I have been quiet since 2016. I apologise. I went through a rather tough time in my life, losing three grandparents in one year, and changing careers the next. I’ve had to adjust to a very different pace, leaving little time or energy (or motivation) to write. It is also quite difficult to find inspiration when life is clobbering you with that many lemons. Stress and anxiety are a creativity killers (which is ironic, considering that my last post regards finding inspiration).
Despite everything, I managed to write a little; very little in terms of the bigger picture, but I wrote nonetheless.
A tiny glimmer of light became visible in 2016 when I self-published another short story, “Break Away”, in the Pretoria Writers’ Group’s anthology entitled Journey. The anthology was kindly compiled by Muses and Broomsticks. I completed the story during Camp NaNoWriMo in April of that year as both an escape and a purge from reality. If I remember correctly, I think I actually ended up enjoying writing this story.
I took part in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in 2016, and exceeded the minimum requirement of 50 000 words to win. I wrote bits and pieces of work, writing the majority of my material during write-ins with the local NaNoWriMo group. It was another great escape from reality surrounded by like-minded creatives.
I attempted to take part in NaNoWriMo this year, but like last year, it proved very difficult alongside work. (If you are wondering, I am now teaching and not editing as a day job. I am fortunate enough to be qualified to do either.)
I then took part in National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo) in April 2017 and this year in order the complete the Camp NaNoWriMo challenge too. Two birds, one stone. You can read my poetry on my blog entitled Sea Foam and Citrus.
Other than that, I joined the Pretoria Writers’ Circle last year. We meet on the first Saturday of every month to share and critique poetry and prose. I have not contributed much as yet, but I have learnt much and made many new friends.
Speaking of which, a few university friends and I formed our own group last year too in order to critique each other’s work. We try to meet once a month, but it doesn’t always prove feasible. I have learnt much from these sessions too, as we all seem to take writing very seriously and know the importance of taking full advantage of our meetings to help each other. We can always get together for a casual social event another time. I appreciate this.
Lastly, one of my dearest friends Hernes and I wrote a historical screenplay last year which we entered in the PAGE International Screenwriting Awards. We did not make it to the next round, but we received great feedback which could take our screenplay to the next level. We are going to rework and tweak a few things before re-entering it next year. Hernes is doing the bulk of the actual screenwriting, while I am writing the novel version of the screenplay, hopefully to be released alongside the film when we eventually find a producer. Needles to say, we have both contributed research and ideas towards plot and character development. This is one of the most exciting projects on which I am working, and we have a few more ideas up our sleeves…
So, it has not been the best two or so years for writing volumes, or at least as much as I had hoped to write, but that which I have written has been enjoyable and, most importantly, meaningful. I have found that surrounding myself with other writers has been very meaningful too.
I now endeavour to take this summer holiday time (December in South Africa) to plan, write and – of course – blog more often, forming that habit of which I wrote a while ago…
Before I go, I’d like to thank you for your patience and understanding with regard to not posting for a very long time!