Things have gone a bit quiet here on this blog over the last month or so, just when I’d got my mojo going and content was flying out pretty regularly. I’d written posts on making time, and how small bits (aka activities) make big bits over time with perseverance. But since the ‘day job’ revved up, with three pupil piano concerts, exams, a composer competition, and a visitor, I knew I was defeated. Additionally, my daily writing habit, in terms of moving forward step by step with my latest novella in progress, also suffered. However, my rest from these activities blossomed in other fruitful ways.
Weekly fix of writing
During this busy time, I took part in a ‘Friday Writing Sprint‘ run by Elizabeth on a wonderful blog called ‘Eight Ladies Writing’. Each week she thinks up a situation for your chosen character, then gives a list of words to use in the narrative, in the manner of flash fiction. The aim is to use some, or all of these words. I felt I had no time to do this, since I didn’t even have time to do my own writing properly, at least, not to do it justice. So instead I shared a series of snippets from my current set of novellas, still under wraps, as to offer some work in progress is suggested as an alternative exercise. I tried to ensure that the chosen snippet had something to do with the set theme of the week. Generous and encouraging comments followed, helping me to still believe in my work. I began to look forward to Fridays coming round, not just because of the weekend ahead, but to get my weekly fix of writing. Just sharing these snippets kept my interest in my current writing project alive.
The pursuit of future ideas
Two weeks ago however, the writing sprint took me by storm. The allocated character scenario, and the list of words, presented with me with a possibility, I realised. I could use this opportunity to create the beginning of a future act in my current novella in progress. Holding my nose, I dived into the deep end, imagining where I might be at this given point, quite some way away from where I’d got to in my writing, and was pleased with the result, which received a warm reception. Last week I went a step further, and used the writing sprint to start the beginning of the next novella in the series. I was really pleased with the way it all turned out, but more importantly than that, given that the school holidays had finally arrived, I kept going and have now written well over half the first act. It would have been so easy to become overwhelmed and disheartened over the past weeks, but this blog has not only helped me to avoid that situation, but has inspired the pursuit of future ideas.
Even greater freedom
Now, with my holidays ahead, I need to join the dots. There’ll be a lot to do, but it’s a new way of working for me, which fits well with my panser writing style. No longer blocked, I can see ahead, ask myself pertinent questions, and plan a route for my characters. I believe, by getting away from a purely linear activity, new plot possibilities have opened up, better than anything that might otherwise have come about. All because I kept things going, as regularly as possible. A change therefore, and a rest from old ways, has created even greater freedom.