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Answering My Own Questions

June 11, 2015

I’ve already had a couple of hours of productive work at the public library today.  This summer I made up my mind to spend at least two uninterrupted hours a day working on my writing, and I do that best somewhere away from my house, not because my husband is working there, but because of all the other things that beckon–laundry, dishes, cooking shows, books, magazines–nothing bad, but nothing that leads to successful writing.

Looking at the questions I posed in Part III this week, I realize my answers are likely to be indirect and ongoing. Since we all have limited time–even though we can’t see the finish line–I might as well write as if I want to get some projects accomplished.  What I’ve discovered by some of my reflection so far this month is that I start too many writing projects and finish too few, so I have decided I needed to pick one major project I want to complete and then some smaller, doable projects.

From my folders of work in progress, I decided to focus on a novel in progress. The story is based on an idea I had more than twenty years ago that has kept nagging me to write it. I’ve finished the first few chapters, but then I have other chapters from the middle of the story.

I also have a blog idea my sister and I are exploring, putting together the first several posts and thinking of ways to introduce it in a way that might get some attention. Finally, I have a gift project I mentioned earlier, and now that I have copied a few pertinent paragraphs from Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Buried Giant, I can start that too. That should be enough to keep me busy for awhile, right?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. sandyyoung75 permalink
    June 14, 2015 2:15 am

    You know where I live, Cuz, so you understand when I say that I wish I had a place that I could go to write in private. Yes, we have a library, and there are coffee shops in Santa Fe. My problem, as you know, is that these places are at least 25 miles from my home, and in this day of high gas prices, I really can’t afford the luxury of a private place. So . . . I just try to close my mind to everything around me when I write.

    What I’m about to post may be “pie in the sky,” but I’m going to try to achieve my goals . . .

    Looking Ahead

    As I sit here in our family room, the TV blaring away with nothing on it that I want to watch, I’m thinking about the remainder of June and all of July and ideas that I have in mind. I really do think that I’m the world’s worst at getting a focus “set in stone” for any writing that I want to do. My mind jumps from one thing to another, but I have a couple of long-range assignments for myself, and I’d like to tackle them in a serious way this summer. I’m just plain tired of talking about writing. I want to write!

    First of all, I want to use our class suggestions as journal writing. Maybe I can get dedicated to journal writing, never having been dedicated before. I’ve started journals so many times, only to desert my plan within a few weeks. These pieces probably won’t be anything that I’ll share unless something strikes my fancy so completely that I really develop the suggested writing. I’ll probably just write them on Penzu, my favorite place to save writing.

    I need an introduction to my book about Jay. I’ll be working on that and choosing some essays (I use that term loosely for want of a better one) that I’ve written through the years to include in my book. I’ll also be thinking about how to “publish.” This book will never be one that a publisher will look at, so I’ll either self publish or maybe just collect everything and take it to a printer here in Santa Fe to have it spirally bound for my own satisfaction, maybe giving a few copies away. I’m not a writer who feels that she has to be a true published author. I haven’t finished writing about Jay, so I’ll probably work on more stories about him to include. Of course, I’ll need a conclusion. I’ll, more than likely, be hollering for help in organization! This book will be my main focus, but I also have another in mind, and it’s begging me to get started.

    My childhood was different from that of many people since I was an only child and some people will see my growing up as Pollyannaish. I don’t have horrible stories to tell. I loved my parents, and we had a very close little family. So many published memoirs about childhood are almost horror stories about abuse from parents and siblings. A writer friend once told me that she’d love to read my book because everyone that she knows comes from dysfunction. Isn’t that sad? Anyway, I really want to concentrate on being an only child, but I’m afraid that that’s not what my story will wind up being; therefore, the title that I already have, Growing Up Only, probably won’t fit. I need what I tried for years to teach my students to have for their essays – a thesis! That’s not easy.

    I know that I can’t complete these projects that I’ve set for myself, but if I don’t tell someone about my plan, it surely won’t happen. Just like New Year’s Resolutions . . . you MUST tell people, even if you know you won’t be successful. And so, as my mother-in-law used to say, “There you have it!” Say some prayers for me that I’ll be at least partially successful, please.

  2. June 14, 2015 2:58 am

    Making a commitment in print is a good start!

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