I’ve never been good about keeping a journal. It all boils down to consistency. There are days when I skip making an entry. Life can crowd out the time I need to write down my thoughts about a day’s events. I’ve also been reluctant to pose as an expert on the writing process. If I knew anything helpful about how to put words on paper in an interesting manner, my work would already be in print. I decided to place myself on a skinny limb of a tall in 2023 and attempt a writer’s journal. This task will be hard for me. I’m not too fond of hving the spotlight focused in my direction. That’s one of the reasons I chose to use a pen name when I started using social media. My 365 Days of Thankfulness in 2022 loosened me up because I shared the things I was grateful for daily. Therefore, I’ll start 2023 writer’s journal number 1 with Starting the Year Writing.
Note: I consider editing an important part of the writing process. Editing is where all the artistry happens.
The project I am working on now when I start my year writing.
I edited three short stories I added to Tecumseh City Limits today. This project started as a NaNoWriMo book four years ago. My muse prompted me to write a series of short stories that year. Word Daddy insisted that these stories were out there waiting for me to collect them. I spent September and October asking everyone I knew to tell me a narrative about their life. Before the first day of November, I had enough to sit down at the computer and start typing. I took the tales people told me, stretched the truth, and put the adventure in my fictional city of Tecumseh.
These short stories became the first entries I submitted to my writer’s group. I now have enough material to fill two books. I plan to edit both of them before the end of 2023. I’ve enjoyed working on this project. I am happy to start my year writing. I’m getting into the rhythm of doing morning pages again.
The book I am currently reading while I start my year reading.
I started my year reading The Dark Half by Stephen King. I was intrigued by this book when I read the author’s note at the beginning. It read like a dedication to Richard Bachman. That was the pen name King used when he wrote the Bachman books. He was outed by a bookstore clerk in 1985. The plot of The Dark Half centers on a writer’s pseudonym coming to life after the writer kills him. A fake funeral that the author and his wife attend. The event gets national publicity before George Stark crawls out of the pretend grave. He promptly starts killing everyone involved in his death. The last people standing are the author and his wife. That’s the point where I am now in the book.
I am intrigued by this story since I use a pen name, but I would never kill Molly. I like her too much. There is a certain muse I think about shooting sometimes. He can be a pest, especially when we disagree. I want to finish editing my short stories. Word Daddy insists I move on and write the book he’s been pushing on me before I started NaNoWriMo. I like to finish the things I start, but he insists he won’t keep plugging the idea into me forever. I think he’d been drinking again because he forgot everything he gave me was written down in my notebook.
The music I’m listening to while starting the year writing.
New Amsterdam by Counting Crow. I fell in love with this group because every one of their songs tells a story.
Grammar terms I am studying from the little blue box.
I found a little blue box filled with grammar terms I wrote on index cards. The study I did ten years ago was forgotten. My goal for 2023 is to review all English language punctuation and speech parts. I missed most of the essential parts of speech in grade school because of my dyslexia. A writer needs to know how grammar works. Words and how they fit together are important tools in the trade. Grammar is the brush strokes we apply to the canvas of our stories.
I started the year writing by reviewing quotation marks. I pulled the card from the box and started reading. We all know that quotation marks come in doubles and singles. I know how to use them in dialogue or when quoting what someone else has said, but I have forgotten a few things because they don’t apply very often. For instance, a single quotation mark should be used as a quote inside a quote. That makes sense, but how often does that happen?
I plan to review quotation marks again tomorrow. That’s all I have to contribute to Starting the Year writing today. I’ll see you again tomorrow.
Who is Molly Shea?
Molly Shea is an accomplished fictional short story writer from Indiana who writes short stories and novels about a fictional town called Tecumseh. To read more of her short stories and adventures, click here.
Be sure to follow Molly on Twitter!