Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Don't Quit Your Day Job

Creating and Going It Alone

A new year comes with new writing resolutions. I never get done as much as I would like, so I’m trying to convince myself that I made great strides in 2008. I actually did. Right now, I have two pieces out in the world. Even if they get rejected, it means I’m “in the game.” I took a couple of useful classes and joined a writing group. These all helped me to write more and to slowly visualize myself as, what I consider to be, a real writer. Of course my goals for the new year are to step up my game even more. Early changes to my game plan will definitely make this year different from 2008.
Like all Americans, I had to reassess my finances and taking classes of any kind might need to go on the back burner. I decided that my money would be better spent purchasing a computer notebook. These are much smaller than laptops and basically half the price. I can save time by no longer writing in long hand only to transcribe it later. Also, sometimes my high school aged daughter could use the laptop. This helps justify my purchase. I still feel guilty about buying it, but I hope to parlay the guilt in the way of forced writing. Every time I use it, I lend credence to its necessity in my life. Hey, whatever keeps me writing!

I also received an e-mail that my writing group officially has disbanded. I’m not surprised. I worry, though, about losing their feedback and support. A couple of years ago, I would’ve cringed at the thought of reading my works in progress to strangers. I was surprised to learn how much being in a group taught me about giving and receiving feedback. Unfortunately, I got quite used to bouncing ideas around and finding out if something I wrote “read well”.

Looking for a new group is of course the most likely option, yet I feel like maybe I’ve acquired enough new skills and experiences to maybe just “go it alone” this year. Maybe I could use 2009 to get it all out, go totally gangbusters and let all the stories in my head spill out. Sometimes the meetings and classes can actually get in the way of creating. The inspiration and tips can be great, but there’s no substitute for “butt in the chair”.

I have to believe that I finally have enough information to go it alone for awhile. I have made some great friends and contacts that if I really needed some support or an exchange of ideas, I could conjure up someone.

It’s time to retreat to the cave. Taking all that I’ve learned over the last couple of years and seeing what I can turn it into should be an exciting challenge. My hope is to emerge with a body of work that I feel finally shows my voice as a writer. To keep pushing myself to write when I’m not meeting my group, or finish an essay when I don’t need to turn it in for a class, is definitely a challenge for me. I need to keep producing solely for my personal benefit. This year, no one is looking over my shoulder. Wish me luck.


Lois J. de Vries said...

Every creative person needs to respect her tools. And we should buy the best tools we can afford. Don't short-change yourself by feeling guilty.

Morgan Mandel said...

I splurged on new computers before they all went to Vista, because I was running out of room and it took forever to get things up on the screen.

I don't regret spending the money on them, especially since I can write off the purchases on my income tax.

Morgan Mandel

austere said...

I'm on IWW and find it very useful, given my Indian (as in Asian) voice. The practice drill is a great way to get started on new ideas.

Would you feel let down if you brought a solidly good ink pen, great tip, confident grip and all? No? Likewise, then.