Sunday, August 16, 2009


Okay, so there was NOTHING on the television the other night, even though we have like a billion channels, but, seriously folks, it was all cruddy. And, I felt like having something know how sometimes even if you don't really want to watch something, there are those times when you just want something good on. Maybe there's a positive energy thing there......I dunno.

Anyway, after great debate between Jimmy Neutron Boy Genius and Pirates of the Caribbean, POTC won out. Ahhhh, pirates..........*sigh* (except for the grunginess......ewww).

My favorite part deals with the Pirate's Code. "Well, they're really more like guidelines." And it started me thinking about my writing code. What IS a writing code, you ask?

Well, a writing code is that which you demand of yourself in order to make yourself feel like a writer. (Yes, jumbly sentence, I know.) In other words, it's the deal you make with yourself.......the sacred oath........the vow of whatever.......savvy?


1. Must write everyday. On real stuff (blog does not count).
2. Must complete at least one page per day on "pet project."*

Okay, pretty easy, no? And I think last year, I probably did it 360 out of 365 days. Not bad....for a pirate.

New one:

3. Once a week, must deal with the business end of things.......(keeping track of submissions, follow-up, e-mailing editor (not every week or Lucia would kill me!), re-sending.....all of the stuff I forget to do.)

That's all. Not anything lofty or earth shaking......but these are my pirate guidelines. They make me feel like a writer even more than looking at the bookshelf and seeing my books. The books are only the product. The writing is the process.

Life is all about the process.


*if you write 1 page a day for a year, you'll have a novel at the end of it! Seriously. Maybe two middle grades!


Kathryn Magendie said...

I am so chaotic it's a wonder I wrote any novels at all! Laughing...but, the the times I am least chaotic and jittery is when I am's what makes me feel evened out and normal...huhn!

Happy Writing!

storyqueen said...

I hear you! I think writing makes me a better person....well, not a better person than other people, but better than I would have been without it.


Stephanie Faris said...

Two middle grades! That's the first time I've felt like somebody else looked at things as I do. I can write one romance novel for Avon or I can write two young adult novels. It's the same either way. Sometimes I lose patience with the length of time it takes me to get from the beginning of one single title romance to the end! MONTHS.

Susan R. Mills said...

My goal is to write a chapter a week. I usually do it, and sometimes I even exceed that goal. That's not to say I don't sometimes end up deleting the entire thing because it stinks, but I feel good just because I wrote. If I'm really in a groove, I can knock out three chapters in a week. I love it when that happens. :)

Corey Schwartz said...

Wow! Good for you! (I count blog writing :)

Clementine said...

Great analogy! We visited the Pirate Soul Museum in Key West last week, so I'm all over the pirate thing. One thing that I would add to your list is think time. So much of my writing is a result of those moments that I'm thinking through the plot, characterization, etc... And those quiet moments are hard to find!

Tyler said...

Arggh, me booty be me pages of plunder I be writing when I get around to it!

A writer's code, I love it! This would be a fun list to continue to add to. Or, something individual that every writer can create for him/herself to keep on task.

Katie Anderson said...

cool! That's an inspiring code :-)

storyqueen said...

Stephanie-MONTHS is still way shorter than how long it takes me!

Lazy- Wow, a chapter a week. That's pretty good. I guess I could do that if my chapters were only 7 pages long....hehehe. Of course, I usually write picture books, which refuse to follow any pattern, the page a day is for longer stuff.

Corey- If I let myself count blogging.......sigh......would not get much done. (Actually, I am enjoying my last few weeks before school takes over and my blogging will suffer......sob)

Amy- Think time! I feel like Mick Jagger: "I can't get no, thinking time." (Yeah, you have to work the whole syllable/rhythm thing). I never get enough think time!

Tyler- Dang it! I forgot the word plunder when I was posting.......I knew there was more pirate lingo than I had included!

Katie- Thanks! And I mean that honor of Honesty Monday!

Wendabubble said...

Great advice thank you! One page a day yes we can all do that.

Process is what life is about mmm

Not sure about that. I read so many blogs on here that are talking about writing and becoming a writer and yet without an idea to write about you have nothing!

I believe that ideas are what life is about and the writing is just the process!!

Casey Something said...

I like the page a day goal! That's a good one.

I'd like to write and revise one novel a year. It's totally doable for me, if I can get a system down for revision.

storyqueen said...

Wend- hmm...interesting, I'll try to wrap my brain around that, but I am suffering from total mind-fry right now!

Casey-Yes, you can do it! When it was time to revise, I used a revision technique that I'll try and find the link for. It took me about a month to get the piece where I wanted it.....but it worked well.

lisa and laura said...

This is sort of like Fight Club for writers. The first rule of Fight Club is you do not talk about Fight Club...

The first rule of writer's club is that you have to um...write?

Kelly H-Y said...

Love, love, love this post ... what a great way to look at it! Your guidelines are great ... I'm so impressed you hit 360 out of 365 days!

storyqueen said...

L and L: What?? There is no Fight Club? Oops....I might have said something to someone....

Kelly: Yeah, I was kind of proud of myself, too....when I stop writing for a bit, it's amazing how quickly I completely forget what I was working on!