Only So Many Hours – is re-writing, revising and editing really “working” on my art?

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Over the past weekend I went to a Business of Art workshop and one of the attendees on the first day was also a presenter, a musician named Jogo. One of his parting thoughts was that you should take at least one action every day that works on your art and one action to promote yourself.

I like this idea because as a full-time working mother there are not that many hours in the day for me. I can probably write a little something and do one thing that promotes it. The question is, is re-writing, revising and editing really working on my art? In one respect, of course it is, but I feel like I should be writing something new every day.

There was a time when I was able to do the morning pages every day that Julia Cameron recommends, three pages of long hand writing.  Even though they were most often venting or journal pages, I liked that three pages in the morning for my creative writing as well.

I know that James Lee Burke, who writes the Dave Robicheaux novels, writes at least 750 words every single day. I’ve heard other writers say that they set themselves a limit and they produce that much of new material every day.  Then the editing and the business aspects of being a writer can come later in the day. Of course, they’re working as a writer all day long while I’m spending my day driving to work, working, driving home and then taking care of a small child who demands my attention until very late at night.

So, I’d like to be creating, really creating new material every day. Even if it were just a line or two, but preferably somewhere around three pages. After three pages a day, the creativity in my writing dissipates.

Right now, asking myself to get up early enough to write before I go to work just does not seem to be feasible, but first thing in the morning is my best, most creative and energetic time for writing.  So, what do I do? My best idea so far is to write in my head on the drive in and either use a digital recorder or scribble it down when I get to work.  I don’t get a lot of really good lines that way though.

So, if I have limited time and I don’t create something new, is re-writing or editing “working on my art?” It doesn’t feel like it but I think I may have to accept that it is.

The one action for promotion is not so difficult. I do recognize that there is a very good cumulative effect. After the workshop, I ended up with a long list of actions to take. For instance, yesterday I pulled my short artist’s statement out of what I had written to get into that workshop. I edited it down to a paragraph and put it in my Facebook page. If I fill out one element on that Facebook page every day, within a week it will be done. Some of those same elements are going to go into my website. I’m already signed up with Weebly and bought my domain name so I can do that very soon.

In fact, I started to work on the Weebly page but I realized I need to get a visual image in my head and pick out the visual elements before I really create it. I know what I want for content on each page but I would like at least some of the images to be my own creation, photographs or drawings. Also, do I want the images to be different on each page or the same throughout the site?  I think that will be my task over the weekend or next week.

Is revising and editing working on my art? Yes, I think it is. Is it creating something new every day? It can be, but it doesn’t really feel like it.  I would really like to be creating something new, whether it’s a couple lines of poetry or a paragraph on a story. Today I will just keep my eyes open and see if anything occurs to me that I can scribble down.

I think this is probably a personal question with a personal answer.  How do you handle it?

(Please join me on my Facebook page, where I will be posting a daily note on something interesting or inspiring about writing or life in general. Just click here -> Melora Johnson’s Facebook page.)

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Changes are a-comin! The Business of Art, Writing Fellowship, a Facebook page and MY domain.

How fast can I write a blog post that’s interesting with links and good information?  Start timing – 7:48 am.

Okay,

(Excuse me, have to go peanut butter my raisin toast, back in a minute.)

As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted by the beaping of the toaster, (it’s a good thing I can still type with peanut butter toast in my mouth) lots of great things going on this week!

I went to submit my novel, Biomalware, to the James Jones Fellowship Contest last Friday and found out that they had pushed back the deadline two whole weeks!  There’s still time if you want to enter.  I’ve been slacking a bit but I worked on the book Friday and will continue to do so until the deadline comes back around.

I’ve been attending a Business of Art workshop at the Community Arts in Elmira in Upstate NY through the ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes and there’s been some really interesting info. shared. 

The workshop prompted me to go purchase my own domain name through https://www.godaddy.com/.  It was quick and easy.  It did start out being 9.99 for the year but then you add on the cost of keeping it private (so that your personal contact information isn’t used for registering the domain name so everybody can see it on the Internet) and the cost of registering a dot com and it quickly came up to about $23.00.  Still, a solid investment.  This blog will soon be www.melorajohnson.com

Anyway, I now have a Facebook page where I will be posting a daily note on something interesting or inspiring about writing or life in general.  Come like my page and I promise not to flood you with junk!  Just click here -> Melora Johnson’s Facebook page.

It was really easy.  I just went to my Facebook profile and clicked on “Add a page” down the left hand side.  They asked what type of page I wanted to create and let me upload a picture then I posted something on my new page and asked my personal friends to like it.  Woo hoo!

A couple things I found out yesterday about using Facebook to promote yourself or your business – the first time you post each day people will look but the second time your looks/likes will go down about 57%.  Also, once I have an event or book trailer, or something, to promote, I can do that through Facebook and pick the types of people I want to promote it to.  Cool! 

Okay, it is now 8:08 am.  I need to add a pic and go put something interesting on my new Facebook page.  Hope to see you there!

Oh, gotta eat that toast too.