Well, despite my plans to write a Sunday Summary every week, here is my first one since posting my 2018 goals and plans. Training for my trek in Nepal in April is actually taking up more time than I envisaged (I don’t know why I thought I’d have piles of free time!).
The plan I set out at the beginning of the month was to rotate by the month through three WIPs that I wanted to work on throughout the year. That lasted… a couple of weeks, while I read through previous drafts of the oldest of the three, Lessons Learned. When I actually sat down to write new words or plan a new version, I felt very stuck. I’m still feeling a bit uninspired on that front.
Then I meandered for a week or so, telling myself I should pick up one of the other stories I want to work on. But I didn’t. I wrote this short story, and felt okay about it, but didn’t feel it was my best work.
And then, towards the end of last week, two of my friends had stories accepted into an upcoming anthology. I think this must have inspired me or something, because I went looking for some short story prompts. I found two that have somehow fired up my imagination in a way it hasn’t been fired up for a while. Suddenly, writing was exciting again. I pulled out a new notebook (annoyingly, the one I was using at the end of last year seems to have gone astray so I had to start a new one even though that one wasn’t full) and I was writing on the bus, on my lunch break and during meetings. Reading was being put off for writing, and writing didn’t feel like an obligation. It is so nice to feel that way again, even if it’s not on one of my bigger WIPs.The three or four measly writing hours I had managed to accumlate in the first half of the month nearly doubled just this week alone.
In other feel-good writing news, last September I did a workshop with local-but-internationally-recognised horror author Kaaron Warren during the Canberra Writers’ Festival. I talked about it here. Fast forward to last Wednesday, when me and my partner went to talk given by Kaaron and the head of Humanities at ANU, Professor William Christie, about Frankenstein, which is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year. When we first got there, I made eye contact with Kaaron and she asked me how I was, but as I said to my partner, “I’m sure she’s asking everybody how they are and she doesn’t actually remember me from that one workshop I did with her months ago.”
After the talk was done, I asked her the title of the upcoming anthology that she’s included in so I could watch out for it. After expressing some mutual excitement that it will be released quite soon and it sounds quite awesome, she then said to me, “And how’s your writing going?” I was taken by surprise but gave her a quick summary of the writing progress I’ve talked about in this post. She was so encouraging, and assured me that sometimes it’s good to work on short pieces and take a break from longer WIPs. In the long run, she said, it will make you excited about the bigger projects again.
While I’m sure she doesn’t remember my name, the fact that she recognised me at all totally made my day. 😍😍😍 I hope one day I might be able to do the same for an up-and-coming author.
That’s been my week, or my month, really. How has your writing been going?