I am the weaver, continued...
...last time I put fingers to the keyboard to write a post for my blog, it was all about the coming year, and how my mantra is to be the weaver of my own fabric – to take the threads and create the pattern in my life that I want, rather than allowing others to do that for me.
Aside: and I might add that it is a tricky plan to follow – a ‘couple of hours’ putting together some classroom resources this past weekend, turned into a full 11 hours, but, hey, my room looked spectacular when the kids piled in on their first day back!
I know, this is embroidery, but...
Don’t get me wrong. I do love teaching, and one of the joys is in creating classroom resources and planning amazing learning experiences for my students – and, even once I have taken my leave of the profession, I still see myself as being a teacher, hopefully going out to schools to present workshops and to talk about writing to kids, as part of my creative business.
There, I’ve said it.
This year will be all about working on building my creative business.
As a starting point, I have created myself a schedule that will allow time to write.
Every. Single. Day.
Without time to write, there is no point.
And so far that is going well. I am 13 chapters deep into a middle grade novel, and have already planned out my writing projects for the next 14 months! Yup, I said 14 months. Don’t ask. That is just how the word counts for the different stories worked out, if I divided that by the ‘realistic’ word count quota per day. Although, bear in mind that maths is not my strong point!
So far, I’m a little bit ahead on my WIP – complete with characters who were supposed to be just passing through deciding to steal a bit of the limelight, me deciding to change from third to first person part way through, and realising that it wasn’t a junior fiction story as I had first thought and was going to be a whole lot longer!
Hence making it possible for the blog post that I was supposed to write as a peaceful Sunday afternoon project, is now being written in the very early hours of a weekday morning – and before you all groan in terror at the punishing schedule I have set for myself, it’s okay, I’m one of those rare and much misunderstood creatures, a morning person.
I love to watch the darkness washed away with the first light of a brand new day, see the trees silhouetted against the silvery shine of a morning sky, and hear the morning carol of the birds. And get all poetic as it all happens around me!
a rather random, but otherwise beautiful, picture depicting morning
The pay off, however, is that by the end of the day my creativity is spent.
This may not be for everyone. I know that the rest of my family are night owls and work best as the light fades. If you are like them, you may find that you would be better scheduling your creative time for after dinner as the world quiets down for the day.
For me, evenings are less brilliant for writing.
So that is when I do other things. I am currently working my way through several personal development books, for instance, including The Artists Way by Julia Cameron, that has been sitting awaiting my attention for a while. I haven’t got very far, yet, but I have started a regular process of writing my morning pages (which is really helping put some bits and pieces into perspective, although I’m not certain that I’m ‘doing it right’), and thought about some artist’s dates. Not, at this point, sadly, weekly events.
I’m also reading a book by Michael Hyatt on setting and working towards some challenging goals, Your Best Year Ever, while having enormous fun doing the same thing but in a completely different way with Leonie Dawson’s My Shining Year. Which took two and a half months to arrive from Melbourne, apparently taking a side excursion to Kentucky on the way. Don’t ask.
This is all about learning. Learning about how to weave, if you like. How to be more purposeful about what I do.
But it is not all work and no play.
I’m also making sure that I have time to read for fun.
Every. Single. Day.
This can become difficult during term time. Especially since I have this tendency to pick up a book, start reading, and allow the world to go on without me right up until that final page. I devour books when given the chance (ask my poor family – there are memes out there about this character trait). So not possible when you have to work a day job. Rationing out a half hour of blissful escape before bedtime is a new experience for me.
Aside: what am I reading at the moment? Something completely and entirely different to the story I am writing: The White Queen by Philippa Gregory. And so loving it.
Over the summer break I have lived through the first two (epic length) books of the Oathbringer series, parts 1 and 2 of The Way of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson, been carried away to The Tea Gardens by Fiona McIntosh, travelled through a war ravaged America with Pax by Sara Pennypacker, visited Pippa’s Island by Belinda Murrell, and read quantities of other stories that have popped up online... all taking me to different places and exciting adventures.
And now I’m wading through the intrigue of Plantagenet politics and bloody battles.
Although, this, too, is learning.
About which I could write so much more.
Next time. Remind me.
Until then, what are you doing to make this year the best it can be? What books are you reading?