What Will Float My Writing Boat in 2017?
My writing sunk in 2016.
I seemed to have dropped the ball long before the year ended. Or should I say dropped the oar. As far as writing goes.
I started out strong a year ago, joined 12×12 as a Silver member, was somewhat dutiful in Poets Garage critiques, and actually–thanks to a 2 week heavenly writing retreat at Writers Colony of Dairy Hollow–produced a new picture book in a series I’m doing. I even wrote and handmade two fiction storybooks for my granddaughter.
But sometime back in May my writing like began to take on water. I can’t seem to put my fingers now on just what went wrong then. Looking back it’s a fog. But my production slumped. Not a poem or story or even an idea came out of me. My most promising picture book project didn’t get any serious attention from me. In spite of inspiring webinars, I didn’t feel inspired. No ventures into real writing. Thus, no submitting to publishers or pursuing of agents.
I struggled to bail and row, without any real success. Only feeble attempts here and there.
At years end I had the chance for some real research … a keelboat trip down the Black River the week after Christmas. It was a dream of mine to experience some of the history I was writing about.
On day three, in a furious windswept and current-driven sweep around the outside of a high-bank river bend I hung onto the side of the cabin. I saw the bank approaching quickly from behind me and a snarl of a ragged incoming treetop ahead in our path. “Green hold, red ROW!” the helmsman hollered attempting to turn us back toward midstream. I prayed the limbs wouldn’t snatch me off the boat and hang me dangling above frigid rolling water as my peers disappeared downstream. The angry treetop raked across the cabin planks and grabbed at my back. And I wondered: Why am I not writing about this?
Survival, in life and writing, can be motivating.
Early in January I invested in 12×12 as a Gold member. I printed and signed a challenge from Pat Miller (my NF4NF leader) to set manageable goals for the month. Today I committed in writing to my Poets Garage promise in black and white (email). Tomorrow I am going to apply for the March Madness competition. I’ve scheduled a March trip for further research on my historical fiction work in progress.
And somehow I believe, along this journey, the spurring on I get from our community of writers will propel me thru my writing year–like wild 40 mph wind gusts and choppy rushing water carries a keelboat into adventures unknown and dreamed about.
So happy new year. May you retrieve all your oars and easily repair your broken rudders. And above all, hang on tight. I hope in your writing year you will find a crew like mine.