This past week, I have been working to complete several writing tasks while balancing a full-time job, dealing with a broken water heater, and catching up on daily chores after being on vacation for a full week. Needless to say, it has been hectic, but I have managed to stay afloat and accomplish more than I expected.
I finally returned home from Denver at 2:30 AM on Tuesday, around 40 hours later than planned due to a missed and then delayed flight. Instead of having a full day to rest before work as I had originally arranged, I caught just a few hours of sleep and then reported to the office later that morning, hitting the ground running for the rest of the week.
Edited and Wrote Blog Posts
I made the most of my time each day. On my lunch breaks, I set up my laptop at an outside table at the McDonald’s down the corner from work. I drank a cup of coffee while I edited other writers’ blog posts for the MindReset. I made sure to carve out time one evening to write my own post at home, as I had signed up to write on a particular theme a few weeks ago. This post is due to be published this coming week.
Met With a Fellow Local Writer
I also made an effort to reach out to a writer friend and scheduled a writing meeting with her for Saturday afternoon.
When the weekend finally rolled around, I prioritized catching up on sleep and did not plan on doing anything but sleeping Saturday morning. I slept a full twelve hours (unashamedly) and that was all I needed to refresh my body and mind. I met up with my friend later that day, and we talked about our latest writing projects.
She runs her own editing business, so she has been busy with her clients’ work while also working on a new draft of a work in progress. These writing meetings are always encouraging for me because I get the chance to see how other writers are balancing everyday life with their writing.
Chose a Fiction Project for This Month
My own plan yesterday was to sign up to edit some more blog posts (which I did), and to identify one creative writing opportunity to pursue over the next few weeks. I have been doing a lot of non-fiction writing lately with blogs and wanted to spend some time on fiction, so I decided to enter a competition through the 3 Elements Review. This publication is a literary magazine I subscribed to a while back, and their quarterly issues are compiled of submissions which incorporate three specific words chosen by the magazine’s staff.
I recently received an e-mail blast from them, calling for submissions for the upcoming issue. General entry is free, but an interesting option the magazine provides is expedited decision status for $5 and feedback for $10. I don’t mind paying for extra use of an editor’s time by any means, so I am tempted to pursue these options. The deadline is May 31st in case any of you readers are interested, and the three words you must use are dumbwaiter, shore, and sigil.
I spent some time yesterday brainstorming around these three words. I had to look up “sigil” which means, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, “a sign or seal; a sign, word, or device held to have occult power in astrology or magic.” My method was to free-write associated phrases and terms with each of the three words to get my mind flowing. For example, “shore” led to something like: “beach, shells, island, dawn, water, waves, vacation.”
From this brainstorming exercise and also a verbal discussion with my friend, I came up with a story idea and created a rough outline to guide me while writing the story. I wrote a few paragraphs of the introduction and have a plan to finish a rough draft by this Sunday, May 26. I am going to write this date in my planner to keep me on track for editing and polishing it by May 31st.
Received Feedback on Past Writing
Last year, a friend and I worked on writing some reading passages for use on the website Teachers Pay Teachers. This site is where teachers purchase materials made by other teachers/educators to use in the classroom. We posted a couple and let it fall to the wayside when we didn’t get much feedback. However, my friend updated me yesterday and mentioned that recently, several customers had purchased our reading passages. One of the teachers commented that her students loved the stories that we wrote. Hearing this feedback put things into perspective for me.
Although my friend and I were disappointed initially when we didn’t sell thousands of passages like we had hoped, it made me incredibly happy to think of students reading our stories in class and not being bored to tears! It just goes to show you that writing can be powerful for everyone. You can find the link to these passages here.
Overall, this past week was wonderful despite some hiccups at the beginning. I am looking forward to keeping the momentum going.
What writing projects are you working on? Do you have successes or challenges you want to share? Feel free to leave a comment below and start a discussion!