There’s nothing like a deadline to get things moving.
I’ve managed to not only write a short article for the local paper but to also come up with an idea for a column (this submission being the first in the series) with which I can continue to submit. I think the idea will be good for at least a year and it’s valuable experience too. The editor is a lovely bloke who’s very helpful and encouraging and is happy for me to cut my teeth in his paper. It goes to print next week, the deadline is this Wednesday, and I sent my copy off on Saturday. (Insert small pat on the back here.)
In the past few weeks while I’ve been missing in action, I also caught up with a helpful young woman with whom I workshopped a couple of my short story ideas/fragments that I’ve got burbling away, being part of my new year’s resolutions to pursue my writing. She gave me some useful insights into my strengths as a writer (atmosphere, it seems, and physical palpability are my forte) and also what I need to work on more (developing characters) and how that basic weakness is what is stalling my writing to a large degree.
And speaking of degrees: I’ve enrolled in an associate degree of creative writing at my local university, which is something I’ve tossed up over doing for about 20 years now, so I figure it’s time. Like all good decisions, the actual making and doing of it transpired very quickly, and it took a matter of mere days to change the direction of my life once again. Or rather, to point the arrow firmly in the right direction at last. The first unit that I’m enrolled in is Short Story writing, which is right where I’m at.
To coincide with all of these changes: my computer developed dementia over the past month or so, so next week I’m buying a new one, which unplugs a lot of stuck energy on the writing front, with updated software, and reinstated reliability. So Scrivener is on the list of things to buy asap to get me really rolling forward. I’ve also applied for a job as a personal assistant/jack-of-all-trades to a journalist/photographer couple, which is very part-time but offers an opportunity to learn lots on the ground and to update my media skills, which are at this point still quite limited.
There’s a few big changes going on personally too.
My husband changed his career direction and instead of pursuing a science career has gone straight out of left field into pursuing a media degree (after quite a few wrestles with hating the dryness of science) which is incidentally what prompted me to finally enrol in uni myself. I never even realised that I was looking for a team mate, that as a writer I was lonely, and it has renewed my vigour and passion enormously to know that there’s someone in it with me now.
His grandfather was a writer (science fiction, and published, multiple times) so it’s not that great of a leap of imagination and when I look at his aptitude with words and language and his graceful adaption of academic writing in a second language, it makes perfect sense. I had no idea that I married a writer! One of the joys of marriage, the quiet discoveries one makes along the way…
Lastly, I had my final operation on my leg, having broken it skiing last year, to remove the tibular nail, and next week, now that all of the big medical procedures are over… we’re embarking on having a baby.
Wowee. Life just rolls along sometimes, and then other times it fairly cracks along at a jaw-dropping pace.
Meanwhile, as the Brits said during the Blitz – “Carry on!”