Goals, Writing

Yes, I have issues

Our first assignment in Merrilee Faber’s Creativity Workshop will be to list our goals. It occurs to me that I’ve never truly had writing goals before. I just write and write and write until the project is done. I may set deadlines, but I rarely meet them. I’m too much an undisciplined writer.

It appears I should have posted my “issues and interests” to address in this workshop two days ago, so I’m already falling behind. From reading the other participant’s issues and interests, I realize I don’t share most of their concerns because:  I write both male and female characters; I write both happy and unhappy endings; (I think) I write solid relationships; I’ve used mostly local settings; and I certainly don’t need to write something other than fantasy. 🙂 (I’m feeling a little out of my element in this workshop because it seems most of the other participants are fantasy writers. Should be interesting.)

Anyway, here are some issues I want to work on, in general and specifically:

  • Discipline. I’m not sure how discipline and creativity can co-exist, but surely they must for writing to succeed as a career. Setting goals might be the first step toward discipline, but preventing myself from getting sidetracked has to be the biggest step.
  • Procrastination. In my defense, the delay in posting my writing issues was not a result of procrastination, but a lack of time to read Merrilee’s blog. However, I consistently put off what I should write (or critique) today … no matter how many times I curse myself when it comes time to scramble to get a job done. So, I’m hoping to overcome this tendency.
  • Finishing small projects. I have a terrible habit of writing a story and then either not editing it, or starting to edit, but not finishing.  Sometimes, I even take the next step of seeking feedback, but then I do nothing with the feedback. This is why I never have anything ready to submit for publication. (I do not have this problem with novels.)
  • Telling too much too soon. I occasionally do have a problem underestimating the intelligence of my reader, but I don’t think this is the cause of my tendency to give too many clues too soon in my horror or psychological suspense writing. (I don’t often have this problem in my literary writing.)
  • Fleshing out dialogue. I write dialogue first, which means that sometimes I leave long strings of “he said, she said” adding only a couple tags and a gesture. I need to work on fully integrating the dialogue into the narrative.

So there, I’ve confessed my issues. but I reserve the right to add to this list as the workshop progresses. Sometimes I don’t realize I have a problem until it’s pointed out to me. Intervention by workshop could  be a good thing.