Sunday, 28 June 2009

This Year

I know that it is a little bit late for goal setting. Maybe I'll just call what I am about to do my mid-year direction correction. Not that cutesy little rhyming titles are really my thing, it just kind of happened like that.

Anyway. Ultimately it is still my goal to have something published by my 20th birthday. I could stretch that definition and say that I have already met it because of last year's achievements but I think that we all know what I meant when I set that goal. I will have a book in print by my 20th birthday.

On a smaller scale, my goals for this year are as follows:
To place in the KSP short fiction award for the second year in a row. First would be nice.

To enter the Peter Cowan awards and place or get commended.

To be published in a journal like Indigo.

Also, passing university would be nice, but considering that my results this last semester were straight Distinctions, I am not too worried about that. Looking back over my "i wont pass" whinge/posts I feel pretty silly. But thats great. It would be worse if i looked back at all these posts saying that I would do awesome after just having learned that I failed.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Learning Curve

I'm realising something about editing my own work. Actually, to be fair, I think I am realising something about myself.

As I reread what I wrote months and months ago, I find that my head goes to all sorts of weird places and remembers what I was reading at the time, who I was talking to, what was important to me. In chapter three alone, I already found references to T.S. Eliot, my wonderful student-engineer partner, my editor at the uni newspaper's editorial column. It's sporadic to say the least, but it's also wonderful. I don't think I've ever found such a clear insight into my own head. It feels like no matter who I try to be, the real me will always come out in my writing.

I have also learnt that I use too many commas. That's an inherited problem apparently.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

These are the Rules.

I hate the rules. I hate hate hate them. I hate that I can't read over my finished manuscript (That's right, I can call it finished for now) until at least a month has passed. I hate that I have to edit it at all. I hate that I can't feel proud anymore because the honeymoon period is over already. I hate hate hate that the only person who really hasn't tired of me asking for their help lives in Gidgegannup where I can't have face to face contact. I hate that I can't draw well enough to play around with how my characters might look. I hate that all my facts are probably wrong. I hate that I can't find a nice leather file nice enough to display all my writing stuff in. I hate that when I found a file I thought would be good enough, it only held 10 pages. I hate that this could be as far as I get. I hate that I am thinking like this.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

The Silliest Things Inspire Me

I write to a schedule now. It kind of works. Kills the whole image of a tortured writer who runs on no sleep and too much coffee, but hey I love sleep and I have swapped coffee for hot chocolate this winter anyway (I'm short enough). Writing time happens every day at least between 11 am and 1 pm before I break for lunch. Sometimes I feel like I am on such a roll that I even come back after eating something and bust out another section. I have never felt so good about myself, although I am fairly sure I said that about working out and that lasted all of a week. Anyway, I thought I would share some of the silly things that I have done so far that inspire me.

1) Watching One Tree Hill on Dvd. There's a character in that who's a published author in the most recent series I own on Dvd and he's got an editor and an advance to write a second book, which makes me jealous. Powerful motivator is jealousy. And yes, I know I am a sap for watching teen drama. But I love it so lay off.

2) Watching video clips on youtube for a laugh. Today I asked a friend of mine if he would brainstorm with me about being on a boat back from singapore in 1943 and he quoted me some of "I'm on a Boat" by the lonely island. Instead of writing, I watched that video for a while and it made me laugh, which took the edge off. I was in a less stressful place. Plus I laughed so hard that i sent him a typo riddled instant message that said Oat instead of Boat, and we ended up making up a pitch for advertising explicit brandnames of porridge.

3) Playing with my dog. That one's simple. Exercise gives you endorphins.

4) Watching the news. Weird stuff happens out there in the great big world. Makes you believe anything is possible.

5) Emails from my Dad. He sent me this email yesterday while he was supposed to be working, all about the Use and Abuse of similes. The fact that he read it and thought of me and my writing made me smile, because sometimes, all I need is support from a new direction. I know he always supports me, but showing it at an unexpected time with that email was the push I needed. (So thanks Dad.)

Anyway, that about wraps it up. The countdown to finishing is pretty much on. It could be any day now, all I need is a satisfying way to wrap it all up. If only I could stick to a plan, I wouldn't be writing blind right now. Oh well, the characters know what they're doing. I hope.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Everyone is Writing But Me...

I thought that when I started University I would have more time and possibly more reason to write. After all, I'm doing a degree in writing. I'm devoting my life to writing; I should be able to string a few words together into a few sentences that I am happy with. So I guess it won't surprise anybody if I say that I am stuck again.

I think what really makes it worse is that I have been surrounded, constantly, by these people who love to write, who aren't plagued by their own mindblocks. I know someone who is committing herself to write 5000 words a day for a month. If that's not confidence in her ability to write, I don't know what is. Last time I sat down to write, I got 141 words done before I faltered. That was much earlier this week.

I know people who can sit through a crowded lecture and just write. Even though the teacher is blabbing on about Baudrillard, even though the room is full of people whispering, even though she's getting about a text message a minute, she's still filling page after page in her notebook with fantastic stuff.

So maybe that's my problem right there. I'm not focussed, and I'm certainly not zen about the whole thing.

Hopefully things will turn around over my massive mid year holiday from school. If not, I suppose I could always work at K Mart.