On Monday, Eric at Pimp My Novel posted a list of things he’s learned about writing over the past couple of weeks. I was inspired by his list to reflect on some things that I’ve learned about writing this summer.
Unlike last summer, when I was frantically studying for my comprehensive exam, this summer I have been fairly relaxed. I’ve traveled more than I thought I could sanely travel, and for that, I’m grateful. A number of close friends have moved or will move—into new houses, new jobs, and possibly new cities. I’m glad I could see them while I’m still within driving distance.
But all that traveling has meant a hectic writing schedule. I’m writing more than reading this summer (a good thing) but all the bouncing around has meant a disruption in my standard operating procedure. As I let the weeks go by, I thought I needed to stop working on the short stories and start working on the prospectus in order to meet my deadlines.
And then a funny thing happened.
I stopped working on my creative writing.
But I didn’t start working on my critical writing.
There was a period of about 7 days (but who’s counting?) when I failed to get any writing done at all. Sure, I read some articles, and thought about my work, but it didn’t translate into word count. As it turns out, I can’t just switch between critical and creative writing. The two go hand in hand. When I decided to let myself work on a creative project, I also wrote on my prospectus. After a 7 day drought, I wrote 2000 words in one day (a hefty sum for me).
I don’t recommend this experiment at all. But it did make me realize that I’m working even if I don’t realize it. I’m on track to finish my projects on time (both critical work and creative work). For me, writing is writing is writing. And it’s a Good Thing.