Mid-last year I decided that 2012 was going to be my year of being a writer.
I’ve been a professional writer for ages—the corporate kind. I enjoy corporate writing. I value immensely the things I have learnt from doing that work for ten years, particularly discipline and the ability to step back from my work and evaluate it.
In the working world, being a corporate writer inevitably segued into marketing, a skill which I’ve proudly applied to arts projects (like TINA, All This Intimacy, The Lifted Brow, Emerging Writers’ Festival, and The Edge) between corporate stuff.
However satisfying it is to do something well, get better at it by doing it more and have people appreciate you for it (and it is tremendously satisfying!), I felt like I was neglecting part of my brain. So I earmarked 2012 as my year for being a creative writer.
I worried, as always, about whether I would be able to make enough money if I shifted my focus away from paid work. Mostly I worried about whether I would have ideas often enough to sustain writing as much as I wanted to.
A weird—and super awesome—thing happened: the moment I decided I wanted to write more fiction, I started having ideas for stories. Maybe all those wanky self-help gurus are onto something. Right now I’m in the middle of a couple of stories and a few more outlines and continue to have ideas popping into my head every fortnight or so.
I’m trying not to think about publishing just yet, because none of the stories are anywhere near being ready for editorial eyes, and because if, during the writing process, I think about where I might submit them, the marketing side of my brain tries to take over and stops the story from being itself.
Working out and writing stories is so much fun. I’m finding that even if I work on each story just an hour a week they progress pretty well. And the great thing about having several things on the go at once is that whenever I have a spare hour, I feel inspired to work on at least one of them.
What are you working on this year?