I came across the fabulous Blogging from A-Z Challenge in the middle of March – around the same time I faced up to the prospect of a pending meltdown if I didn’t do something about my work schedule. The answer of ‘what do I do?’ was apparent within an hour, amid the mess of tears, shakes and while the echoes of my yelling still echoed around the house – I needed a break – a month. One month away from the rigours and stresses of work. One month to get myself grounded and focused on what I really wanted for the rest of the year. A month to get my home cleaned and tidied. But most importantly, a month to write.
So when I stumbled across the A-Z of writing I knew it was something I definitely wanted to do in April, given also I was taking the entire month of April off. One of the points on my yet-to-be-committed-to writing plan for 2011 is to aim toward being listed as one of the 50 Best Australian Writing blogs. It’s unlikely given the start to the year I have had – but it won’t stop me trying for an honourable mention.
For the next 26 Day (Sundays exempt) I’ll be blogging. What will I be writing about – life, the Universe and everything, most probably. There will be some interviews from my writing fraternity. At the moment I can say there will be questions pointed at Emma Newman and Carrie Clevenger, about their respective projects From Dark Places and Crooked Fang (but that’s only because I’ve really only thought up to “F” in the alphabet – though Carrie’s is likely to fall under “V” for vampire!) There is likely to be reflections on returning to the page to write, possibly some flash fiction and articles about writing, editing and publishing. I’m trying to plan ahead – but I’ll probably fly by the seat of my pants.
April, other being my month of ‘authenticity’, is also mostly given over to the backward tracking of Mercury. To honour this energy I’m returning to read two of my all time favourite books – The Time Travellers Wife and The Handmaid’s Tale. I’ve committed to The Inaugral Sub-date Challenge so I’ll be reviewing my back catalogue of stories and doing what needs to be done to prepare five of them for submission. There is an unfinished letter writing project I started that I’d love to finish (inspired by Mercury Rx in 2009). I’m also aware my thoughts are closer to the surface than normal and as a consequence more powerful. It’s time to really start manifesting what I want.
April is the month I’ll be hitting the footpath in an attempt to return to some kind of regular physical activity. I love this article about Walking as Meditation for Writers by Patricia Fry. Back in October 2007 when I first decided to start writing fiction again, I came across this awesome article on Kim Falconer’s website and it struck an immediate chord. I’ll be back on the caffeine-free, sugar-free and alcohol-free wagon after a month off it and feeling gross as a result. Of all my vices, I’ll miss a beer on a Saturday afternoon the most.
As I’m writing all month, I need to stoke the creative fires – firstly with lots of walking, but secondly with lots of mundane work around the house – cooking, laundry, cleaning etc… to support that inner creative landscape (I love the fact my creativity intended for us all to eat and have clean clothes… but not so interested in us having a clean house!) My plan is also to cull books from my bookshelves – mostly the birth, breastfeeding and early parenting books which I’ve moved beyond. Have yet to decide if I will sell them or just give them away. We have many boxes of books which need homes on shelves. I also have several sewing projects to tackle.
Lastly April is dedicated here in Australia to honouring and recognising Australian Writers. While my novel stack isn’t reflective of this, I have three copies of Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine (including a brand new one which arrived Friday) to read. I might step out of my comfort zone and review some of the short stories. There are also a number of events I’m planning on attending in honour of the release of Anita Heiss’s Paris Dreaming here in Brisbane. Anita is a beautiful soul and I’m looking forward to meeting her in person after months of conversing on Twitter and a quick chat on skype during January and the initial phase of 100 Stories for Queensland.
All in all, April is about me – working out what I want from here on in (perfect to do during Mercury Rx). My plan at the moment is to return to business in May working three days a week and writing the other two. When Paul and I first set up eMergent it was with the view it would open up time and support our writing – we’d be able to work half a day and write half a day. It hasn’t panned out that way so far, but it doesn’t mean that it has to continue like that intot the future. I know I have big plans and the time at my disposal doesn’t allow for all big plans to see the light of day. But I know I can’t keep going on at the pace I have been this year. I also know I can’t keep going, surviving on next-to-no writing. After all, I gave up editing and publishing in 2008 to pursue writing. I must never again lose sight of that.
(Disclaimer: this was actually written on Sunday – compliments of the day from hell on Friday.I just refused to let work stop me from doing something I so desperately had my heart set on!)