Skating on Ice versus Swimming in the Lake

Since 2007, there has been a flurry of writing activity for me.

I have participated in NaNoWriMo, that madcap literary dash to the finish, writing (scribing, transcribing, composing, etc.) 50,000 words on a “novel” within the month of November. And I have successfully completed this event in each of the last four years. I put it aside for the month of December and then begin the new year with a rewrite, editing, polish, etc. But not really.

After a profoundly interesting meeting of the Kansas Writer’s Association in May 2009, I realized many things that I did not know about networking and blogging and self-publishing with POD services, etc. So, I got business cards, started this blog, found two short novels of mine ripe for publication and set to the task of networking. But not really.

With my wife’s help, I reorganized the office, separated personal from writing, and got myself in a position to take care of household needs separate from literary ones. But not really.

Since 2007, I’ve been only touching the surface of these things, skating on a thin layer of ice, polishing the impressions while fearful of falling and losing ground. I should have been diving into the warmth of a lake in summer, splashing around, unafraid of getting wet or staying out too late.

I wrote recently of having lost notes regarding a novel I was still working on in first draft. It occurred to me that perhaps this was a wake up call to go slower, refocus the efforts on work that needs more attention. I need to take some pieces that are good but not great, interesting but not fascinating, entertaining but not must-read and flesh them out and bring them to a truer point of completion.

So, whereas my 2011 Writing Goals shows that I wanted to work on two new pieces, I am revising even that. My focus will be on three works (perhaps a fourth) that will undergo extreme scrutiny and finer revision. I will slow down the train of the agent search before I derail myself. I will place unwavering attention on the skill and the craft and the art.

I will finalize two poetry collection manuscripts for publication on Lulu only because, well, they’re poetry and the whole idea of Lulu for poetry reminds me of when everyone was putting out their work in chapbooks.

It’s winter time. we just had a snowstorm here in the Wichita, KS area and we got about 7-9 inches of snow. That’s the real world. As far as my writing is concerned, I’m going to go swimming in the lake for a while.

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2 Comments

  1. George C. Berlow said,

    February 18, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    Of all the items that HB has written about in this Blog, this is the first time I am responding, only because I am the biggest fan of his. Do you know why?
    I happen to be his father. I knew he was constantly writing as well as doing other things but never really realized the extent of the time he spends on his
    second love. I just want to say, take a break once in a while and smell the Roses, you will have more strength to accomplish more things. Love you son.

    Like

    • tikiman1962 said,

      February 19, 2011 at 3:07 pm

      To all who follow and read my blog: It is utterly awe-inspiring and humbling to have my 88-year old father (who is rather computer literate) read my blog and follow my writing and cooking adventures.
      When I worked for a telecommunications company and would offer internet servie to customers, I would occasionally get the response “I’m too old…” for a computer or any sort of technology. What an utter disappointment that THOSE people are missing out on the opportunity to “see” the world and communicate with people, fanmily and friends.
      I am blessed by this one particular response from my father.

      Like


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