The Writer’s Life.

In the past three weeks, I’ve immersed myself into the world of writing again. It’s been refreshing and energizing being able to focus on what I want to be doing with this time on my hands.

Yesterday, I participated in the New York Writers’ Coalition‘s Write-A-Thon, where participants had to write 3,000 words in order to win the challenge. I only heard about the event the day before, but I decided that it would be something fun to do on a Saturday afternoon. 3,000 words is a small feat after all compared to NaNoWriMo‘s 50,000 words. My story went for a strange turn though as I typed along on my Neo Alphasmart; it was mainly a jumble of thoughts I had in my mind.
I finally got around to reading Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird this past month, and now I understand why other writers say it’s an essential book on writing. Lamott’s humor was nice to read since a lot of times self-help/how-to books can be a little dry. However, she sprinkles all her advice amidst her humor, which makes the book easy to follow somehow.
I’ve been collecting information for writing contests and submitting to literary magazines; the summer at least looks eventful in the writing aspect of my life. There are other things going on throughout the summer, but I will get through it all in one piece. Time continues to mystify me, but I can’t stop and ponder that thought too long; just keep moving on, enjoying the moment.

Resurfacing.

I was MIA this past month due to a slew of events: family visiting, new projects at work, and, simply, the continuing Writer’s Block. I didn’t complete Writo de Mayo again; I probably quit earlier this year than last year due to the unforeseen busy weeks in May.

However, this past week I have been trying to get myself back into writing again with some exercises from The Pocket Muse. It’s a good change of pace from reading all the reference/self-help books I’d read in the past month; after awhile, my mind turns to mush if I read too much of similar material. I need to get back to reading fiction again.

This next week, I anticipate finally printing out the first drafts of Novels 2 & 3, Dark Prayer’s Song and Time Abroad. I’ve also revisited my plot for Novel 1, Writing the Past, and realize that probably part of the reason why I’ve avoided revising the novel is because I’m still a little iffy over the restructured plot.

Slowly, but surely, things will get done.

End of the Poem-A-Day Challenge

Well, I managed to pull through the finish line by catching up on my log of poems last night. I wrote my last poem this morning, and felt a sense of accomplishment wash over me. Sure, most of the poems I wrote this month for the Poem-A-Day Challenge were really rough (I didn’t go back and revise any of them before I posted them on the Poetic Asides Blog), but just knowing I pulled through–it’s an accomplishment regardless. Just like the whole spirit of NaNoWriMo really, except, well, the rough drafts are shown to the writing world.

Here are a couple of my works-in-progress from the challenge; they’re from prompts for 1) writing a haiku, and 2) writing a sestina, respectively. On those days, we were to choose between two prompts: to either write in those styles, or write about them. I chose the second option for both days.

—————————————–

“How to say it?”
Pronunciation is the key
Hey, Ku,
No, no, HI Coo
Hay, Q?
No, not balloon.
Haiku.

—————————————–

“What?”
Honest to goodness
Call me ignorant, but yes
I don’t even know.

—————————————–

More or less, I found it ironic/amusing that I managed to write a haiku for the day I was supposed to write a sestina.

Well, it was at least fun to participate in the whole challenge, even if I did fall behind most of the time. Now, onto May and Writo de Mayo.

A Quiet Note (Nightmares, Catch-up, etc.)

Since Friday, I’ve been having nightmares, and I already know the reason why they’ve been occurring. A lot of things have been unsettling in my day-to-day life, and I’m under a considerable amount of stress trying to make decisions.

I fell behind on the whole Poem-A-Day Challenge this past week due to other things going on (excuses, excuses). Yesterday, I managed to catch up to Day 16; most of the poems have been tepid still, but just have to keep writing. I had also fell behind on my Cinnamon Juice Blog, but I caught up for the most part. Yesterday was the only day all weekend that I was able to sit down properly and write for quite a bit. I have a feeling days like yesterday may be far and few for awhile.

And that’s about it for now; April will wrap up in ten days, so I wonder if I’ll be ready for May’s challenges by the end of next week. These past two months have been difficult in terms of producing new stories/motivation for rewriting. But, can’t feel any regret from the “time lost”; just keep moving forward.

Craving spontaneity & Setting Goals

Today seems to be a day where routine is simply thrown out the window: I have a list of tasks that I’d like to complete for the day, but it seems I just don’t feel like doing it. During this whole past week, I’ve been feeling restless again and craving spontaneity.

I’ve also found myself crawling out of some dark mazes with renewed inspiration for writing ideas. Yesterday, while proctoring a test at work, I suddenly found a long-incubating idea sprout forth from my mind and furiously wrote down the whole thought. The incident made me realize that I should really bring a bigger notebook along with me from now on, for future moments like this one.

An hour ago, I caught up on this past week’s prompts from the Poem-A-Day Challenge. Poetry is one area of writing where I feel I may never truly excel in, but that doesn’t mean I can’t still write for the fun of it. Probably the whole point of the P-A-D Challenge is to hone my craft a little more, but I find that I’m just writing for the sake of writing. It’s that whole NaNoWriMo mindset–just get the words down. However, I have been posting my poems on each day’s thread at the challenge, so, unlike NaNoWriMo, I’m showing those rough drafts to the world. Raw, unfiltered poems: I suppose it’s my specialty.

Speaking of community challenges: I signed myself up for the 2nd annual Writo de Mayo over at the NaNoLJers community. What makes Writo de Mayo different from NaNoWriMo is that each participant sets his/her own goals for the month of May and strives to meet them for the month. I tried participating last year by attempting to finish Novel #2 that month; however, it was much harder for me to pull the motivation through the month since I didn’t have others posting their word counts, fueling me along. I still managed to make some progress on that novel, but not enough to finish it off that month. This year, I intend on completing Novel #4 in May and also pumping out 50 hours of rewriting for Novel #1 (which would have been an appropriate goal for last month, NaNoEdMo, had I not been so distracted by other things).

So there, I’ve set out my goals for all my blog visitors to read. Now I must follow through with these ambitions and put them into action in the coming weeks.