Happy New Year dear readers.
Yes, it has been a while since I was last on the blog, a hiatus I can partially blame on writers’ block once again. Sigh.
While crossbordertales has had a rollercoaster ride with many starts and stops, I am pleased to report the past 12 months has been its busiest year with the grand total of 12 blogs!
Over the past eight years whenever I have sat down to post on this site, admittedly not as often as I would have liked, I have never been short of a topic and the words have seemingly flown onto the screen. However in November the yips struck… two blogs just didn’t work!
As you may recall, I acknowledged a case of writer’s block in my July blog – Creativity through tears – following the sudden and untimely death of my brother. Interestingly I was never overly concerned at the time as I understood it to be a natural part of the grief process. However when it struck again in November however I just couldn’t explain the why or wherefore of the abyss, other than the rest of my life was incredibly busy at the time. Maybe it was just case of trying to do too much and not providing a space for contemplation and absorption for writing.
So rather than force something onto you all at the time something that was not quite right, I decided to take a break. Given the whirlwind that the end of the year ended up being it was I think in hindsight a wise move although I was very grumpy about it at the time.
So here I am sitting at the computer on 1 January 2019, with the Festive season shenanigans now over. Thankfully the words are flowing once again – phew! Yes the break seems to have done me some good.
So given it is the first day of the new year, it is time to look back on the year that was and contemplate my writing plans for 2019. This year for the first time I am avoiding the big resolution declaration to concentrate rather on smaller goals, one of which was to write today, so already there is a tick. I believe that given the curveballs and surprises that can occur, especially with the year that has just gone, it is probably a more realistic outlook.
So back to 2018… just how did it go?
It was however a target that initially seemed to be on track during the first quarter of the year, despite some competing priorities, until the end of April when my brother’s untimely and sudden death brought things to a crashing halt.
For those who have been on this journey all the way through you will probably recall my grand resolution announcement with the 2 January 2018 blog – In fear and trembling or the latest attempt to overcome procrastination – that my resolution for the year was to have the first draft of the WIP completed by 31 December 2018. Um, yes well… as you can see that didn’t occur and as much as it would have been nice to have typed ‘The End’ yesterday I am not beating myself up on my missed deadline.
It was to be another 10 weeks before I felt able to return to my own writing again, a process helped by my Writers of Adelaide group, a local Facebook support group that morphed during the year into physical form. For a short period during the year we had a monthly block chain which provided the inspiration to the August blog – The importance of creativity | crossbordertales and the September blog Challenging Writer’s Block | crossbordertales (ironically another discussion on writer’s block). These exercises certainly helped to kick things along so to the WofA team thank you and hopefully we can try the chain again in 2019.
Then during September I came across a simple Instagram trend called #100DaysOfWriting.
As someone who struggles with finding the time to write, unfortunately a somewhat regular theme of mine as you have all probably noticed, I decided to give this concept a try, setting 1 October as the starting date. The October blog – #100daysofwriting | crossbordertales – was an update on the first 15 days of the challenge.
Initially this challenge seemed to be a good support in developing the writing practice until the second half of the month when organising a reunion of my Advertiser colleagues took over whatever spare time I had. It is probably no surprise to you all that the second writer’s block for the year then kicked in November.
During the abyss there were two blog attempts – one on the reunion and another on the centenary of the armistice – and you now know the story about what happened to them. I am sure they will resurface in some form, somewhere one day, I am a strong believer in that nothing is wasted in writing. I think it was a case that the time wasn’t right for them to see the light of day.
The Advertiser reunion was a personal highlight of 2018, providing a chance to reconnect with old friends. In some cases it was 30 years since we last saw each other and for one weekend it seemed as though time indeed stood still.
Despite impacting on my personal writing time, the reunion still had a link to the writing craft by providing an opportunity to look back on my journalism career. It was also a chance for all of us who attended to salute a grand profession and consider how lucky we have been to be a part of it.
Journalism may not be what it was during the 1980s and 1990s but I think whatever form it unfolds into the future, telling the news story remains paramount for a healthy society and democracy and I believe in some way it will survive. It is that belief and in celebration of my colleagues, some of whom are still on the road and some who are like me and trying their hand at different forms of writing, that our group photo is today’s blog pix.
So as to 2019 what are my writing goals?
It is quite simple, to write as often as I can, to post up on this blog as often as I can, to read as often as I can, to spend less time on social media and TV and maybe just maybe, get the first draft of the WIP completed.
The good news is that two years on from when I first came up with the idea I still believe in it and I want to see it reach full fruition. Enough to inspire one to continue.
As previously mentioned, already on day 1 of 2019 I’ve ticked off the first 2019 goal with writing on News Year’s Day. Today also marks commencing my second attempt at the #100DaysOfWriting challenge. A challenge that is due to finish on my birthday! I believe this is somewhat fortutious timing and when this attempt is successfully accomplished, it will be a fitting double celebration.
So whatever writing or reading you do during this year, may it be a wonderful adventure. So 2019 come at me and let this journey begin… now back to writing the novel.