...but I've been thinking about my writing a lot lately. Yesterday I went for a nice long walk around the neighborhood, my favorite way to let ideas bounce around in my head before writing. Unfortunately, by the time I got home and got my lunch packed for the next day and all my stuff together, I had very little time for anything other than reading over the start of my work-in-progress, a short story about a mother named Madeline. Or maybe Simone. Or...okay, never mind.
I have a goal to write and submit a short story, something I haven't done since before I started on my novel. I typically have some trouble with the short fiction, simply because I have a hard time keeping it short. If you've been reading my blog more than a little bit, you can probably see how I might encounter that problem. However, getting a few publishing credits (non-poetry, too) to my name could make it easier to get an agent to look twice at the query for my novel, I'm guessing. And even if it doesn't make any difference whatsoever on that front, maybe if I could manage to get published in the next couple of years, it might help me to persevere on writing that second novel (which is in the works, but slooooowly).
I know it's not the best system, but it seems like the only time I really get any serious writing done is when I'm not teaching. Which means like eight or maybe ten weeks out of the year, when it's all said and done. That's not much to work with, so I think I'd better find some way to get better at writing in between the moments of being a mama and Ms. Lissnkids. It's hard, not so much because of the time, but because of the creativity teaching and mothering full time takes out of me. Don't believe anyone who tells you teaching is easy-peasy. Maybe it could be, if I were content to pick up some literature book and cruise along with my teachers' manual in tow, all "read this short story and answer the questions," but I can't roll that way, even when I try. Much of my writing energy goes toward school projects (you may have heard of the screenplay I recently wrote and directed called "Alien Invasions: UFO's and the MCA's"? Well, let me tell you it's not easy to get inspired by a state test (MCA's are the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment, pretty much the bane of our No Child Left Untested academic year). Plus, being that cheesy takes a lot of work!
Hmmph, it's time to make a lunch and get to bed, as usual, so I'm going to distill my thoughts down into a list of writing goals for this summer.
1. Submit AT LEAST fifteen queries for my novel.
2. Research publication options at least three times (basically once monthly)
3. Write a thousand words each day that I have writing time (we'll say three days a week, to keep it simple, since that's when I've got daycare. I'm hoping to steal a few more days here and there, though.)
4. Keep blogging. I know some people find that blogging becomes a way to avoid writing, and it's true that sometimes I "waste" time reading my way around the blogosphere, but I think the exercise of writing a daily (mostly) blog entry has been sort of a catalyst for more writing. A warm-up, in some cases.
All right. Now I've just got to keep it up, and be persistent with those queries.