Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Week 48 - Cracked but Not Scrambled

25 Nov - 1 Dec:

No eggs were harmed in the production
of this post. Okay, maybe one.

Thank all the King's horses and all the King's men that's over.
This is how I feel, and probably look, after writing like a crazy person for the last four weeks.

But, of course, it's far from over. The end of NaNoWriMo is just the beginning.

Now it's time to refocus.

There has been a great deal of discussion lately on 'other works.' What we consider good writing and good stories, bad writing but good stories, bad writing considered by critics to be good writing, bad writing and bad stories considered by the masses to be good stories... and so on.

I use good and bad to represent the assortment of subjective terms that can be applied to our opinions. What is mediocre? What is a ripping good yarn? What is literary brilliance? What is spirit-sucking, brain-numbing drivel?

And the big question at the bottom (or perhaps at the top): What sells?

But, is this the overriding question?

My 2012: Year of Learning to Write is drawing to a close, (though the learning never will). I have honoured my objectives, even if I have not yet met them all. So, for 2013, I'm asking myself: What am I trying to achieve?

Back in January, I asked: Why Do I Write? During December, I'm asking: Why Am I Writing That?

Before I hit 2013: Year of ..., I intend to write Mission Statements for all the pieces important to me.

Do I want to fill others with the same pleasure of reading that I get? (Definitely)

Do I want to tell a great story? (Of course)
Do I want to send a message? (Maybe)
Do I want to educate? (Perhaps)
Do I want to inspire? (Possibly) If so, who?
Do I want to tell that story that's burning inside me? (I doubt it)
Do I want others to read it, so I feel like I'm not wasting my time? (I don't think so) 
Do I want literary awards and critical acclaim? (Am I even capable?)
Do I just want to be published and make money, preferably lots of it? (It would be nice)
I'm thinking that honest answers to each of these questions will affect how I invest my timewhat I chose to invest my time writing about, and what I do with the results.

Which takes me back to all those good and bad scenarios. In ten years, what would I like all those future writer-bloggers to say about my stories?

How about you? Through your writing, what would you like to be known for?

Exercise 93. Review the results of NaNoWriMo and write a Mission Statement about what you are trying to achieve through this particular story. Does it matter whether it's marketable or not?

Exercise 94. Are your objectives consistent? (Sell, sell, sell.) Or does each story serve its own purpose? Think about your writing priorities (e.g., 1. blog legend, 2. aspiring novelist, 3. paid magazine contributor) and decide whether your time allocation reflects the priorities in your mind.


  1. First, that cracked egg photo is hysterical. Did you at least turn it into egg salad or something?

    I would answer all those question almost the exact same way you did. I'm quite sure I'll not reach great literary heights, although I'd sure love to.

    When I think about my current novel attempt, aka WIP, I would love to have it be published, read and for people to turn that last page and think, "ahhh, that was a great story." Wouldn't that be oh-so-satisfying?

    So... what will your blogging be about next year? Please say you won't disappear!

    1. I turned the egg into lunch.

      It seems like such a simple thing, doesn't it? Write a book, get it published, have people enjoy it? So why is it so hard?

      2013? I'm thinking: The Year of Learning to Knit. What do you think? Darn, I just remembered I already know how to knit (albeit badly).

      I might have to give my future some thought over an eggnog or two.

    2. Oooo eggnog. Yum. Invite me over. I'll bring rum.

    3. Hello,

      My wife reminded me of a pearl of wisdom - "Do what you love and the money will follow." This does not apply to teaching.

      However, it does apply to writing. I would like to encourage my blogofamilia to stay with what we love, because after all, what else would we do. Cook? Clean? Ha! Like Little Bo Peep's Sheep, the money will come home, wagging their tails behind them. Okay, that was an awful metaphor.

      My priorities do not reflect the time allocation, unfortunately. Such is the life of a part-time writer, I suppose. I wonder if I would be more productive if I gave up eating, working, sleeping...

    4. Your wife is a wise woman. The saying doesn't apply to travel either... or eating, though calories as currency is an interesting concept.

      At this stage of my endeavours, I'm going to have to trust you that it applies to writing. Even without the money bit, "Do what you love," is still pretty good advice.

  2. Egg,

    Love the picture. My thought is better shaken then stirred. I put in a call to all of the King’s men; they assure me they CAN put Eureka back together again. You are running a marathon, if you did not look like the egg that became lunch then you were not doing something right.

    I love the questions and I think it is very valid to answer them. I would advise someone to know the answers to these questions before spending almost two years writing a novel that is still unfinished. But, I have never been one to follow my own advice. Anyone wonder why I did not attempt the NaNoWriMo?

    Now that I think about it, knitting sounds more profitable than writing at this point. Keep smiling!

    1. You crack me up, Rob (ah, is there no end to the egg jokes?).

      I guessed that Eddie was demanding so much of your attention that NaNoWriMo would have been a distraction.

      Also, I see now that attempting to write a novel in 30 days is sheer folly.

      But besides that, of course I was wondering. Do tell.

  3. Eddie isn’t demanding of my time. It is this little thing called life. A wonderful wife, 2 kids, Church, friends, family, American football, basketball, yard work, decorating for the holidays, keeping up with the blog world and something else…I think it is called a job. That is demanding, I cherish the time Eddie and I get to spend together. Poor guy, the more time he spends in my head, the worse his life gets. His life is tough, trust me.

  4. Wonderful questions posed, Egg. Sorry it took awhile...been swamped, but you know the feeling. My huevos...well, they're pretty battered.

    I want the whole kit and kaboodle. Yes to them all. To be that talented...dream a little dream.

    I'll refer to this post during revision, and also as the new year approaches. You always have a good head for keeping things in focus. I'll draw from that.

    Kudos on the NaNo and good fortune on the revision.

    1. Yes, I know the feeling. I've certainly had un oeuf of the Wrimo challenge (sorry, I just had to slip that one in).

      Well done to you, too. Onward and upward, and hey, why not shoot for the top?

    2. Un oeuf...now that was damn inspired! Loved it.

  5. Great questions to ask of ourselves as we maneuver through the shifty waters of our manuscripts. Also, I particularly like Excerise #94 and the question posed for us to think about our writing priorities and whether our time allocation reflects those priorities.

    After reading this question, I realize I'm out of sync with my priorities. I'm spending too little time in some areas and wayyyyyyy too much time in others. Time for some rebalancing and much needed reallocation.

    This was a good post. Thanks for sharing it.

    1. Thanks for the comment, Demetria. I came to a similar conclusion about my own time management.

      You have a great site. One of my new priorities is to spend some time exploring it, hoping some of your wisdom will rub off on me.