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On Finding Time

This wasn't supposed to be this week's blog - but Nathan Hystad invited me along to his blog next week to talk about the same thing (writing myriad things). So, instead, I'm going to muse on the importance of finding time not just to write, but to reflect and grow.

It's a timely day to do this - I'm wrapping up after finishing an edit for a publisher, before spending a week at the John Hewitt Summer School next week. I will be abandoning my husband and kids for five whole nights in order to go off and do some writerly things. (I'll blog about the week afterwards.) I will be attending lectures and reading and also a workshop on writing for young people, in the hope of addressing my incurable habit of writing books that are almost YA but not quite (I bet all I do is come up with something crossover in mind. Hey-ho.)

Believe it or not, I haven't even been published for 18 months. During that time I've had a load of amazing things: first readings, first panels, first guest invite, first podcasts, first cover blurb, first award listing, first Hugo nomination, first appearance on a map (way-hey, that one just happened and it's fun - apparently I'm the Ards pennisula), first signing sessions, first one-star revies, first tv performance etc etc....

Oh, and I've also brought out two more books, an audio book, several short stories and maintained this blog. Alongside a day job and running a family home. To say I have little time to stop, reflect and work out where all this is taking me is an understatement.

And I need to. I simply have too much on my plate to keep running forwards like a chicken escaping the fox. I need to think about what I have coming out, and where my writing goes. I especially need to do this since Abendau, my world since I was 16, is drawing to a close, with book 3 nearing completion. (Although I won't rule out doing more in that world. One character in particular might be screaming for a follow up.)

I think, one of the things that makes it important, is how different each writers' path is. I was chatting with a writer friend yesterday (hi, Ralph!) about what we each had coming up and each of us had exciting things happening - and yet they couldn't have been more different.

A writing career - which seems to be what my year-long dash has taken me towards - is a slippery thing to grasp. It's borne of opportunity, of market requirements, and a little dash of something even harder to control. It's driven by what we create. I'd love to be an identikit writer, in some ways. I'd love to be sure I'll be bringing out another space opera to build on Abendau, or sf thriller for Inish Carraig (actually, there is one of those coming out at some point). I can't. I can guarantee everyone a literary fantasy, however. (More on Nathan's blog about that theme.)

Once we add all that into the mix, it becomes clear that, from time to time, we have to stand back and think about where we are. Consider where all those words are taking us, and where they fit into our path of life. Next week, I intend to do pretty much that. (As well as having a blast, of course.)


Anya Kimlin said…
Good luck next week, Jo
Anonymous said…
I'm also going - doing the writing for stage and screen
hope to meet you there
Joanne Zebedee said…
Thank you! I shall blog about it. :)
Joanne Zebedee said…
That sounded like a very cool workshop (they all did). Hopefully we will get to say hi!