Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Year of Risk Update - #wordoftheyear

Here we are half-way through my Year of Risk.  My first time ever choosing a word of the year.  I entered a writing contest (and didn't win).  I applied for--and didn't get--an internship at a literary agency (that would have been so much fun!).  I applied for--and didn't get--a couple of other positions.  Then I posted a random complaint on Facebook about the difficulties of finding a job that let me avoid having to get before and after school care for my kids, and--ta-da!--a few weeks later I'm working basically full-time for an awesome boss doing interesting work, and not needing to pay for child care!  And now I'm busier than I've ever been in my life.  I've also said yes to some social situations that aren't exactly comfortable for an introvert like me.  I should probably have brought a friend to one or two of them, since I hate looking like a wallflower (which I am, of course).

It has, so far, been a year of risk-taking unlike any I've lived before it.  I don't do risk, generally.  I really like my comfort zone.  But what is interesting is that I'm also currently more fearful than ever before.  More introverted.  More awkward.  More doubtful of my abilities and talents.  Maybe pushing myself to jump in has made me more afraid.  This is the opposite of what I hoped would happen.

Usually I like going out to a house party, or other event.  I like being with people, as long as I know I'll have one or two people to talk to.  I like people-watching.  So why do I suddenly have a heart-racing, sweaty-palm reaction to the idea of going to an event?  Or at the idea of starting a conversation with one of the other soccer-moms lined up at the side of the weedy field?

In addition to the extra dose of anxiety, I'm also becoming discontented with that so very comfortable comfort zone.  Maybe I don't want to be the same as I've always been.  Maybe I want to change, even as I fear it?  I'm sure some famous somebody has said something about this paradox I find myself in.

image of alberta prairie field with cloudy blue sky




Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Right-Brain Writer

I have lived pretty much my whole life in the sphere of my right-brain.  Particularly when it comes to my writing.  I write to capture a feeling.  Such writing is pretty much always dependent on the illusive muse.  While such a state of flow is exhilarating, It does not naturally lend itself to finishing things.  Particularly long things like novels.

I tried NaNoWriMo for the first time this past November.  While it was a lot of fun, it was also really hard.  My best days were those in which I had previously thought out which scenes I needed to write, and had a rough plan for my writing time.  I still got to that fun place where the writing flowed, and I even got there faster!

Part of my risk-taking in 2017 will, I hope, be focused on developing and encouraging more left-brain analytical activities, which don't come naturally to me.  So I am giving an honest shot at serious outlining.  I've always loved planning.  But stories I've planned out never get beyond that stage.  And stories I haven't planned peter out by about 3000 words.  By combining the two--serious outlining, followed by a writing start date and maybe a NaNoWriMo-like sprint to finish the first draft--maybe I'll hit on the system that works for me.  It's worth a try!

If you're a writer, please share what works for you.  How do you get your writing done?  Outlining? Not outlining?

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Risk - #wordoftheyear


For the past couple of years, I've been feeling gentle but persistent nudges to move out of my comfort zone.  Mostly I've resisted, but the few times I have opened myself to something new and scary, It's been awesome.  So, for my first ever word of the year, I strongly feel I should embrace the concept of RISK.  Maybe it's time to stand up and jump out of the nest rather than waiting to be pushed.