Yep, it’s that time of the year! When everything becomes due…so many due dates.
But that doesn’t mean the writing has to stop. Writers should be able to write under the harshest conditions! If we didn’t, then there would be no stories from far off places or chaotic news from war torn countries. Be it bullets flying past you or a research paper due in a week, a writer must be able to write.
I’m, by no means, perfect. There are days I don’t write because other things seem to call for my attention louder than the voice that says “where’s that new poem.” Somehow, either by sheer luck or perseverance or both, I was able to meet my year goal of 52 poems. In fact, I went past the mark and wrote 53 poems. These range from unpolished first drafts and published pieces. The most recent published piece appears in the SFSU’s literary magazine, Transfer #104. I wrote it back in June and it was the 25th poem drafted this year. I edited it about 5 times total. There’s something amazing about having drafted 53 poems in a year. I never thought I could write so much in a year. Some I may never revise and others I feel still hold a spark of that special something that made me sit down and write the first time around.
I began the journey of a year in poetry to prove to myself that I am serious about writing, that poetry is not some hobby but an integral part of myself. I had feared that if I ever was out of a classroom setting, I may never write regularly. The strange thing that happened this year was that I wrote less regularly after August than I did during the semester off. Moreover, the poems I wrote during that time off were some of my proudest moments. I don’t know what that means for my practice, but I do know that I need not fear my craft deteriorating after I live my program at State. Poetry can’t get rid of me and I can’t get rid of it.
As for prose, I have begun a long journey discovery through my struggles with this current novel draft. By the end of November, I had 10, 282 words, less than 40,000 shy of 50,000 words. Yet, I haven’t stopped writing it. The main character, Bastion, won’t stop nagging me to finish his story. Currently he is stuck in a men’s restroom with 2 High Elves, a wood elf, a half-giant, and a humanoid lightning bird…oh and Bastion’s a dragon and doesn’t know it yet because he is a mentally ill wuss.
Truth be told, I’m not very confident in prose writing unless its nonfiction (not about me, per se, but about a subject or a research article, etc), so this is a big challenge I’ve undertaken.
It’s been both struggling and entertaining. It’s as if I am watching my daydreams take form in words.
Currently, the plan is to continue writing the first draft without editing until I reach what I believe to be the end. Then I’m setting it aside, for a month or so, and then going back with a red pen and a pot of strong coffee.
With any luck, Bastion will be my very first novel. Here’s to completed another huge project!