Saturday, 25 July 2015

On being organised

In the public archives
I have been exploring the delights of getting organised. Some might think this is just a mask for procrastination, but that would assume only a negative twist. I prefer to see the positives, and there are many. I have reviewed my accounts, paid outstanding bills, updated regular transfer payments and filed everything away. I feel it is definitely a bonus to feel a little more in control at the start of the new financial year. Comments from friends when I explained that I hadn’t done as much writing as I intended because I was still getting organised included the very perceptive “I’m sure a clear head will help you be more creative.” And it has indeed helped, well that and I am fast running out of legitimate excuses for not getting round to the draft.

My herb efforts
My writing rhythm is also emerging again. I know I am best at writing in the morning. I know I need to defend this time from others, but I also need to beware of my own capacity for sabotage. In my excitement to get organised on all fronts I decided on a whim that I really needed to replant my herb pots and that a trip to Bunnings was absolutely necessary, right there and then. But on reflection it could have waited, at least til the afternoon. Then I could have left the house with a clear conscience rather than bounding out with enthusiasm only to realise halfway there what I had done.

A new road
But I have started to move on the draft. I can report that I have a little over 5,700 words that I am feeling pretty happy with. These words cover the same material as about 2,600 in the first draft. One of my key takeaways from the Canberra workshop was the need to create scenes and really immerse the reader in the experience, so I have been trying to do just that. I have been stretching and expanding my words to paint more of a picture. A memoir is quite tricky to write I am learning because there is a lot of material in my head that doesn’t always quite make it to the page. I don’t notice it’s missing because I simply fill in the gaps with my memory. I need to go over what I have written again and will probably need to insert more description of where I am so the reader can also follow me.

At the launch
The breakthrough this week was reconnecting with some writing friends. I went to the book launch for Nine Slices, a project run by students as part of the Emerging Writer’s Festival. As I have taken a break from uni this semester I have lost the incidental support that I would normally get from just rocking up to class. Being outside the loop of classes and activities I need to pro-actively arrange opportunities to catch up, this requires much more effort and organisation. I am thrilled to have re-connected with Helen and Jo. I am going to workshop my piece for the Lord Mayor’s Creative Writing Awards with Helen. I am building the piece out of an assignment from last semester which Helen read an early draft of, so she’ll be able to appreciate the journey it has already been on. And Jo has said she is happy to read the latest version of my draft – I might just tweak it a bit more before I hand it over though!