This past week, I've been feeling a lot like a spinning record (sinusitis and a plugged ear from said affliction). It doesn't help that as I'm writing this Dead or Alive's "You Spin Me Round" is playing. The lightheaded, fluffy feeling and bouts of dizziness (much decreased and less frequent, thank you) seem to be skewing my perceptions of the world right now.
This is supposed to be about writing, though, and my ROW80 check-in. Sunday I was still too sick to look at the computer long enough to write a post. Plus, my brain wasn't doing well with stringing thoughts together let alone writing them down. So...
I haven't done a lot of writing. A couple of days worth on the novel. A little time on Sunday with a notebook writing down an idea for a piece of flash fiction. And then a newsletter. And then some of my ROW80 compatriots told me about this thing some people are doing, writing a story a week for a year. It's called 52 Stories, and it sent a thrill of excitement up my spine. Seriously.
You see, I started with short stories. First as a storyteller, making up stories in the lunch line as a small schoolgirl to keep myself and my friends entertained while we waited. And of course my dolls (yes, Barbie included--I loved Barbie, so there!) had very exciting and elaborate lives. Barbie's boyfriend was G.I. Joe, and sometimes Ken, too. And they were spies. Except when they were vampires. And they often lived in a large mansion or a castle built out of jigsaw puzzle boxes and hardcover Reader's Digest Condensed Books. And then there were the elaborate stories I concocted and made the other neighborhood kids reenact with me. But I digress...
Short stories were where I started. And I know I can do them while I'm still feeling shaky about being able to finish a novel. And I really want to finish something. I want a challenge that I feel will be really challenging (a story a week will do that) but that I know I can do.
So I'm doing this.
I'm changing my goals slightly to accommodate my new love. Here's the new, improved Round 2 list:
- Write at least 15 minutes each weekday; weekends are optional--this is staying the same, but the writing will be mostly working on short stories now. I will probably continue the discovery writing process for my novel idea, too, because the two kinds of writing are different and compatible.
- Post a story a week--this is new and goes with the 52 Stories. I'm not sure if I'm going to post the stories here or set up a semi-private blog for them or what. There's that little, niggling voice that tells me if I publish them on my blog they will be unpublishable elsewhere. I don't know for sure that this is something I need to consider just now. What if I just write them for fun and to share with people just so I can start enjoying and improving my craft again? What if this set of stories isn't for publication but just for fun?
- Participate in the ROW80 Twitter discussions and use bookending techniques there to help me stay on task--I'm still occasionally jumping in on Twitter and still would like to do more. I'm ditching the bookending. It just feels like one more thing to do, it doesn't seem to be adding anything to my writing, and it feels like an annoyance with no benefits.
- Read and comment on blogs each check-in, even if I only have time for one or two.--Sticking with this; I didn't do any since last Wednesday because I've been sick, but I'll be back to it now.