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Archive for September 19th, 2011

I’ve officially called it quits on September’s effort. I’ve made no head way in so long that I can’t keep up the pretense of working on this month’s selection. Can I just say that writing that sentence is as liberating as quitting your job on the spot then leaving? It’s so liberating! What have I learned from this month’s non-success?

1. Not everything can succeed. I’m one of those people who is always living in the future and thinking of multiple projects or directions to head in. School was a smorgasboard of options and real-life has paths that I never dreamed of considering when I was growing up. unfortunately, there will be times when something you set out to do will not be met with the success you so optimistically envisioned. That’s okay. On to the next great opportunity!

2. Balance is the key that keeps you locked out of a padded room. I had a touch of the crazies when I started but that doesn’t mean I want to permanently take up residence. As much as I love, love, love writing, I’ve rediscovered that I can’t live my life if it just revolves around it. Getting out and socializing is critical to my mental health, physical well being and potentially my love life (you never know…). If my writing becomes a true second job then the joy I’ve derived from it for the first two months will slowly be eaten away.

3. My muse is surprisingly fragile.¬†Perhaps the shock of that realization is because the source of my creativity isn’t physical. It’s been active for so long and has been allowed to spread out into new areas that I started taking it’s prodigious output for granted. There will always be a point at which it can no longer function and needs to recuperate. It’s so important to watch for those signs.

4. Some genres are more structured than others. As I mentioned earlier in the month, I figured out that the problems I’ve been having with the hard boiled crime is that the genre is too structured and limited. My style is just too different from the voice required to authentically capture the essence of this story.

5. It’s okay to say that you have no interest in a particular genre. Would I like to be able to say I wrote a HBC novel? Most definitely. But it won’t kill me that I can’t. There’s some fundamental thing about it that just doesn’t jive with me. I thought I’d take this month to do my research but I can’t even bring myself to pick up the HBC novel I rented from the library. That should be sending huge warning flags to my creative centre that this will probably never be an area that I will have any success in. It’s a little sad until I think “that means there’s more time for the genres that I DO love to work with!”

6. Live in the present and enjoy each day for what it offers. It’s so easy to get bogged down with your day, week, month, year, etc. that the future looks so appealing or the next project will eliminate the struggles you’re going through now. It may work like that but at the same time the struggles that are unfolding may be the most important times for you to learn bout yourself and grow. Yes I’m itching to move on and get to the horror but I promised myself that I’ll start each story on the first of the month so I have 11 days left to go. In those 11 days I’ll be resting and gearing up for another marathon of writing and creating.

7. Look on the bright side- if something doesn’t work out, the next opportunity waiting might be perfect fit. Sometimes our strengths and weaknesses come as complete shocks to us. I thought I wouldn’t finish the Western but I did- and I REALLY enjoy it! I also thought that the HBC would be a breeze and I’d absolutely love it. How wrong I was! You can guess how you’ll manage with a task but never assume you can predict the outcome because you may surprise yourself along the way. After these 3 months, I can no longer guess what the year will look like come July 1st. Maybe I’ll discover I have a real talent for horror or perhaps serious fiction is my forte. I already know that writing romantic scenes are difficult (how many different ways can you describe things that have been written about ad nauseum?).

September has been an extremely important month for me. I’m so grateful for all my WordPress friends and cheerleaders (you know who you are!) and my family and in-person friends and the support and encouragement they’ve given me so far. I can’t wait to start on the horror story in October. Let’s see if I can give myself nightmares!

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