Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Why I haven't really been here

It seems like ages since I said I was going to have a fairly quiet time as far as this blog went, but I didn't really think I was going to be quite so quiet. So here I am with a bit of an update.

I've been asked many times what I plan to write for 2011, so I'll start there.

People who asked me that early in the year were invariably told that I was taking January to think about it. By the end of January I answered that I was going to get stuck into rewriting the novel I wrote during NaNoWriMo 2009. I spent a few weeks so excited about this I wrote a heap of notes about a new ending, did some research and basically spent a lot of time thinking about it.

But it wore off and I was back to not feeling all that bothered to push myself this year. Because, quite frankly, I feel tired. After years of pushing myself and being super-busy most of the time, especially with writing related things, I'm kind of having a year off. You probably already know I've stepped away from page seventeen.

I sort of have two writing goals for the year, although one is not really a goal. The real goal is to submit to places I wouldn't normally submit to which, in some ways really means places that don't have closing dates.

The not-really-a-goal goal is to not have any goals. I'm not going to push myself to write anything. That doesn't mean I won't be writing, because not writing would necessitate being locked away in a safe place with padded walls and/or medication, but I'm not going to push myself. I've decided this means a few things.

The first is that I won't be hard on myself if I have weeks (or months) where I don't do any writing. Another is that I feel freed up to have a go at writing styles/genres that I might not normally make time for. But basically, I'm just taking some time to chill out. And so far, it's been nice.

And when it comes down to it, I can't honestly say there's less notes in my journal, even if I'm not making so much use of them.

Meanwhile, I'll try not to take quite so long to come back here, and maybe next time I'll tell you a bit about my new addiction, err, hobby.


phill said...

Hi Tiggy,

Saw your update in my Google Reader and thought I'd comment, as I've had a similar experience lately. Like you, I've found that letting myself chill out hasn't diminished my ideas gathering. I still add to my 'INSPIRATION.doc' almost daily, but if I don't, no big deal. And when I do find myself wishing to write, it seems more driven. I dunno, I think it's the case that you lose the writer's mindset very easily.

Also, one of the guys in my writing group recently had a success with one of those journals that doesn't have submission dates, so they seem less scary now. Might even try and submit to one of them myself one of these days! Will definitely need psyching up (or alcohol) to do so though.

Good luck with your goals, I'll be rooting for you! (:

phill said...

Eek! I meant to say that you DON'T lose the writer's mindset very easily. Heh.

Tiggy Johnson said...

hey phill,
Nice to know I'm not alone. I've noticed a bit of that extra motivation you mention already, the few times I've sat to write. So it really is a good thing, eh?

There's no reason to be scared of those journals without submission dates. Go on, have a go. Do you need me to dare you? My problem is more the way I structure myself, and when I sit down to submit, I have a list of impending closing dates and I tend not to think of others. Don't even think of the ones further ahead than one week. Okay, maybe a fortnight.

Laurie Steed said...

Hi Tiggy,

Good to have you back in the loop and blogging.

Writing inspiration is a strange thing. I do, however, think you can get too caught up in deadlines. Writing off deadline allows crazier ideas to germinate, and crazy ideas often turn into the best stories, like Laura van den Berg's excellent Where we must be, as reviewed: http://lauriesteed.blogspot.com/2011/03/35-where-we-must-be-by-laura-van-den.html .

I double dare both you and Phill to submit to non-deadline journals! If we keep this up, we might just about reach a physical challenge (obligatory old kid's game show reference).

Write on, you crazy Johnson : )

Tiggy Johnson said...

Hey Laurie.
Double dare? I'm in!
Although to be honest I have already made a start on submitting to non-deadline journals.
Re deadlines and writing, I don't usually feel like I write to deadlines. I maybe redraft and edit for the sake of a deadline, but really, it's the deadlines that offer the motivation for me to actually sit down and spend time submitting.
I've never quite worked out how to find that motivation for non-deadline journals.
Well, not until you dared me...

phill said...

D: !

Challenge accepted! Sheesh, this is going to be tough. Great to hear you've already started submitting as well, that was quick! :)

littlegirlwithabigpen said...

Hi Tiggy,

Nice to see you back!
I think there's certainly things to be said for both pressure and no pressure. "Hold On" (P17) came from pressure, but its revisions and eventual submission to P17 came from no-pressure.
And you're such a busy woman besides - I'm sure even the no-pressure approach keeps you busy as usual :)


Tiggy Johnson said...

phill: I didn't mean to suggest I'd started submitting since writing this blog post. Just since making decision.
Thanks Sam, and yes, always busy. I do like it that way to a degree.

Karen Tyrrell said...

Hi Tiggy,
You said you didn't have a BLOG! And here you are! I wish you every success in everything you set your mind to :))