Archive for the ‘Dear Diary’ Category

Of overwhelm and wonders …

Posted by ON in Dear Diary

I get sick of hearing myself say, “So. Much. To. Do.” And yet, I still put myself in that state far too often. Doh.

This week brings together an amazingly stressful set of events and obligations: Money work and writing duties, preparation for my workshop next month and moving. Don’t get me wrong, moving to Portland has already had its up sides. I’ve been hanging out with folks and exploring the city a little and have already made some exciting new friends. Cool.

But I haven’t gotten much done in the last two days, which my friends know sometimes feels like the end of the world to me. (get it? May 21st? GET IT??)

And okay, some downtime isn’t automatically a bad thing, but I feel like my brain isn’t going to good places when I’m still. Clearly I should either full-on sit with the feelings or get on with getting stuff done.

I guess I’ll try both today.

I found these two articles on getting-$#!%-done: The Cognitive Cost of Doing Things and How Self-Control Works. I declare today will be a mix of being good to myself while still pushing myself a little.

I’ve made a reasonable list, prioritizing things that will make my life immediately better. It’s short enough as to not be too overwhelming, has fun breaks built in and, when it’s done, should have immediate positive results in my life. Tonight I’ll let you know how it goes.

3 … 2 … 1GO!

An Update:

Yeah, It’s been awhile and I’d promised regular updates about the novel and stuff, so …


Me!The novel’s going well. It’s still not done (and probably won’t be done in time for the highly esteemed writing workshop I’m attending in June.) A few weeks ago I was really stressing about being behind on the book, but the coordinator, Bradley said that it wasn’t uncommon for folks to bring incomplete work. So … whew.

But, I’m extremely happy with it. It’s easily the best novel I’ve written so far. Not that it hasn’t had its challenges; I had to break up the original outline and the story’s gone in a different direction than I’d originally thought. Most importantly, it’s moving much faster than I’d plotted for, and … well, a faster moving book sounds a lot better anyway.

My initial readers have been incredibly helpful with the first fifty pages. I’ve rewritten based on their notes and sent the first fifty pages to secondary readers and the workshop. Last week I received everyone else’s first 50. Which means:

  1. I have 110,000 words of other people’s fiction to read … and soon!
  2. I’m having that same feeling I had when I first went to Clarion. “How Did I Get in Here?” Everyone’s stuff is so good and it makes mine look … well, not so good. I’m overwhelmed with all the talent in Wellspring. Whew.


I’ve also been rewriting tons of short stories from my to-be-rewritten folder and sending them out. I’m back up to thirteen stories in the mail, which … I know generally people think is pretty good. It’s low for how many I used to keep in the mail, but I’m working my way up again.

My brain has been an idea machine lately. To keep myself focused, I’ve basically been just jotting the ideas down for later and going back to the novel. It’s important to me to find a balance between the novel and shorter work. I didn’t like the feeling of spending all of 2009 with the novel swallowing my life while not producing anything else. I feel confident that I’m doing a better job now.

Other aspects of my life

My moving date kept getting pushed back, but I have a truck and a date and people helping. I and all my stuff will be in Portland on Saturday, May 14th. I’m still geeked about my new space and the people and Portland and and and … *squee*

My money-work life is also going well. I feel blessed that my work is challenging, interesting and creative without sucking up so much of my brain that I don’t have space for writing, art and music. I’ll be commuting from Portland to Eugene twice a week, basically spending half my time in Eugene and half in Portland. The train ride feels like a perfect time for writing and reflection.

Other details I’m geeked about: Biking around Portland, joining a gym near my house, maybe joining the Independent Publishing Resource Center and learning how to letterpress. (!!!) And I’m looking forward to connecting with more Portland writers.

I have some exciting news about my work at Shimmer Magazine, but I’ll save that for the next post. I’ve also been thinking about reposting my shimmer writing articles here when I get around to it.

Hmmm … I guess that’s everything lately …

Hmmm … But, once again I’d like to use this blog to keep a fire under my butt. So, I’m committing to a new blog post sometime in the next week and I plan to have another five stories in the mail and at least another 5000 words done on the novel by then. See you later this week.