Writing Everyday ’16: January Status

Along with the last days of January, the elation of fresh start and clean slate seems to have gone south… or rather north, if you judge by the temperature. This January had a lot of highs and lows on the writing front.

It may just be because it’s the second year or the grey low skies and drizzle, but it took me a lot of willpower to just show up and write those words, and sometimes I hardly lined up 50 of those before declaring them all crap. Even journaling felt hard, even though I had no shortage of experiences this month. I learnt that I can’t just see experience something to be able to write about it the next day, even if I wanted to make it just an exercise in describing a place and atmosphere with noises, colors, textures etc.. I probably need longer to process it.

But it’s not all grumble and complaints! I still wrote every day in January but for three evenings where I just threw the towel. I finished a story and somehow edited it.

This editing thing, I’m rather new at it. I didn’t finish so many stories that I’d know where to start and how to proceed. Especially where to finish. I had my text printed in my handbag for several weeks (yes, weeks), until it became so messy and dirty that it looked like an ancient parchment manuscript. I resisted going back to the computer, editing little by little and printing a fresh copy every time as it felt like a never-ending task without much impact. But maybe that’s the wrong way to do it. Here is a small peak at one editing session at home (I love, love, love my Emma Bridgewater mug! A nice mug of hot tea makes editing a lot more efficient, doesn’t it?). The ugly, old usb device is for taking my text back and forth between home and work. And the firefighter truck book isn’t really mine, as you’ve guessed it.

CIMG4067

The good thing is that I really enjoyed writing this story, regardless of the final outcome. For a while I got sucked into research, especially as I discovered resources at the library that I’d never considered before. But I knew where I wanted to go and I kept this in front of myself for the whole time.

That’s probably the best lesson this January month has to offer. What will I learn next month? Onward to February!

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