Over the past few days, I’ve been hit with the cleaning and gardening bug. I guess spring cleaning is a thing? I’ve put in a new garden, for more vegetables and herbs. I may remove the lavenders from the other vegetable garden as they are taking over. But they are doing so well…
On Monday, it seemed to me that everwhere I looked, my house was grubby. Not filthy, but just not clean enough, particularly my kitchen. Now the kitchen is much cleaner, the baby seedlings that have sprouted are planted out and we have to hope the cat doesn’t sit or pee on them. I’ve dusted. Tomorrow I plan on vacuuming and washing the floors.
Now … what does this have to do with writing? My extra energy levels have also flowed into my muse. I’m feeling the process flowing more smoothly, whereas I was having a hard time writing anything at all last week. Maybe seeing everything growing and blossoming has inspired me. We’ve had the first crop of the beans and the leafy greens from the garden, and I can see all the baby tomatoes (I’m salivating all ready), and the eggplants are flowering.
And, even though my lungs are still a little congested, they are better than they were, even with the pollen count to infinity. Now, all we need is rain … for my plants. My muse needs some refreshment too, but the gardening is certainly helping there. I find growing things a creative process.
I’ve just sent off my first submission for October. As regular readers of this blog will know, I aim to send off ten to twelve stories and articles a month. My goal is 100 rejection a year, from July to July. Since the death of my mother in June, I’ve been averaging four submissions a month.
Do I try to make up for lost time?
I know the answer to that. Pushing myself too hard backfires, making me sleep poorly.
I’m kind of disappointed in myself, for being so physically weak. I’m fat. I’m middle-aged and heading towards old age. I have asthma and diabetes. Some of those limitations are only going to get worse.
However, I can make the effort to get 10 stories submitted this month. But I will not beat myself up if I don’t make that goal. I’ve got to work smarter, not harder. Work to my strengths. Keep my enthusiam high by remembering my achievements and not dwelling on the failures.
Time to shake off these negative thoughts and feelings and get my head back in the game.
I tend to write with my eyes. What this means is that – when I started out – I tended to see my characters and see the action. I didn’t hear their voices, or smell the air and feel the textures. It took years of training to learn to ‘hear’ and ‘touch’, smell and ‘taste’. Other beginner writers have problems visualizing a scene, but can write dynamite dialogue.
This sensuous writing might seem like a basic tool in the writing kit, but it is surprising how many people forget that writing – like all skills – is a mixture of training, talent, and practice. Lots and lots of practice. Teaching yourself to notice details. Trying to think of unique ways to describe an experience. Getting out and having experiences so you can describe them!
So, next time your a reading a descriptive passage, don’t dismiss as ‘purple prose’. Some hard-working person has put some thought and effort into that paragraph!
The Courier Mail article
Well, our book launch attracted the attention of our local newspaper. The single photo makes me look insane, but in a nice way.
I’ve not been doing much writing over the last month. Normally, if I’m not writing, I am on edge. Itchy. Like a small child who is overtired, I tend to forget things; things like appointments, the right words, and I leave cups of coffee to go cold. I’ve been a bit like this, but sadder and out of sorts. Melancholy. I still cry when I remember my brave-hearted mother is dead.
This week, I made the decision to cimb back into the saddle. I won’t be galloping just yet, but I’m going to try a gentle trot, and get back into my writing rhythm. I’m using riding metaphors because I am doing some writing about the Duke of Wellington. He rode his steed, Copenhagen, for seventeen hours during the Battle of Waterloo, and when he dismounted the animal tried to kick him in the head. Let’s hope my muse doesn’t do the same!