Limitations

This April, I’ve been participating in Camp Nanowrimo. During camp you can set yourself the writing goal that fits for you, and have support from other participants (on the forum, or by joining a cabin). I’ve participated before, and I’ve always had fun with it. It’s nice to feel that extra pressure to write while not being under the enormous pressure of the standard 50.000 words of Novembers Nanowrimo. Last July, camp really helped me with writing a first draft.

This april, though, I’ve struggled. From the very beginning I had difficulty settling on a project. Even when I thought I had a manageable project and goal set for the month, I’ve had trouble keeping up.

I have been stressing with school, but nothing unmanageable. I haven’t had complete freedom to write, but nobody ever does. I think what has happened is that I have let the stress of everything prevent me from really doing much of anything. Even now I should really be writing a paper. Funny how I only take time to return to my blog when I’m running from all my other responsibilities.

Sitting down, taking a few breaths and managing my tasks shouldn’t be such a difficult thing to do, and I suppose I have managed in the past. But now, I find it difficult. I’m beginning to think I’ll just have to adjust my writing goal and figure out how I can do the bare minimum in all my tasks. Just until I can get through this.

It feels… Weak? Like a loss. But then, I haven’t truly lost anything. I still have more words than I did before the month began, and I don’t actually have to give my all at school to get trough. Truth is that if I take this minor setback, I can still make it trough this having still accomplished something.

Making decisions like this, I’m beginning to realise, is part of being a responsible artist. No matter what you do: visual arts, writing, acting, music… anything really. You have to be kind to yourself and reign in yourself. I’m sure we could all drive ourselves into an early grave working hard, and artists have done for a long time. But surely you can also try to take care of yourself. Keep your ego and your longing for brilliance back, if only a little, so you don’t burn your candle at both ends. That way you’ll be able to do more in the future.

Cloudy With a Chance of Brainstorm

I haven’t been the best at posting here lately. It’s not that I haven’t been able to creative lately, it’s the opposite. I’ve been exploring story-ideas, plots and characters. Where I live, mushrooms are popping up overnight right now because of the rain, and ideas have been popping into my head.

On one hand I welcome this: I think exploring new ideas and putting characters, settings and plots together is the most fun in the writing process. It’s so free, and there are no established rules yet. I can also just go after whatever I think is the most fun without focusing so much on the “serious” stuff. I just have to put something together that really makes me want to write and find out more.

On the other hand, it can get a little overwhelming and difficult to focus my mind. There is so much going on that I can’t quite focus on one thing. But really, the good outweigh the bad by a mile.

Deep Water

Tourists shuffled after the guide and her yellow umbrella. The view of the bay was stunning from the lookout, and everybody took out their cameras ready to ruin perfectly good landscape photos by posing in them themselves with wide smiles, thumbs up and sweat-spots.

Larry traveled by himself, so he’d have to wait for some of the others to take their own pictures, and ask if they’d take one of him. He leaned on the railing and looked out at the town below and the bay. A lone rowboat floated on the calm water. He could se the silhouette of a man holding a fishing rod in the little boat. Larry envied the fisherman, he was tired of the cramped tourbus and the loud talk all the time. Perhaps he would take up fishing when he got home?

He wanted to take a picture of the fisherman, and began fumbling with his camera when a┬ámovement by the rowboat caught his eye. Larry had assumed that the dark spot in the surface was deeper water, but… it was moving. He saw the huge shadow move towards the little fisherman. He wanted to call out, but there was no way he would hear him so far away. He turned back to the others.

– Miss Smith! There is a big shadow in the water! he called to the tour guide.

She waved back to him.

– Be with you in a moment, Larry! she said.

Larry looked out at the bay again. The shadow was directly below the boat now.

– Miss Smith! he called again and moved towards her.

– What is it? she asked as she met him.

Larry grabbed her arm and walked quickly back to the railing.

– That big shadow it moving! The fisherman is in danger!

– What fisherman?

Miss Smith sounded confused and Larry turned back to the water with his heart in his throat. There was no little rowboat, no fisherman and no shadow. Only the waves that rippled in the water bore witness that something had happened.