2022 writing journal⤴
page retired. this was an experiment in keeping a writing log. but like any log system, it's only useful if I use it. moving on to other experiements...
module 5: writing with an equity lens
feb 7» created this page to hold myself accountable. 10 minutes. 188 words.
“Love, like grief, can catch you off guard. Even after things become bearable again, you'll see their smile on someone else's face and want to burst into tears.”
feb 8» didn't write. got late; too tired. read for 1+ hrs. printed workshop excerpts for review. feb 9» didn't write. oooh pattern of avoidance. read & annotated 1/3 workshop pieces.
the passive voice haunts me.
feb 10» 10 minutes. 213 words. working on "how to sell your dreams."
also continued my "too much" drabble.
feb 11» 20 minutes. 520 words. wrote about self-destruction, power, and pleasure.
posted my response on the discussion forum.
module 6: rhetoric pt. 1
read and annotated second workshop piece. wrote a little. 102 words. the baby in the walls. (i am exhausted.)
read and annotated the last workshop piece. shout out to comma splices. struggling to settle on a writing project. thinking in circles.
wrote 15 min. 234 words. “The date on the gravestone kept changing.”
I actually wrote something with a beginning, middle, and end. 606 words. it didn't go where I thought it would, and it's a very rough sketch. but I like it. first person POV. no dialogue. this is becoming a comfort zone for me.
“When you grow up with an active imagination and a cemetery in your backyard, you see ghosts all the time.”
workshop day! today's written work was feedback for our workshop participants. the vibe in the room was so warm and compassionate and curious—love that for us. felt I made a meaningful contribution with my observations and learned a lot from the group. 🥰
still circling for projects, and reached the end of the day totally exhausted, having written nothing. but I remembered what Leanne said ("you can always find five minutes"), so in a sleepy, nanowrimo-reminiscent haze, I wrote a little. 120 words. and I found a tiny germ of an idea.
the TMI of it all is that I reached the end of the day without having written, and then felt like my body was falling apart, and then was mourning the death of beloved TikTok cat Pot Roast, and then thinking about the death of my cat, Noah. so I wrote 110 words about Noah. not how things really happened, but how they felt.
sick :( no new writing today, but did post my response to this week's module on the discussion forum.
module 7: rhetoric pt. 2
wrote 100 words, continuing my cemetery piece, then decided to do some outlining. thinking about expanding my 2 pages into something more, so made a few bullet points. after each bullet (which summarized an action/description), I wrote some probing questions. trying to use the details as signposts to see where I can go deeper.
this is my challenge: I feel more creative but also more tired in the evenings. and today I was just exhausted and chose to prioritize other things.
feb 22: after some reflection, I think these might be good times to do outlining or revision—these are both fun parts of the process that use a different part of my brain. I think that letting my creative brain do some problem-solving work in the evenings could be energizing.
96 words. trying to claim these small victories, because they are victories. moved forward slightly on "how to sell your dreams" with a bit of dialogue.
didn't write. instead, frantically tried to finish reading The Vanishing Half for book club tomorrow 😅
an exhausted 77 words.
didn't write. don't ask.
the good—the Project for Awesome. like heaven's light breaking up grey winter skies.
module 7 (con't)
mentor reading with claudia casper. reading and critiquing workshop pieces for tuesday. revising "how to sell your dreams."
reading and critiquing workshop pieces. revising "dreams." 117 words.
reading and critiquing. revising. the picture beginning to get clearer.
book club day. and no, I haven't written for a few days, though I've been brainstorming a little. jotting down notes.
here's what I haven't done: carve out focused, dedicated writing time. set aside more than an hour, rather than sneaking in words during the gaps in my day. part of the problem is that I'm not letting myself be bored. I fill every minute, so there's no time for the mind to wander. one thing anxiety does is make it feel unsafe for the mind to wander. but I've got an exercise from this week's workshop to complete, and a reading to choose, and a story to finish. these things deserve time.
stuck in avoidance mode, big time.
no energy, no writing. it feels like if I'm going to write, it should be my workshop submission. reflecting on that, I think I'm closing myself off to other sources of inspiration that come from doing; working on poetry, freewriting, journaling, or doing some writing exercises could all be ways to get back into pratice, or, crucially, ends in themselves.
module 8: materials pt. 1
grammar for writers - rescheduled. no class today; took the opportunity to start reading through the module. did a bit more freeform writing, which evolved into brainstorming for "dreams."
caught up on my journaling! went on a long (15km) walk and took in some new scenery. did some fiction writing longhand. the change of pace - new location, plus working with pen and paper - was good for me.
taking the writing less seriously and doing what I love—tinkering. finding happy accidents. asking questions of myself (first draft me can be a silly goose). writing story into the gaps.
mar 8*workshop submission due
I submitted nine pages. was writing right up until midnight. I could've chosen something else, but this piece—Dreams For Sale (Gently Used)—is one I actually want some help with. my submission is an exploratory draft. I'd say the first six pages are...not polished, but solid enough. the last three pages are mostly not-very-good dialogue, definitely first pass stuff.
I'm nervous, certainly, and trying to let go of the idea that it has to be any good. the point is to learn. being vulnerable is okay. I have to trust my workshop group members. and...I like those first six pages. at the very least, they are interesting enough to keep working on. the last three, I'm still figuring out what I'm trying to say. that's part of the process. it's okay.
I'm gonna be honest—I gave myself the day off. took a break.
reviewing the module and starting to write my reflection (due tomorrow). more longhand journaling!
mar 11*forum discussion due
I finish up my reflection and do some more writing in the process, another go at writing in a different style (action-adventure, as inspired by an Indiana Jones novel).
module 9: materials pt. 2
writing for workshop. locations, places I've lived. loved this exercise. did some journaling as well, at the library.
low energy + anxiety = no writing today.
sick day. did some reading for book club and began the module. wrote some reflections.
mar 15» workshop day
read "Osterizer Classic Series 10 Cycle Blender." the group workshopped "dreams" and had excellent questions. said it could be a novel (I don't think in short story), got noir vibes, liked the dialogue.
no writing. some reading for book club.
mar 17 mar 18
module 10: process pt. 2
mentor reading with JJ. funny and informative.
mar 20 mar 21 mar 22 mar 23 mar 24
you can see what happens once I fall out of a habit. got feedback. sitting with it. but not writing. additionally, I was sick, and and and—I could stack all my excuses in a tidy pile if I wanted to.
JJ's reading made me think more deeply about creative non-fiction. I hardly ever write first-person narratives, let alone write about my own life. except in journals, of course. unstructured thoughts like so many wildflowers, some revisited again and again until a desire path emerges. could I follow where thoses paths lead? find some endings?