Wake Up! It’s Spring!

One of my favorite things about spring is the promise of something new. My corner of the world wakes up from its long winter’s nap, stretches, and bursts forth in various shades of green, speckled with colorful, fragrant flowers. Like fall, it’s a season of change, and I sure do love a good change.

I mentioned before that I left my editor’s post at Sick Lit Magazine to focus more on my own writing, and part of that includes writing in this blog. I spent the morning reading through my last blog, and was hit with the realization that I used to be good at relaying my own life in a way that told a fairly interesting story. It was fun to find all of the typos that have lived out in the open because I refused to edit after the first draft of a post, opting instead to share the most pure version, dents, nicks, and all. What’s interesting, though, in hindsight, is that, as I wrote each of those posts, I thought “Man, I used to be good at this.” Something about being too close to the moment kept me from being able to see the value in my own writing, so I was often of the mind that blogging was a self-indulgent waste of my time. I have to keep this hindsight in the foresight because I’m still good at it, and it’s an important writing practice. I can’t let my insecurity keep me from writing purely.

Speaking of writing, I set myself the goal last Friday of finishing the rough draft of a short story I began in February, before I started at Sick Lit. The story, inspired by the “It Began in an Elevator” theme the magazine had last year, started out as an explanation of what happens between the 12th and 14th floors, and was thus named “13th Floor.” After finishing the story, and realizing how little the floor itself matters to the story, it has been renamed “Department of Wrong Turns,” and is now a story about what happens when one woman is summoned to the DWT. It feels good to have another short story out of my brain and onto paper, but now comes the revision and editing and, well, that’s not as much fun.

So, I’ve set another Friday goal for myself tomorrow! I have another full day to do nothing but write, so I’m committing myself to finishing another short story I shelved months ago, “Bet You a Kiss.” I have a considerable amount more work to do on that story than I did “Department of Wrong Turns” so having it finished may be a bit of a stretch, but I’m up for it, so stretch I shall! If all goes well, the focus on a new project will help scrub “Department of Wrong Turns” from my brain so that I can come back in another week or so with fresh eyes to edit.

From there, I’m not sure where I’ll be going. I have a third short story, “Port Starboard,” that I would like to completely start over with a whole new rough draft (I was not in love with the one I started.) and I have my novel, which is started, but mostly exists only on index cards, outlines, and feverish scribbles in a notebook. I’m not sure where I’ll be going from here, but heck, it’s spring. I’m waking up from my own long winter’s nap to something great.

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