New beginnings. Lots of new beginnings happening here at Routines for Writers. Kitty has self-published two books and is working on others; Shonna’s book will be published soon; we have a new look here at RFW; and, now, a renewed commitment to regular postings. The schedule is a little changed, with only one post a month from each of us, but we do plan to keep you apprised of what we are doing and what we are learning in our journeys as writers.
Some of you may be long-time followers from before almost 2 years ago when we decided to discontinue regular postings. (Welcome back!) Most of you probably weren’t. (We’re glad you found us now. Welcome!) You may or may not know that I went through a difficult time about three years ago. More precisely, many negative aspects of my life culminated to a crisis point three years ago. (I may write about that more specifically later, but this post is about where I’m going, not where I’ve been.) My creativity was a casualty of that crisis. Along with my self-confidence, motivation, financial security, life dreams, and more. Try as I would, I found it harder and harder to string words together into meaningful sentences, much less creative, compelling and interesting ones.
I spent many months floundering, with no clear idea of what to do. (I’ve since realized that was a normal and necessary part of the healing process.) During all that floundering, I made the decision to return to school. (I reasoned that any degree was better than no degree.) Because of a previous interest and limited success in web design, I chose to pursue a degree in “Design, Technology and Innovation” at Troy University. (The university in the town where I live.) The beginning art courses I had to take (Drawing, Form and Space, Time and Space, eDrawing) were instrumental to my emotional and creative recovery. (I’m still healing, of course, but much more able to live life intentionally and to the fullest.)
Those courses gave me specific assignments to accomplish while I worked in mediums unfamiliar to me. I had to create new methods of working, learn new ways of doing unfamiliar things and experience my creative cycle in new environments.While working through all those unfamiliar assignments, I discovered insights into my creative process. Insights that apply to my entire life. Most important among those insights is that a part of my creative cycle includes a dark time when I am convinced I will fail at the current project. Along with that certainty comes a plethora of internal negative voices, often sounding quite reasonable, berating, discouraging and ridiculing me for being stupid enough to even try, much less think I can succeed.) Pushing through that certainty, combating those negative voices with facts or with just the plain stubborn decision not to quit, almost always results in an astounding success or breakthrough. Usually the very next time I return to the project. (Taking that break is also an integral part of my process.)
Step by step, I’m rebuilding my life and my dreams. I still have at least three semesters left before I obtain a degree, but that is only a portion of the plans and dreams being rediscovered, reignited and reimagined. This semester I am enrolled in several classes that will be stretching and expanding my skills in design and communication. In my Design for the Internet, I’ll be learning Dreamweaver and designing several websites. Another class requires that I create and maintain a blog. If you want to follow my progress there, go to AnotherVoiceOnTheWeb.wordpress.com. I’m also taking an ePublishing class, with a goal that we will write and format a 30-40 page book, which we will upload to Amazon. Of course, I’ll announce that here when it is available. (Not completely sure of the topic. Most likely, either Christian Feminism or Homeschooling.)
Along with the progress toward my degree and the discovery of new outlets of creativity, I’m tentatively returning to my fiction writing. It’s mostly journal entries and snippets of scenes, but that aspect of my imagination is returning to life. In sleeping dreams or waking thoughts, that creative voice is gaining strength as I heal emotionally and creatively. It’s good to be back!