Sunday, October 6, 2013

Blogging class prompts blog teacher to actually blog (and post random hiking pictures)

Yellow Aster Butte
I had the distinct feeling that since I'm teaching a blog class TODAY for Seattle Public Library, I should probably update my own blog. Ahem.

(By the way, the photos here are  just some totally random hiking photos to make this post look pretty).

What to report? I'm finally making good progress on the children's novel I started three (or was it four?) year ago. It feels so good to be living in the fictional world again! The last time I was really in the groove with a novel was then I was writing BreakupBabe, and well all know how long ago THAT was.

Granite Mountain
Not that I haven't tried. I've written sh*tty first drafts of at least three novels since then, followed by sh*tty second drafts that I eventually gave up on because I could get no traction.

Then in 2010 I had a teacher named Joni Sensel.  She told me NOT TO GIVE UP on the book I was writing. Not because she thought it was so great or anything. But because I was suffering a syndrome common to many writers where I would abandon an old idea in favor of a shiny new one once I started to struggle with the old idea to much.

Chinook Pass
Because there is always struggle. It's just that sometimes you don' struggle quite as much, and you get lucky - as I did with BreakupBabe, which mostly wrote itself thanks to that miracle known as a book contract (and because, even though it was a novel, it was mostly about ME).

I knew that Joni was right, and that if I didn't just buckle down and finish something I might forever be drifting between ideas. So, three years later, having not given up, here I am FINALLY making progress on this thing and feeling good about it.

It might never get published, of course. But, while that is an important thing for a writer, it's not the most important thing. The most important thing is that I'm writing. I'm making progress. And I'm enjoying it. So I feel like I have a purpose in life again .

Meanwhile I also wrote a fun articles on tree climbing (scary!) and backpacking (not so scary unless you encounter a bear or get lost!) both of which feature lots of my pictures including vintage 70s photos of my family wearing external frame packs and clothes that would never be allowed on a mountain today, such as jeans and cotton.