This is the first installment of a new thing I’m trying out–rambly, chatty reports on my writing life. I’m hoping sharing what I’m doing will get me doing writing things more regularly.
So this is a little bit of two pieces of my writing life. Notebooks and writing practice.
Last year I decorated the cover of the composition book I was doing hand written exercises in, and I liked it so much I decided I need to do that for all of them. I decided to call them “Words” and number the volumes. It seems appropriate. I just started volume two a couple of weeks ago on my birthday.
I started Volume 2 at a writing group I participate in sporadically, PDX Writers (I started the last one at their Fall retreat last October–it’s becoming a tradition). I really love PDX Writers. Even if I only get to a Saturday workshop once a month, it’s a real touchstone in my writing life. It’s a place where I feel welcome, where people remember my name even when I’ve been away for a while. And most importantly it’s a place to share my words and hear everyone else’s words with no judgement, no pressure, nothing but words of encouragement. It’s fantastic.
The Saturday workshops are drop-ins–relaxed and rich with prompts and great readings. Today’s was extra special, though. PDX Writers bases their workshops and retreats on the Amherst Writers and Artists method, and today’s workshop was part of a fundraising event called Write Around the World. Amherst writing groups all around the world used the same prompts to do their writing today so we got to be part of a worldwide event.
One of the best things about going to a Saturday drop-in is that I always come away feeling excited about my writing. Tonight I’m writing about here to keep the enthusiasm going. Tomorrow, I am going to work on some NaNoWriMo planning, and that needs plenty of enthusiasm. And M&Ms. But mostly enthusiasm.
Yarn for knitting geekery
This week has been slow. Well, I’ve been slow. I am still obsessing over bullet journals and planners in general (check out the Passion Planner and Spark Notebook). I can fixate on planners and notebooks and pens and paper and office supplies forever. I love (oh, such a light little word) them ridiculously. And this time of year, nearly a new year, I get even more excited about planners and such.
I have resisted buying a planner (except for the UnCalendar which is a crazy flexible system) even though some of these look really good. I know from past experience that I don’t tend to use all of the sections in any specialty planner, and then I feel guilty because I spent a lot of money (because none of them are really cheap) and didn’t make good use of the thing. But you can do bullet journaling in any notebook, and the Passion Planner and Spark Notebook both offer downloads so I can just print out what I want to incorporate into my ever-evolving system and leave the rest on the computer. No waste of paper, no leaving lots of blank pages that make it look like I didn’t do anything for days or weeks or months.
My list of things I want to work on and give time and attention to is long and varied, though, so some sort of planner system would be really helpful (or so I tell myself, and I’m pretty sure it’s true and not just an excuse to buy more notebooks and pens and sticky notes). It’s funny (in that non-humorous way) how often and how completely I can forget to follow my own advice. I can coach others and then turn right around and forget everything I told them when I’m doing my own thing. I have found myself wanting a planner where I can incorporate more than just schedules and to-do lists. I have a nice set-up coming together, I think. I’ll write more about that here and on MuseCraft™ (my coaching site) in January, though, when I will have it all assembled and have bright, shiny pictures to share.
Um…I was supposed to do stuff, wasn’t I? I got lost in planner land. I’ve been thinking about my story planning a lot. I’m reading through Outlining Your Novel Workbook. (And really, I should have been done reading and heavily into the actual work by now–I’ve had it almost a month.) But I haven’t been writing, not plans nor writing practice. Something has to change. I need to get more specific. So for the coming week:
- Spend at least 15 minutes 4 times working on outlining/planning
- Spend at least 15 minutes 3 times doing writing practice
- Tweet when I finish each session (accountability!) using the #ROW80 hashtag
So what’s going on in your world? What are you fixated on? What are you doing or not doing?