Looking back from the end of this writing year, I’ve been able to identify a major longing in my writing pursuit–regularity. Of all the things I need most in my writing, it’s increased discipline, some kind of structure, some notion of daily, loving attention to what I’ve written in order to fulfill it.
Of course, there are reasons for the lack of attention to stories and tales that have come out of a very creative year (Mom’s cancer, a more intense work schedule at the part-time consulting, Becky’s back-cracking fall from the horse). But no excuses. You see, even MINUTES dedicated per day to the writing passion is still, regardless of quantity, discipline.
I’ve known this. I’ve lived long enough to learn this. It’s just that I need reminding. The 12×12 Challenge has been a continual reminder, but as a last-minute person, I’ve missed having a few complete drafts this year. Recently PiBoIdMo reminded me. Thirty picture-book ideas in thirty days. The writing community at large encourages a focus on the whole writing effort.
But now, a new opportunity appears. ReviMo. This challenge seems to aim right at the heart of my writing weakness, and I’m excited to be participating. Meg Miller is offering between January 12-18, 2014, this seven-day (very do-able) intensive (sharp-focused) personal dare to revise selected writing drafts that are in danger of melting away from memory or molding on the dingy bookshelves of my mind.
You know how they say in relationships opposites attract? Good couples complement one another? What’s that romantic saying that sums up your love for someone? Oh yeah…”You complete me.
Creativity needs a partner, and the best candidate, I think, is Discipline. I think that ReviMo can do a little match-making in my writing world.
It’s just me…and All Y’all.
The chance to express myself and tell others about my life has prompted me to think a lot in the last week about the ‘community’ writers share.
The camaraderie there is priceless, not to mention free access to our words and stories. I’ve learned so much, and what I’ve learned is much more valuable and meaningful because it comes from friendships. Not just ‘virtual’ friendships. That’s the magic and beauty of places like Poetic Bloomings, 12×12, Writer’s Retreat, and critique groups.
Social media affords us the connection, but I think writer’s groups are different that most social media groups. In our groups, as writers, we are constantly striving to let ourselves out, to expose our imaginations, ideas, and dreams to one another–through our writing.
People on ordinary social media may comment, but we connect.
They may like, but we listen.
They may friend, but we relate.
We do it all around the passion that drives our community.
We know that to write is “to live outside of ourselves,” and that is wonderfully satisfying.
For both the writer…and the reader.
And the friend.
I hope you have writing communities of your own, in which you can learn, grow, and live.
Anticipation. What a feeling! I’m ready to turn on the switch in November for Tara Lazar’s PiBoIdMo 2013...a month of picture book ideas that carries me into a frenzy of bright creativity, with some discouraging duds that will never really inhabit a pixel, some brilliant ideas that will flourish into a full-fun story.
Daily encouragement by illustrators, authors, and other participants brings light to the writer’s brain. M y last year’s 30 ideas have produced at least half a dozen picture books to date, and I’m still referring to that collection of new-book-idea notions.
Tara shines…it’s the fifth year for this event, and who knows what great stories will brighten kids eyes because of her passion for helping other writers.
Find out more at Tara Lazar’s site.
If you don’t know about Cybils, then check it out. All year, since October 16th of 2012, there have been wonderful books and apps coming out for children and young adults that are worthy of recognition. At Cybils–Children and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Awards–a host of judges who run blogs about kid-lit will review hundreds of nominations from the public to award well-deserved recognition for contributions to children’s literature.
You can follow at the Cybils website by subscription and receive emails that update you on the competition. I am following the process so that I can become more aware of the trends and far-reaching impact of works for children in today’s reading world.
Some of my writing friends and acquaintances are some of the judges this year, and I’ll especially be following their reviews and comments as the process continues. There’s Ed DeCaria (Think Kid Think), Renee LaTulippe (No Water River), Carol Munro (Just Write Words).
The categories in which awards are made are:
Easy Readers/Early Chapter Books
Fiction Picture Books
Elementary/Middle- Grade Nonfiction (formerly Non-Fiction Picture Books)
Young Adult Nonfiction
Middle Grade Fiction
Young Adult Fiction
Elementary/Middle- Grade Speculative Fiction (formerly Fantasy and Science Fiction)
Young Adult Speculative Fiction (formerly Fantasy and Science Fiction)
Is revision a drag to you? It can be to me.
And ESPECIALLY the timing. It seems I have to be in a rare mood to revise. I suppose because writing feels best when it’s fresh, spontaneous, or prompted. Going back to “that old thing” you wrote last month, last week, last year…it just isn’t really “creative.” It’s like changing your oil or rotating tires. It’s like cleaning the toilet. It’s MAINTENANCE. Ughhh.
SO, I’m really looking forward to REVIMO! in January, 2014. Writer Meg Miller offers us a new challenge, and one I’ll need right after the holidays. It will be a great chance to restart my writing craft! Check it out and sign up for a reminder at … http://megmillerwrites.blogspot.com/2013/08/revimo.html .
If revision is a drag for you–and especially if it’s not–drag yourself over to Meg’s blog and sign up for a reminder to participate come the new year! There’s nothing like having fellow writers cheer you on as you change the oil or clean the toilet. It helps makes it a new and fresh experience…and how shiny that story will be when you get through!