said corrections off (admittedly, very satisfying), I slung it into Grammarly for one final check and read through. It’s now been given to my first trusted guinea pig for a test read so hopefully they’ll come back with some improvements for me to make before I send it off to my second guinea pig.
I’ve also settled for a pen name!
I am deeply ashamed. I started this blog with the hopes that it would bloom into an enjoyable, productive and social platform. In reality, however, it became a responsibility that, when missed, much like revision and exercise, was a soul-crushing guilt. My neglect was probably because I realised that it required around the clock attention and regular posting: something I am not good at. I also realised that I’m not as interesting as I first thought and was, by the sixth and seventh post, scraping the barrel for things to say. The honest truth is that writing is a very repetitive process in the mechanics of it all and once you’ve written about your day once, you’ve pretty much written a post that will cover your average day for months to come. On top of this, I balance writing alongside my studies so the days when I actually manage a decent amount of writing are few and far between. Anyway, having unloaded all this on you unsuspecting, lovely, lovely people, I am glad to say that having spent a few months away from here I am ready to come back even if for another month only to go away again. I’ve managed some writing so I’ve got that to talk about! Do you have any suggestions of things to talk about? It’d be great to hear from you again.
As I said before, I’m not very good at maintaining blogs. I’ve had many embarrassing, failed attempts in the past; some haven’t even made it past the title! Perhaps it’s because I don’t know how to write blogs, maybe it’s because I concern myself more with the numbers than the actual writing or maybe it’s because I go all hardcore and then fizzle out after that fifth, unengaging and waffly post. Hopefully not this time.
So after a little thought, I’ve decided to start this blog the way which seems most blindingly obvious – an introduction. So how do I do that? Instantly that issue of being a novice to blogging emerges before I’ve even published my first post. Too many questions all with one answer – practice. Practice and experience are what will make me a better writer and that is exactly what I intend to use this blog to do. Not to help me become a better blogger, but to help me become a better writer.
I want to write something every day, that’s my aim, even if what I write is rubbish. I may not post every day, I can tell already that that’s not possible. I’m forgetful, busy and the pressure of posting every day will likely result in what happened many times before – an abandoned blog with a handful of shitty posts. I’ll post anything I feel is worth posting, writing whatever comes to mind; what I’m thinking, what I’m feeling.
So how will I get over those other problems? If writing a blog itself is what was the problem last time then this blog with some luck will rectify that. Fingers crossed I’ll receive encouragement and feedback to help me get better. What about that number obsessed aspect of blogging? Well, all I can say is that this time, my focus will be on improving my writing – something I can achieve without those page views. If any of you have tips for writing blog posts or writing in general then please comment below, they will all be greatly appreciated.
P.S. I can tell already that I’m not going to get along with this Grammarly application – too thorough for my liking.