I’m a planner. Before I got my degree from Holy Names University’s graduate writing program, I developed a strategy to keep writing without the obligation (and well-planned syllabi) of my courses. My greatest fears included post-graduate inertia, the paralyzing expectations of great writing (immediate, constant, without end), the inability to allow dirty dishes to sit while the commitment to writing was honored, etc. etc. etc. Any activity that is not required to survive or or that is not achieved while slumped on the couch can be difficult to perform regularly…at least at my house! Clearly, I needed a plan.
Step 1: take a class at the Writing Salon taught by Elaine Beale (my classmate Damian Barnes told me she was wonderful & he was right!) Since I took that class, I’ve actually been writing in the notebook I carry around for that purpose. Elaine provided us with a bibliography to inspire the creative muse and from that, I’ve been working with A Writer’s Book of Days by Judy Reeves. It is wonderful. As they say, if you don’t use it, you lose it. The counterpart of that pithy adage is: the more you look, the more you see. With fresh eyes, the world is a more interesting place. Writing makes me feel engaged and reflective about the people or situations that I encounter.
Step 2: develop a nurturing, engaging, stimulating, fun writing community. I’m at the beginning of this journey. I struck up a friendship a few months ago with a fellow Alameda blogger, Alice Lewis, who is developing her writer’s confidence and voice, too. I joined the California Writers Club (check’s in the mail!), a group devoted to writing and the writer’s life, with regular events and groups to support the work. I need to add more pieces to this puzzle, but I’m uncertain what’s next.
Step 3: research literary magazines with the intention to Get Published! I realize it’s the goal of many (perhaps far more worthy) writers, but a girl’s gotta dream!
I wonder how other people pursue their dreams. What’s your strategy or process?