A few weeks ago I read a post over at The Figment about the in-between of writing.. I highly encourage you to read that post, because I think reflecting on the “in-between” can apply to a lot more than just writing.
And at the end of July I decided that I’d probably turn these month-end “ruminations” posts into writing updates, since I really liked how that went and since it’s a big part of my life that I’d like to make bigger.
So here is my in-between as a writer:
1 // I’m currently working on finding my writing rhythm.
Back in high school I wrote constantly. At night, on weekends, during class. I was quite prolific and I have a large collection of crappy stories to show for it, but I learned a lot about writing during that time. There are also some short stories in that mix that I really love and I’m thinking about pulling them out again. I also wrote one really bad book that will never see the light of day again and started working on a book that I finished shortly after I graduated.
After high school, college happened. I was also working a part-time job where I regularly received close to full-time hours so I’d make a pot of coffee at 9pm on a Friday night and write, write, write until 3am. I did the same thing on breaks and I can’t even tell you how much I loved those late-night writing sessions. I wrote a couple of short stories that I love, have a lot of “starts” to short stories and novels. I wrote a poetry chapbook and started working on a book that I finished shortly after I graduated.
(And now I’m reflecting on the fact that I finished two books shortly after I graduated. Maybe I should go to grad school. Just kidding. Kind of.)
After college, I started working full-time. I was once told that I should never stop writing, because (coming from her own experience) if I did I probably wouldn’t start again. That always stayed with me, so when I started my “real” job I pushed myself not to let my writing fall by the wayside. I also started blogging, so I knew I had to find a balance. And I did. I had a schedule for blogging on certain days and writing on other days. (I should probably note that even though blogging is writing, in my mind they are two different things and blogging does not equal writing for me. Writing is working on fiction and poetry.)
And then I started working at the school where I am now. For the first year writing took a backseat. It needed to. I found that I had been reading so much about writing and publishing that it wasn’t fun anymore. It was actually creating a ton of anxiety for me. My writing break was forced because of a hectic and overwhelming first year in a new job but it was such a good thing for me. I didn’t feel bad about not writing, because I just didn’t have the energy for it. And after that first year, I found that I wanted to write again. It started small, with short stories (including one that got published) and started branching out into trying my hand a few of the novel ideas that I had.
So that’s where I am. Finding my writing rhythm to see how best to incorporate writing into my day-to-day life.
2 // Drafting and editing.
In terms of projects my current in-between looks like this:
>> WAIL is a novel idea that I’ve had for quite awhile. Before I started the job I’m in now I took an online writing class taught by Carolyn Turgeon on adding more detail. Something that I know about myself as a writer is that I am always so excited to share the story that I don’t add as much detail as I should sometimes. It’s something I always look out for as I’m drafting and editing. So, I took this class with Carolyn Turgeon and I wrote a piece for one of our assignments that I loved. And Carolyn Turgeon responded so well to it too! That was really exciting and I’ve always wanted to write the story that the scene is for. My mom also read it and has been encouraging me to write that book, too.
>> TPD 2 is a novel that I just need to write for me. I absolutely love it! It’s not my main focus, but it’s one that I work on when I can and I enjoy every minute of it.
>> Editing two short stories. I have someone reading these right now, but I’ve always loved working on short stories and it’s always fun to return to them if I haven’t focused on them for awhile. Both of these stories are ones that I love and feature characters that have a piece of my heart. One of them in particular… I always want to say that he’s my favorite character ever, but then I start to think of other characters in my stories that I also love. I don’t have favorites, but he’s definitely a special one.
>> Editing a poetry chapbook/illustrating it. That poetry chapbook I wrote in college? I feel like some of the poems still need work (which was totally okay…our teacher told us it would be fine if they weren’t all completely polished and finished…none of them were really rough drafts, but some need a little more attention). But I’ve also this idea that I’d like to publish the chapbook on my own, but I’d like it to be illustrated. I have a vision and I’m working on bringing that vision to life.
I think that’s all! That’s my in-between and what I’m working on.
Tell me about your in-between in whatever your passions and projects are.
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