|Portal Cards by Corporeal Writing
First, I have continued to write every day since the end of NaNoWriMo. Which is kind of amazing for
me. I don't usually do that - or not outside of November. Even during NaNovember, I often don't make the personal goal of writing every day of the month.
I am writing story starts, ideas for stories, and have made a little bit of progress on The Project (hybrid/memoir). I have also started journal writing, again. With everything happening, that seems like a good idea for me. It has been beneficial, so my intent is to keep up that practice.
I had a boost toward the writing everyday, because I participated in the Literary Kitchen Winter Break Intensive, again. This is a fast-paced, daily assignment class/workshop where we are given 12 assignments in 14 days. (The two days "off" are up to the individual participants.) In addition to our own daily writing, we also provide feedback to three other people's writing for each assignment. Think of it as a writing marathon. It is. And it is a great activity for the last two weeks of December. It's a great way - at least for me - to keep present in my life and keep connected to my writing. The world goes kind of haywire with expectations and holiday gatherings (or not, if you're being COVID cautious or don't like the holidays, or whatever - but even if you avoid the holidays the pressures and expectations from others are still there). This clipping-along writing commitment is fun and gives a nice, creative focus in a time which can "try one's nerves."
I did get all of the assignments done and all of the feedback done. I fell behind on the feedback, so I didn't get it completed until January 2nd. But I did get it done. I do have a few things from that workshop which seem like keepers to develop and edit further; and a few germs of ideas, even though the particular thing I wrote is "not it."
So. On to 2023. In terms of writing, this is going to be a spectacular year.
On January 1, 2023, the first meeting of the Maven of Mythmaking Certificate Program was held via Zoom. The participants are from all over. Armed with our required and recommended book list and the textbook for the program, The Wayward Writer: Summon Your Power to Take Back Your Story, Liberate Yourself from Capitalism, and Publish Like a Superstar, we met for two hours, did a writing exercise about our goals/intentions For The Year!! We did not do introductions, because we had already begun posting our introductions on the class online Boards.
That's right: the Maven of Mythmaking is a full-year program, led by Ariel Gore. There are weekly assignments: readings, actions, writing, and of course, feedback. Most months we will have two Zoom meetings, as well. Ariel will have Office Hours.
The Mythmaking Authors are an eclectic group. We are writing everything from memoir to essays, fantasy to short stories, horror to novels; so much more. We are writers with many publications, writers who have written primarily for themselves; writers who want mainstream publication and writers who want to self-publish or do a hybrid; writers with MFAs and writers who have barely started taking any writing workshops; the age range is large and joyous.
This is day four of the year-long program and I know it was the right decision.
On some days, when the news is bad and politicians are using citizens as collateral, when my primary work is creating havoc with scheduling which impacts my income and my "safety net" (it is no longer that) - I wonder. Did I do the right thing? This big of a time and financial commitment?
Those moments of doubt are tied to old patterns and old beliefs which still live under my skin. Even though their impact has shrunk, they still exist. Those moments of second guessing myself and toying with self-regret or remorse are truly fractions of a second and rare. But they do still seep through the excitement and creative energy, poking through the surface very briefly. I've learned to give that negativity a nod and a "thanks for trying to keep me safe; but I'm good." It isn't able to get a hold any longer.
So. One thing I am going to try to do is be more present here. I don't have a plan for what that looks like. I'm hesitant to set up a strict schedule, which would put more pressure to perform on me, and potentially set me up for failure. Or, at least, fear of failure - which I am trying to avoid. With the continuing high numbers of COVID-19 cases and my personal additional risks, I still have to avoid prolonged indoor events, especially with large crowds; and if masks are not required, it could be deadly for me. Which means that theatre - another passion of mine, and an important creative outlet, is minimal and mostly virtual for me, until COVID is truly under control - which is not now. (I have a genetic mutation which increases the likelihood of blood clots. It was discovered in 2011 after a bilateral pulmonary embolism incident and don't want to experience it again. This puts me at higher risk of hospitalization and more severe complications from COVID-19. Therefore, I must avoid infection.)
I don't know where this year of Mythmaking and a kind of "alternative MFA" is going to lead. I do not have a specific project I am working on. I am showing up for writing. I will write every day - sometimes that will be journal writing, sometimes it will be generating new material, sometimes it will be reading about writing, writing about writing; sometimes it will be working through edits on The Project; sometimes showing up for writing means loafing and relaxing and going for a walk, where I will be thinking about my writing.
2023 is going to be a good writing year.