One of the smart things I do occasionally, though not as often as I should, is attend writing events, such as book signings, workshops, and lectures. At each of these events, I endeavor to follow through on at least one suggestion that strikes me as being easy to accomplish (Did I really say easy? I meant one that I thought to be a practical and intelligent idea). Smirk.
This past week I attended a lively and informative lecture given by Amy Gail Hansen, former English teacher and author of The Butterfly Sister, her first novel, published in 2013 by William Morrow, an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers. She is nearly a local author; she lives in neighboring Illinois, and attended college here in Wisconsin. In fact, her guest lecture took place at her alma mater, Carthage College, just here in Kenosha, which also happens to be one of the central settings for her novel. Pretty neat.
In addition to being a lively, personable, humorous speaker, Ms. Hansen, was also generous with sharing writing tips and publishing industry information. I really can’t say enough nice things about her—just a lovely person. You can learn more about her at www.amygailhansen.com.
The practical and intelligent idea I’ve decided to follow through on from Amy Gail Hansen’s lecture, is this—I’ve decided to begin keeping a Writing Log. This, not to be confused with a Writing Blog, or a Journal; those are two totally separate things, sort of. I find that when it comes to writing, everything leaks. And I think that’s good. As a former writing project colleague says, “If it goes into my head, it goes into my writing.”
I’m not planning to keep the log on the blog (damn, I love rhyme), but I’m thinking if I make the commitment here, I have a better chance of following through. Writers make lots of promises to themselves. I will write every day. I will always have something out there—out in the world—that it would be much easier to keep here, safely tucked away. I will be brave. I will finish project A, B, C, and D before beginning Project E. I will set up a defined and sacred writing schedule…I will not be distracted by news of the day, or Facebook, or those adorable text messages my granddaughter is sending me right now from far away in California…
So, you get the idea. Some of these promises I actually know I will not keep. Shocking, right? Honestly, I know I can do better, though I don’t expect, really not ever, one-hundred percent adherence. That might stunt my creativity! And, come on, no grandmother can ignore a text from her growing up too fast and won’t always have time for me granddaughter—that’s just criminal even to think about.
I will, however, keep a Writing Log beginning Monday, August 18, 2014.
The Writing Log shall include:
Wish me luck! And please, share your ideas. Comments are most welcome.