"Challenge" does not seem like a sufficient word to describe how I feel about writing while in school. I am pretty buried in homework and a crushing sense of failure (academic and personal). I can't ever seem to catch up. I don't manage my time well. I wonder what the hell this is all for...So when I do sit down (tonight was after a 2 hour nap and various Math and Biology homework) and manage to write anything I am thankful.
This week I had the opportunity to listen to a local author read some of his work on campus. He is also an instructor at Eastern Washington University where I hope to attend later for Creative Writing. You would think, knowing that, I would be able to approach and perhaps say a few words--no. I listened, smiled, took notes, but said nothing. Crushing shyness, a feeling of academic unworthiness, hard to say why I could not speak. He seemed nice enough. The opportunity to introduce myself or my aspirations was lost. I was able to take away from his readings and Q&A session that I am not alone in my methods, in my struggle, and even if genre fiction was not his style, he did not discredit my dreams. His work was funny and dark and genuine. Everything I hope to include in my own work, some day.
This past weekend I attended RadCon (remember me mentioning I can't manage time well?) and made it to two writing panels. I took some notes, recorded audio, came away inspired. That will be another blog post later. It always does the job of rejuvenating my will to write, so in many ways I consider it worth getting behind on homework for.
I created a small (and private at the moment) Writing Group on Facebook called Ashes and Ink. Together with a good friend we're working to make challenges and, even more importantly, we are working to meet them.
We're starting slow; 500 words and describing an antagonist. We both needed one for our respective current projects so it seemed fitting. I won't tell you that I spent about 4 hours refining the image below. Time management. I have focus issues. I focus on things that don't always matter and then can't focus on what does.
I consider most things related to writing to satisfy a need to write. Some days with school, the best I can manage is a few notes about world building or a character (today was about letter-carrying cats and blood/waterproof containers).
I need this Writing Challenge, and the next, and the next, until I am writing again every day or as close as I can. I would like to aim for that famous 10am to 2pm work ethic of writing every day at a specific time.
Wish me luck. Tonight I started describing my renewed antagonist, the ghost from Draft 0 of Trials of Blood, who is now haunting Draft 0 of InGifted. He's an old frienemy of Jaq's. I think I will like him.