Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Year and New Goals

2009 has been an interesting year. Stress, frustration, inspiration, victory and failure have each taken their turn this year, leaving me bound in confused knots. The trials, at least have taught me a few things, not merely about the world, but also about myself.

I've changed. Yeah, I know. Big surprise there. It happens to us all. The last time I delved into "me" issues I came up with a definite concept of self. Of course, at that time, I was a teenager. Reading and writing were part of the very essence of my self-made definition. But in the past decade, I have acquired more to "me." I do not need to rebel against society as strongly as I once did. Nor do I need to define myself as "creative" in order to separate from the "masses." Teendom is over.

What I have left is altering my writing. No, there is no stopping-- just changing.

I am a people person, now. I need time with people and by myself. Sounds pretty normal right? But I've determined that I need stability (financially at least) in order to write. Meaning: day job. At least, for now. Until my Guy gets a degree and job. But being without a day job has certainly messed with my head. I thought it'd be a test. The internal dialogue of self discovery kinda goes as follows:

Y'know: "Can I really write full time?"
Answer: "Not right now."
Q: "Why not?"
A: "See those two weeks that you did it?"
Q: "That was bliss! What's wrong with that?"
A: "You shut out the world, ran from other responsibilities. And the goal is balance. Balance. No tipping the seesaw to one extreme or the other."

And that's the kicker. Other responsibilities. Teens don't have to worry about them: Rent, keeping the house clean, keeping up with people important to me, writers' group stuff, relationship stuff, family stuff (which got complicated post teendom), ethnic confusion for awhile (loooonnngg story :( ) jobs, school, now post-college confusion ...

And in the mix, I have a new character haunting me. My research indicates that this story *could* be more marketable, but I drag my heels about it. I spent eight years as an undergrad because I'm stubborn. Now the maturing practrical side is trying to get me to take a break on the story I've been working on for six years and the younger, impetuous stobborn side is rooting heels in the ground (and I wear heels, all the time, so this means my figurative self is literally planted :P) and crying "No! Hell no! You make me change and I won't budge!"

Voila. That's what I call writer's block.

So! New goals: give in to practicality. (So Lara can stop glaring at me from the back of my mind) ... but! still make time for Silver Mask. Being slow, patient, and practical is A OK. Really. Gotta accept that.

Writing part-time is just fine. Trading off to make certain my life is how I want it in five to ten years... I waited eight/ten years to get to the point I'm at now ...and in the process I've learned the years are far shorter than I once assumed. With patience, I'll get there. There's nothing wrong with the small steps.

So that's my goal. Time management. Small steps. Accepting that the new me is not the person I thought I was, but to like this person anyway...accept that my needs have changed...and find the best way to meet them all.

I'm stubborn, so I will succeed. 2010 will be better.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Creating Community

Creating a writing community does not seem like it should be a difficult thing. But here in Sacramento where coffee shops, law firms and medical offices dominate our down town, politics defines the mud through which we must wade. But rising from it, we define ourselves. Talking to artists and musicians I hear some of the same complaints I, as a writer, voice.

Musicians face issues of permitting. Where do you put on a show when half of the venues can no longer afford the permits required?

For critique groups, it's a matter of finding a place to meet that is quiet enough for concentration and discussion. I have met in groups at cafes all over the city. To no avail. In time, each group must move, due to expansion or noise or even the change of seasons, members moving, etc.

So SWS is trying to generate a network of critique groups in order to combat these issues. We hope to be centered around a Writers' Reference Library which will provide a physical focal point for meetings, and place people can go to learn about us.

Currently we have four successful groups going, and are looking to start more. The more people, the more knowledge, the better the whole.