Month: August 2018

In and Out of my Zone

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.