I spent the final hours of 2020 writing and applying to writing contests. Writing has been a place of refuge for me this past year. I’ve been able to channel all the chaos, fear, and frustration into the work I’m doing. This has been a great way to release it, even if that wasn’t my original intention.
Since the March lockdowns, I began writing approximately 3-6 hours a week (sometimes more, sometimes less) on a weekly basis at a regular time. It felt right to make the most of being indoors by being productive. I know many people were unable to do this, but for me it actually made dealing with the uncertainties of this past year easier. I treated these hours as work and blocked them off from other activities, unless I had a particular errand that couldn’t be completed any other time. I wanted to complete a project that I’d begun with a writing partner in the summer of 2019. We’d put it aside several months later after amassing several months’ worth of brainstorming and backstory. We had started this Google document for the preparation of this lengthy project. Happy to say that we now have three of these Google documents because the original one has reached nearly 300 pages (NOT double spaced). We still mine the ideas we poured into these shared documents for ideas, so the preparation part for this project – which I’d say lasted at least 4-6 months, has been and continues to be well worth it.
Jumping into the actual writing, we actually outlined everything extensively – thanks again to the preparation we had for this – and then went to work structurally. This is not my typical process. I’m usually a write by the seat of my pants sorta gal. I sit down and let the words come forth. That works for poems and can work for short plays or stories, but it isn’t good for lengthier works. Getting through the middle or coming up with a good ending doesn’t happen easily by pantsing your way through a long project. This process has taught me how to work on a long, lengthy project and get it done.
Last night, we finished the revisions (about 95% certain we are done) and it felt good to be ending the new year with this sense of finality (even if we end up back in the revision state once we get readers’ notes). I fully expect to be in revisions for a while in some form for this project until it gets to a place that feels ready to go.
Now, it’s on to the other projects I have that are in various stages of being written or completed.
Maybe 2021 will be the year that many of the projects I’ve been working on finally see the light of day. I’m hoping you all will one day get to read or experience them in person.