Marching on…

Photo above – some much-needed rain clouds!

Far out, the last two months whooshed by! It’s all in the head, obviously, because I’ve seen posts on Facebook etc saying the opposite. I’m just trying to do too much I think, and probably not focusing enough on the things I am actually doing. This time last year, by contrast, I had a lot of writing time, I wasn’t going into the office at all, so it makes sense. I am getting things done, I have to unlearn the habit of a lifetime of never being enough. I am good and I am enough. (I’ll believe it soon, I promise.)

It occurred to me in the shower this morning that I have 31 days in March to get a couple of big goals ticked off so I can enjoy Camp Nanowrimo. I’m thinking of doing 31 1000 word stories, give or take a few words… I’ll sign up for 30,000 words. I did 40K in April and by the end, I wasn’t enjoying it. I felt uncomfortable because I hadn’t done enough preparation. I won’t make that mistake this time. I just need to decide on fiction or non-fiction.

someone else who understands the value of journaling…

I’ve been pondering why we write what we write. Few have described it as succinctly and as eloquently as the incomparable Robert McKee (below).

What Is Your Story?
After witnessing the suicide of his father, Ernest Hemingway became
fascinated with the question of how to face death. It became the central
theme, not only of his writing but of his life. He 
chased death in war, in
sport, on safari, until finally by his own hand, he found it.
Great writers are not eclectic.
Generally, each tightly focuses her or his oeuvre on one idea, a single subject that ignites their passion, a subject they pursue with beautiful variation through a lifetime of work.
Dickens, whose father was imprisoned for debt, wrote of the lonely childsearching for his lost father. Molière turned a critical eye on the idiocy
and depravity of seventeenth-century France. Each of these authors
found his subject, sustaining him over the long journey of the writer.
Do you, like Hemingway or Dickens, work directly from the life you’ve
lived? Or, like Molière, do you write about your ideas of society and
human nature?

Personally, I’ve been attracted to the idea of writing from my own life because it’s been quite an interesting one so far (if I do say so myself). I’d like to write a memoir (other than the childish one I wrote in my 30s…eeep I shudder when I think of anyone else reading it!) on adoption and the death of my first husband but I don’t think I’m a Dickens. After 1 completed novel (on regret and loss), 2 first drafts (one on regret and loss and changing our lives and the other on shame, envy and greed), a novella (notalgia), and countless short stories, I believe I am a Molière. Or perhaps I should say I am an Atwood, not an Austen. A Shelley, not a Collette. A Le Guin, not a Woolf. One day perhaps…

(when was the last time you heard a public figure on the radio, a podcast or the telly use a female artist/writer/musician/famous or historical figure as an example? It’s bloody rare.  It’s  always  Picasso,  or Einstein or Mozart…)

{So I am probably going to write 31 fiction short stories in March and not the idea that’s been bubbling around for a memoir called Remembering Paris. I want to finish writing this but somehow I don’t make it a priority.}