Posted by: Corri van de Stege | June 9, 2007

Musings about writing

Waking up at 4.30 on a Saturday morning is probably not a good thing.  On the other hand it provides me with the space and the half awake half asleep quietness that hides inspiration for writing.  How do you choose your subjects though, I have endless ‘fragments’, stories that I start and don’t finish and I’m just hoping that one of these days (one of these years more likely) I will be able to pull it all together and make something sensible out of it.  Will have to retire from my job though.  After having written some 700 words or so (2 hours) I looked around a few other blogs, and read The Moon Topples (see also my blogroll) whose aim is to write 30,000 (!!) words a day.  A day.  I am so impressed and gobsmacked.  I read somewhere that Graham Greene managed 500 a day – well they must have been very polished words indeed, but it does make you realise the differences in expectations and approaches.  My ‘fragments’ of 700 words or so were already there in my subconscious, have been there for the last few days and I guess that’s why I just had to get up and write them down.  They’ll need editing though, endlessly, out of recognition.   Another question I have is really about subject.  How do you choose a subject if you want to write a novel, does the subject come first or does the writing come first, i.e. do you start with all these loose bits and pieces that I seem to collect and then pick up on one or two and start from there?  My creative writing course so far has only reuired ‘set’ pieces, e.g.write 300 words about a character, present tense, in a particular situation.  So you pick on someone you’ve seen in a train, in a meeting, in a shop and elaborate – that’s pure fiction.  On the other hand you can pick on something in your own history, yourself, a member of your family, but then it becomes much more like (auto)biography.  What do writers really do?  My guess is that it’s probably a bit of both.  My stories for my granddaughter will have to be quite autobiographical, that was always the purpose and I guess that a blog is as good a place as any to do that.  In short bursts.

 Another blog provides advice on blogging: do it every day to get into the habit. That’s a task and a half in itself!  But I will try, cannot promise a daily blog though but will try and provide musings a bit more often than I have done.  Until I go on holiday of course at the end of the week, when all will stop for a fortnight as I don’t expect to have internet access where I’m going!



  1. Um. Just thought I should clarify that my goal is actually a mere 2,000 words each day through the end of June. The 30,000 mentioned on my blog is where I should have been by the end of the day on Friday, and not a single day’s output. I doubt even the truly prolific (like Stephen King) can manage more than may 10,000 words on a good day.

    Thanks for stopping by, and best of luck in your writing pursuits. Write something everyday is the key, just to keep your fingers limber while you figure out the rest.

  2. That does make so much more sense… I was getting worried a bit there.. must have been the early morning ‘dream’ state. thanks for looking in and putting me straight!

  3. In my opinion the number of words you write is not important, what is really important is the meaning you give to those words. You have read many quotes from writers which despite the number of words used in uttering them, always very few, have meant a lot more than an extensive essay.

    Depicting an idea by writing it concisely is something not every author has the luck to do.

    I read you because I find what you write interesting and entertaining.

    I beg to transcribe here a quote from Kurt Vonnegut, who has become one of my preferred authors:

    “I wanted all things to seem to make some sense, so we could all be happy, yes, instead of tense. And I made up lies, so they all fit nice, and I made this sad world a paradise.”

    However, being marked by a difference is what makes an author an author.

    Keep at it, seachanges.

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