I find that the world often works in wonderfully mysterious ways.
Having published my last post on the courage to want to write, I had two conversations this weekend.
One was with a fellow Psychology student on my course. We discussed how society dictates the “right way” to do everything – the linear career paths everyone expects us to take. I shared with her some of the wonderful comments I’ve had here in an attempt to quell her fears. There are wonderful people out here who are following their dreams (see this post for a list). And you’re an inspiration to us.
We talked about how we couldn’t do just one thing – there’s no one thing we’re good at or enjoy over others… something which has been bugging me since I looked into self-employment.
The second conversation was with an old friend who I used to write poetry with (back when I wrote around 25 poems a week). He’s been published in magazines and won an award for a short story and is now working on a 90,000-word manuscript. He then said it would be the manuscripts honour if I were to proof-read it, which gives me something to do over the summer.
He also asked to see some of my work, as I haven’t shared my poetry in a year or so, and offered to proof-read my NaNoWriMo novel for me. We then got talking about the competitions he’s entering and had a nice time researching some UK competitions. And upon a few days of thought, I realised something about how I act now.
Action Speaks Louder than Poetry
I barely write anymore. I used to write an average of 25 poems a week. I now write around one poem a month. How can I expect to feel comfortable/skilled at/enjoyment from something I never do anymore?
So… adding to my let’s-not-do-everything-at-once-because-it-never-works Slinky Summer Programme, I’ve added writing to the program. Oops.
However, it’s just one or two poems per month, which I’m kind of already doing.
I’ve saved some websites of poetry competitions in the UK, mainly those which end Jul-Oct as the June deadlines are a little close for comfort while I have exams. I guess it couldn’t hurt to get a few more things published [I’m in one anthology already] and have a possible poetry entry for a competition ending in July.
If anyone wants to offer a prompt to inspire me, please leave a note in the comments – most of the competitions have no prompt or a very loose one – and I don’t work without a prompt.
I was then reminded of the hundreds of stories I began when I was just 6 or 7; and of how I’ve always had at least one story on the go at a time… I thought of my failed attempts to write an e-book and came to a wonderfully sovereign compromise.
I’m being a little coy here for a reason, as I’ve got something in the works that I’m hoping to surprise you with in a couple of weeks. However, I can say that I’ve been editing my novel from November. At the time, I felt my ideas were almost plagiarised, my characters not developed enough (a common issue for my stories) and that the writing was of poor quality.
However, having left it well over 6 months since writing (or reading) it, I’m finding out that on this first edit, a lot of the plot is secure, and that having to churn out 1,700 words a day forced me to develop the characters quite fully. As a “winner” of NaNoWriMo 2009, I have a code to use, which runs out on 30th June and involves finishing a second draft of the story before that date.
It’s wonderfully exciting to have a 53,000 word manuscript that’s mine: that proves I COULD write a novel. And if I did manage to, I could earn money from it, even if it involves self-publishing, which links in a little with the whole self-employment possibility I mentioned earlier.
For now, I’m going to write, and to get back into daily ShivaNata; since I’ve neglected the practise. I had some amazing epiphanies relating to writing and careers, and I’ve now churned them around enough to be ready for the next ones.