On Blogging Again
It’s been a long time since I’ve touched this little corner of the internet. Writing blog posts used to be effortless, a much needed break from the struggles of fiction writing, but over time the process began to shift. I started to overthink every word, and still nothing I wrote was good enough. It didn’t help that blogging as a medium died a slow, quiet death. I’ve gone back and forth about starting a newsletter instead, something that would probably be more useful for me in the long term (building an email list and all that) but frankly I don’t think I have enough to say right now to justify clogging up someone’s already full inbox. So I’ve come back to this, a place where I can write without pressure, a bulletin board for my creative life.
Since it’s been almost 2 years since I posted anything here, let’s have a little recap, shall we? I love seeing how other artists and writers break up their time – how long it takes them to finish projects, how they choose what to focus on. I’m far from consistent, but I think it’s interesting to see the flow of my creative efforts over the course of a year.
- January – May: Finished the first draft of a novella project. Typing “The End” on a new draft was such a relief. I hadn’t finished a draft of anything longer than a short story since 2018, after many, many false starts.
- June – September: Chipped away at my current novel in progress. Wrote several short stories, including my first-ever horror story. I submitted a story to Taco Bell Quarterly, which is exactly what it sounds like: a literary magazine dedicated entirely to Taco Bell. I’m really proud of that story – I wrote something entirely out of my comfort zone, and loved every second of it. If it gets rejected, I’ll be sure to post it in-full here 🙂
- October – November: My friends and I tabled at Houston zine fest, so I spent the bulk of these two months prepping for that. Making art is such a satisfying change of pace from writing, because it’s so much easier to see your progress. It may seem like a small thing, but having a physical end product rather than 80,000 words tucked away in a Scrivener doc can make a world of difference. Also, Zine Fest was a blast!
- December: I’m about 30,000 words into my novel now, and I’m finally starting to hit my stride with it. One of my biggest struggles this year has been finding the energy for creativity around my full time job. I make my best work when I connect with the draft every day, and that just hasn’t been possible recently. Striking that balance between creative consistency and taking care of myself is so freaking hard, but we’re getting there.
One of the things that inspired me to write this blog post in the first place was the YouTube channel of artist Maria Sisul. Her videos are calming and beautifully shot, and she talks about her creative process with such clarity and purpose. Her videos made me realize that I’ve been trying to brute-force my creativity. I’ve been focusing so much on making myself do the work that I’ve forgotten that there are other structures I can implement for myself outside of tracking word count and measuring progress. What does my creative process actually look like? How can I build routines that support both my productivity and the work itself? Seems obvious, huh? Sometimes I get so caught up in gathering the mental energy required to write that I forget the point of writing itself: imagination, play, and storytelling.
This is Where I Leave You
…but hopefully not for long. I’m feeling a little vulnerable and rusty writing this. I’m worried it’s boring to everyone but myself. But I also know that I love reading about other people’s creative lives, from their triumphs all the way down to the routines and schedules that make the work possible. I hope you do, too.