Last year, I asked my muse what she wanted for Christmas. This is what she told me:
Muses can be rude sometimes, but they do know how to spur their writers into action.
One of the nice things about writing quotas, and the record keeping that goes with them, is that they can help you track your long-term progress. Right now, my average weekly word count is almost double what it was in years past.
Average Weekly Word Counts
2013: 9,293 words per week
2014: 9,003 words per week
2015: 9,416 words per week
2016: 15,837 words per week
So at least in terms of raw productivity, I’m a better writer today than I was a year ago. And there are other, less easily quantifiable ways I believe my writing has improved.
I think I do a better job integrating science into my science fiction. I feel like I’m better with dialogue and characterization. I think I’m better at picking and choosing meaningful details in my descriptions, or at least I’m better at leaving unimportant details out.
I’ve also finally gotten over my addiction to so-called writing rules—which should really be called writing suggestions or, at best, writing guidelines. The only rule I still believe in is do whatever you have to do to get the story right.
I’m not sure if I can call myself a “good” writer yet. I still have a lot to learn about the writing process and a whole lot more to learn about the business side of writing. But with 2016 coming to an end, I think this is a good time to take stock of how far I’ve come in the past year.
So what sort of progress did you make in 2016? And if your answer is “none” or “not enough,” what do you think you’ll do differently in 2017?
Today’s post is part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, a blog hop where insecure writers like myself can share our worries and offer advice and encouragement. Click here to find out more about IWSG and see a list of participating blogs.