Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Stewardship of my Writing Time

I posted recently that I was going through a dry time, not writing much. I also mentioned that the main creative things I wrote during this time was a haiku. The inspiration for this was the blizzard we had last winter. Early the morning after went out in the sub-zero temperature to shovel 16 inches of snow. I wasn’t going to work that day, and my truck was parked up the hill, not in the driveway. But I woke up that day to a glorious sun. Past observation has proved that the sun’s radiant energy will melt the residual sheen left on the driveway after shoveling, even in very cold temperatures. An amazing thing, radiant energy.

So I shoveled, taking frequent breaks due to the depth of snow. As the sun rose high enough, I noticed that ice or snow crystals were fluttering in front of it. The air was so cold (somewhere around -12F) that the little moisture in the air was condensing. Enough to have a few crystals or flakes, not enough to be called precipitation. The line “ice crystals flutter” stuck in my mind, and I realized it would make a good line in a haiku. As I shoveled I worked on it, but the full thing didn’t gel.

Over the last four months I kept coming back to it, convinced a short poem was begging to be released. Finally last weekend it gelled. The impetus for that is an anthology being put together by some Missouri writers groups to help replenish school libraries damaged in the Joplin tornado. They want short stories or poems concerning storms, any type of storms. That was a good motivator to get quiet for a while and finish my haiku.

What about my writing time in general? Yesterday evening went well. I began work on the next chapter of In Front of Fifty Thousand Screaming People. I think I had less than five hundred words of text added, but at least I sent some words from brain to keyboard to hard drive. I figured out how I want to approach the chapter. I also brainstormed the next chapter, running scene and dialog through my mind.

I guess because the haiku captured my mind for a while, I went to Absolute Write and critiqued three poems. None of them took very long to do, maybe ten minutes each, a little more for the villanelle. Here are the links to those crits (password is “citrus”):
Uke’s Lament” (ninth post)
Malicious Intent” (second and eight posts)
My Fingers Softly Upon Your Cheek” (second post)
These are not earth-shattering creativity, but they keep my mind engaged.

Of course, since a writer is supposed to be their own best marketer. And a self-published writer is their own publisher. So part of my time must be dedicated to these. Today has included some marketing brainstorming. Tonight, after our BNC Writers meeting, might involve some more research for publishing with SmashWords. I’m close to completing my review of their Style Guide, after which I can begin to upload my two e-books to that sales platform.

So all in all, not bad with my stewardship of time. Still have a ways to go before I can claim to have my act together, however.

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