It seems that life takes out a flyswatter every so often and whacks me upside the head, and when I finally come to, months have passed. But fear not. I'm just giving this quick update to let you know that I'm still around and still writing.
At the beginning of the year, I set some new goals for myself. I put aside all my old writing and resolved to write one new piece of writing per month and to work on one brand spanking new book this year.
So how am I doing?
So far, the one new piece of writing a month - which I'm referring to as George's year of half-baked ideas - is working out swimmingly. I've even had one month where I wrote more than one. None of those pieces will win any awards, even if you set the bar REALLY low (with a couple exceptions, which I'll go into in a minute), but the work is getting done, which is the most important thing.
As for the book, well, that's a whole other story. I DO have an idea. I've had it kicking around for a long time but didn't know what to do with it. Then I attended the Writing in Reverse workshop given by K. R. Conway (https://capecodscribe.com) at the New England Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators spring conference, and suddenly it opened my eyes to a whole new way of approaching my novel idea. It also forced me to point out some problems I've been creating for myself when writing novels in the past. Now granted, the techniques I learned are more in line with a "plotter" type of writer, and I consider myself more of a "pantser", but I'm hoping that a combination of these two disciplines will be the way to go. The notes I took at this conference will definitely help me get there. Even though I haven't technically started my new novel yet, there's also National Novel Writing Month coming up in November, and if I can get the "plotter" stuff out of the way before then, I'll be free to write by the seat of my pants like I normally do.
One final thing. Back to the one piece of writing a month thing. Not all of my new ideas are in the rough draft, unsubmittable state. I decided to submit two of the pieces, both of them non-fiction geared toward 3rd-4th graders, as part of a submission package to a publisher where I was hoping for an opportunity for some write-for-hire type of work - another first for me. The editor who reviewed my work loved my writing, so now I'm (hopefully) in the rotation for new work that might come! For now, I'll leave out the details until something more concrete happens, but it did help to justify my decision to come up with some new, fresh ideas for this year.
That is all for now. I'm off to buzz around a bit more and avoid the flyswatters so that I can come back for another report soon. Also, I have a huge backlog of books to review for George's Backlogged Book Reviews page, which I'll hopefully be getting to soon as well. So stay tuned!