Friday, 7 November 2014

The end of the beginning

A time to reap
My assignments are in, semester has ended. Talk has now turned to subjects for next year. Last week I went to an information session. Part-time students who joined the course at mid year are being encouraged to seek an appointment with staff to confirm their subject choices. In second year (still three semesters away for me) there is the opportunity to work on big writing projects. For some subjects you need to arrive with 50,000 words already on the page. I am beginning to realise that my part-time status may be a blessing as I will have rather more time in which to quietly work on my projects before getting to these rather large hurdles.

It's not a race!
The 100 day project is off to a slow start. I have averaged 500 words each time I have sat down, which means sometimes more and sometimes less. I have not sat down every day because the reality is that it is hard to get up at 5am. I trust that the more often I do it, the easier it will become. And I am getting used to going to bed earlier in order to be able to get up. There is a bit of a chain reaction going on. I am proud that I have started, for the first steps are sometimes the hardest. And I am trying not to be too hard on myself as I take these new steps. Allowing myself some time to get used to how it all feels to live this new experience. 

Other projects
More so than doing the course, it feels like I am stretching the wings of my identity as a writer. Committing to writing every day, or most days, is a more defining experience than being a student. Being a part-time student is kind of intermittent – asserting itself when there are classes to be attended and assignments are due, but not being an everyday experience. Getting up early, switching the computer on and tapping away eventually produces something. When it is not coming together I work on my ‘morning pages’ for a while and then it starts to flow. Today I am drafting this blog post instead. And tomorrow I will come back to the travel memoir fresher in my mind and freer in my words.

A time to sow
The other lens shifting factor is that I have ordered business cards, or as the printing company called them ‘networking cards’. I have been wanting to let more people know about my blogs and it doesn’t always work to send them a link – partly because I forget. So I have taken the plunge, chosen my design, entered my contact details and put my money on the line for 250 cards. I am nervous; it is another small step along the path to living a creative life. And not to be underestimated – a little bit thrilled at the prospect of receiving a package in the post!

A new home for a family treasure
The most exciting non-writing thing in my world recently is the arrival of my grandmother’s table.  After she died my parents had it shipped out from England. They had it restored and the chairs re-covered. It lived at their house for more than twenty years. Now they are moving and it has come to my little flat. It is perfect - it has a square top with barley twist legs, it seats four people but can extend to six. But the details are not important, what is important is that the room is finished. It has a purpose, in fact many purposes. It will be used for eating and entertaining as expected. But it is likely to also be where I do French homework and translation exercises and the site for any sewing machine projects. The completion of this room feels like the timely opening of a new chapter. There is a bright summer ahead - long hours of sunshine, outings with friends and family and more time and commitment to my own writing projects.