Gay Degani had a great post up on writing process this week at the Flash Fiction Chronicles. It’s a nice take on a subject I’ve been on about recently, and includes a useful revision checklist. Degani also references the theory that becoming an expert is largely a result of time spent. I’ve always found that idea reassuring.
Off and on, I’ve considered tracking the hours I spend writing, with a progress bar toward that 10,000 hours that will supposedly make me an “expert.” The idea of “becoming a writer” can be overwhelming, and one trick that works for me is to distract myself with math. Instead of working on finishing a novel, I focus on writing 10 minutes a day, for example. I laid out other ways that I distract myself with math in the post I referenced above. I can’t remember where I heard this, but I read about one writer whose goal was to get a certain number of rejections each year–a brilliant way of distracting oneself with math that I keep meaning to try. Math goals are much easier for my brain to handle than more nebulous and more important-sounding (and therefore more frightening) goals. It’s easy to choose math goals that will shape me toward those bigger goals.
The 10,000-hours-to-expert goal is sort of the supreme example of distraction with math, and I think a valuable one. (I’ve now finished this post, and have successfully suppressed the urge to include a trademark symbol after the phrase “distract myself with math.” Be proud of me.)