Year in Review (Writing) 2016
I’ve accomplished quite a bit this year when it comes to writing. Last year, I produced many more blog posts and wrote three of the Chewy books, so in this way, it may look like I was less productive, but maybe not.
First, I finished ‘Chewy Noh and the Jamais Vu,’ the last of the series. Compared to the first four, it was relatively easy to write as I knew where everything was going and had a good layout to start with. All in all, it took me roughly three months to get down in its entirety. In the end, it came to about 75,000 words—the largest Chewy to date.
Next, I wrote a project I’ve been brooding over for a while. When my daughter was younger, I would push her around in a stroller and later a bike, and I would always come upon poorly parked cars and drivers who dashed through lights regardless if they were red or not. That’s when, in my anger, I dreamed of what would happen if one hit me with my daughter along. It wasn’t far-fetched. And I said I would want revenge, but I wished there was another way of living. And that’s where the Myarabhati came from, and so too the idea for ‘All the Things in the Unknown World.’ I took me also three months to get it down on, ending at almost 90,000 words, and after editing, it landed firmly at 85,000 words.
If that were all, then it still would’ve been a well-done year, but now I’ve already put down another 25,000 words into my new work, Crasher, about a man who causes car accidents on purpose and the way technology and bureaucracy shapes our lives.
Also, I’ve edited and helped rewrite a book and a few stories for a couple of my students. Doing this, I found it quite fun and rewarding to do so. In many instances, I had to retool and reshape the arc of the plot, telling them where scenes were weak or didn’t make sense. If I have the pieces in front of me, I can easily play with them and see a tighter, better story. I liked it and learned from it a lot.
However, on the down side of things, I came to a conclusion early on in the year, that being, blogging does little to help me. For one, it wastes valuable writing time that I could use on developing and reworking my stories. Though the weekly and daily production of posts helped my writing as a whole, I don’t get much from small vignettes aimed at pleasing the slightest of discerning eyes. Second, I read a post from another blogger that point out how ineffective blogging is if you desire to be a writer or to get better at story writing. It made a lot of sense, especially when I turned that eye upon some of the blogs I read and follow. They blog instead of produce, and have not much more to show for it. If they love doing, great for them, but that’s not what I want.