Busy, busy, busy… in the best ways.
This is a quick note about how busy I’ve been, but not to complain. This very full day involved visiting with some long ago friends who had read about the book, meeting new folks who had read the book, catching up with current friends who wanted to toast the book and debrief about how things are going, and recording a radio interview about the book.
Good? Yes, and extremely fun, but also another day of NOT writing.
Between various meetings I actually jotted notes about a potential structure and time sequence for my soon-to-start-first-draft (she says) project. Minor victory, but FUN!
I was reminded, though, of how much fun sharing my writing efforts with critique partners is, has been, and always will be. We had been joined for a time by another writer seeking the support of an established group, and her contributions during this past year have been invaluable. They also served to help all of us “old-time” members to view our own responses and patterns through fresh eyes- a valuable nudge to our own readings and writings. Her own pursuits have pushed writing to the back burner for now, and she’s stepping away, but not without our thanks for all she brought to us.
A couple of members who have found themselves writing “other” material, or currently too overwhelmed with life’s demands to contribute their own work, have bowed out of submitting to us and/or critiquing. For now. Still, they stay in the loop to read our work, follow our writing paths with us, and know they are welcome to dive in whenever the opportunity arises.
What they give me as a writer isn’t just insight, wise advice, and necessary nudges from writers I respect. Reading their work ignites my mind in new places and new directions, pushing my own creative buttons. They remind me how much the process of rethinking and reworking my own writing is as much a joy as the inspirations, research, planning, or drafting
Speaking for myself, writing is not like making a garment by following a pre-fitted pattern and stitching on the dotted lines. It’s not like following a proven recipe to the letter. Both are satisfying and produce admirable results. But, if followed to the letter, both will produce results identical to what anyone else would produce, give or take a colored ribbon trim here or a garnish there.
Writing is much more like designing an entirely new garment, or creating an elegant new recipe. Trial and error come into play repeatedly, but the stronger one’s underlying craft is, the more likely those errors lead to trials that are progressively improving.
At least it SHOULD work that way, in perfect world. Sometimes those awesome critique partners also point out, in the most supportive way possible, that your successive efforts have taken a wrong turn.
And even that is FUN!
So here’s to getting that draft started, and sharing the efforts with my writing sisters, and then diving back in to try again.
And here’s to those writing sisters.
And to more fun, BUSY days like today, too!