I’m wondering why writing has been so challenging for me this summer. Last summer I made that 500-word-a-day goal, and I charged through the summer with a lot more energy. This summer, I’ve had much more trouble with focus and drive. I’ve allowed a lot of silly distractions to get in the way . I took part in the Teachers Write virtual camp, and I loved visiting the blog every day. Kate Messner is a writer I really admire, and she gathered a ton of great writers who gave helpful tips, posed creative challenges, and responded to our questions. Still, something kept me from diving in fully. So many of the other teacher/writers seemed to have “projects” they referred to as their WIPs (works in progress). I didn’t have a project. So many of them were asking questions about how to write a query letter. I didn’t even know what a query letter was. I had to infer from the responses.
I think this class was not quite in my “zone of proximal development.” At this point in my writing life, I can crank out a slice, or work on a poem, but I don’t seem to have a historical fiction novel in the works. I don’t have a non-fiction research project brewing either. Is there a market for Slices? I never had the nerve to ask in one of the Q & A sessions. I pretty much knew the answer. The Slice of Life table at Barnes and Noble is still in its conceptual phase.
This is sounding somewhat negative, but I think I’m finding out what might have been holding me back. Perhaps I was out in the deep water before I had really gained enough confidence to swim to the other side of the lake…or to keep a metaphor afloat. Maybe what I need most is another year of 500 words a day with my SOL community. I’ll be collecting moments and maybe keeping my eye out for something that could grow into a WIP.
In the meantime, I’m heading up to the Adirondacks with my family and my new canoe this weekend. I’m thinking I can collect some “sliceworthy” moments on the mountains and in the lakes.
Heck, I’m playing “golf” tomorrow morning with an old teacher friend. Slices? Pretty much guaranteed.