My local writing group hosted a writing day last Saturday. A few who came, once everyone got over seeing each other again after months, had what they described as “breakthrough” days. They’d been stuck and after settling down to work had sudden insights about where to take their stories.
None of us is without competition for our time. We have kids, jobs, illnesses, the gamut of life challenges that keep us from spending time with our words. But Saturday we got to put those behind us for a few hours and get some creative work done.
Personally, I was able to sort through last year’s NaNo novel, which has in the intervening months, become two novels.
Over lunch, a few of us tuned in to Jane Cleland’s We’re All in It Together writing seminar. An award-winning author of fiction and non-fiction who is on the faculty of CUNY, she started doing online monthly talks in April 2020 after her in-person events were cancelled. She’s continued every month since then. Each talk centers around one aspect of writing. The one we listened to focused on “whispering” to build suspense. Next month is titled “Writing Crime Fiction: Even When You’re Not.”. I plan to be there.
Believe it or not, I’ve actually been doing some writing in the last few months. Just not here.
But I’m excited to be devoting a couple of days a week to my own writing projects. And I’ve been working on sharpening my skills when it comes to writing fiction. For the last few years, about the only time I’ve been able to eke out has been in November for NaNoWriMo — National Novel Writing Month. But I haven’t been able to manage the follow-up time to edit my rough first drafts.
Now I’m hiring myself as a part-time novelist, potentially starving artist. I figure the continuing need to make some money will help motivate me to stay on track.. Fingers crossed.
In the meantime, I’m still (well, more like finally) trying to figure out how to incorporate my book reviews into this blog. And I do like sharing tips from other writers, so I hope to write a few posts on that topic up from time to time.
I also plan to set some weekly goals. This week I’ll be preparing for a local writing day with my writing group and some friends. About a dozen of us will be set up in a lake-side lodge for a binge writing spree. I know which novel I want to work on, so my goal this week is to plan some scenes.
Ok, we’re almost to the end of January and this greeting is a bit late. But I’ve been away from this blog for a while and it is a new year. I’ll blame COVID even though my writing lacuna has been much longer than that.
And, like the snow and icicles hanging from the roof of my house, I’m ready to unfreeze and spill over.
I’ve actually posted on another blog (or two) in the intervening time, but I’m ready to come back to this one. And to figure out how to combine it with a book review blog I’ve been semi-active on. (That could take a bit of time.)
In the interim, I have managed to draft a few novels. My goal is to revise and, eventually, get them published.
Some of the things — other than my day job — that I’ve been working on is improving my drafts by attending some great writing seminars. The free and inexpensive ones online since COVID have been great. And the ones I made it to PC (Pre-COVID) were both informative and fun. I’ve actually met some of my favorite writers at them.
But I plan to restart this blog as a way of sharing a bit of what I’ve been reading (hence the yet-to-be-accomplished merger with my book review blog) and what I’ve been learning.
I won’t promise daily posts. This started as a daily writing tip blog years ago. But I will make sure to get something up at least every couple of weeks. I need to have a place to record notes.
A co-worker periodically rails against the bad writing she she sees in documents that cross her desk. Then we commiserate about failings in writing education. Here’s an article from the New York Times about efforts to improve writing education.
Sitting in an In Print writer’s group meeting this afternoon, I heard our speaker Don Gingold of Sprocket Websites talked about marketing. One of the sites he referred to included this article about moderation.
Practicing Moderation with Your Marketing (and Why It Matters) | Social Media Today
It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything on my blog. It’s been an incredibly busy time.
But I need to finish a project and I’m using the boost of January: Our Writing Month to do it. Feel free to join me. It’s a low-profile writing marathon for those of us who don’t have time for extra projects (like the venerable NaNoWriMo) during the holidays.