So, I've been taking stock of life and writing, especially writing.
I've been at this "seriously" since, oh, call it Summer 2008. I was off on parental leave with my first son, and started to write a novel that I'd been kicking around. (The oft referenced, not-to-be-completed-any-time-soon "Big Top") That lead to entering the Toronto Star (one of Canada's big newspapers) Short story contest. It also lead to joining a writer's group, which kept me going.
Once the gears were set in motion, it's been pretty steady ever since. MicroHorror published my first story in Feb, 2009, and my second. I found out in April of that year that my Toronto Star story got first prize in the contest, which was a huge validation that I haven't been just committing onanism by keyboard.
After that, came a small series of flash successes, and the sheer act of continuous writing produced some really neat longer pieces that I'm proud of.
November was my first NaNoWriMo - and I made it to the end. However, I've since discovered that the work produced at that pace, with an eye to sheer word count can lead to innumerable problems trying to make something of the result.
Since January, as part of the "newspaper prize", I've been working with a professional author in a post-grad college course, and have, I think, learned more in six months than I've learned in a lifetime of scribbling, and the biggest thing I've learned? Be like a two year old. When you're reading your stuff, ask "why" until you want to scream. You'll find stuff out.
And now? I'm a fair clip into the book I should've been writing since January, and enjoying it, but have realized that even with the stories you love to write, there is going to be a lot of work involved down the road. Normal Café is coming to a close, and I've got some neat plans for the finished work.
Personally, my family's great, my kids are the best, my house is a nightmare, but all in all, life's not letting me down. And now I'm 35. I'll take it.
Thanks for reading this momentary exploration of the navel (speaking of verbal onanism ...)
May all your white spaces fill with genius.