Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Writing Wednesday - Finding Balance

This week has been so strange that it's hard for me to believe that it is Wednesday already. Today feels like a Monday with a whole long week ahead of me and I've had to keep reminding myself that there are only 3 more days until the weekend, not 5. Having Wednesday dedicated to writing on the blog has really helped me focus on writing during the rest of the week. I need something to blog about so I better write something.
Monday night I was able to begin rereading my Camp NaNoWriMo novel from April 2012. I haven't looked at it in over a year so I know I need to reread the whole thing before I start making any edits. I have paper beside me to write down anything I might need to remember like minor character names and events. I tried to read more of it yesterday when everyone was home but life just didn't cooperate. I'd like to finish reading it by this time next week and start thinking about revisions - characters I want to develop more or perhaps take out completely; events I want to include, exclude or expand. Sometimes the process feels like it will take forever and is very overwhelming and I want to stop. The first step, however, is just reading it and that seems easy enough. 

I also finished reading this book this week. I think a lot of the information is for non-fiction writers who need to appear as an expert in their field before publishers will even look at them. However, I think it had a lot of good advice for me as well. It talked about having a social media presence which I have been trying to work on. I've begun following some people and groups on Google+ (although I'm still not really sure how to use it properly) and have tweeted a little bit more and have started following some new people, which has gotten me a few new followers as well. It feels scary to put myself out there. I like being anonymous. I like having my opinions but I don't really feel the need to discuss them with anyone outside my family and close friends. 

The one thing this book encouraged me to do was to sit down and think about what I want from this blog. What kind of readers/followers do I want? What do I want to write about? And why do I like the blogs that I do?

I spent some time thinking about these questions and writing down some answers. It became clear who I want  my audience to be. I really want to have readers that are similar to me. They can be moms, but not necessary as I don't write about my kids too much here. They should like reading and crafting. A lot of the blogs I follow are just women crafting and being honest about their lives. It's neat to take a peak into someone else's life but just a peak. I don't really follow anyone who overshares, is very opinionated or critical of others. The world can be a cruel place and I look to blogs to lighten it up a little and to give my creative self something to think about. This is what I want for this blog as well. 

This blog started as a place to share my quilts but has evolved as I have the past few years. Although I still like making quilts, it has not been my focus the past year or so. I thought I couldn't talk about all my interests, that I needed to focus on just one thing. I changed the name of the blog from Rachel's Quilts to Stitch 2, Write 1 to try and break out of that, to show that I was more than a quilter. When I did that my blog kind of got lost. I stopped getting new followers and comments. People forgot about me but I also think I needed to take a step back. Sure I changed the name but was I ready to share more about myself? Probably not. I replaced quilts with knitting but I still wasn't very present. This year I'm attempting to change that and Writing Wednesday is the first big step. It's scary to write about my writing ambitions but I know there are many other writers just like me. Wanting to get published, trying to edit their first novel but still trying to be themselves. I don't want to stop knitting or quilting just because I'm also a writer now (and I need to start feeling comfortable calling myself a writer, too). This blog, I hope, will become a place for me to reflect and comment on how I am balancing my writing life with mothering 3 children while still finding time to do the things I love like knitting and quilting.

It's taken me all day to write this post. I took time to think about what I wanted to say and rewrite several sentences. I also wrote a new piece of creative nonfiction for the CBC Canada Writes contest that has a deadline of this Saturday. I also fed the baby numerous times, changed some diapers, read blogs and ate some chocolate.This is me trying to balance my life.

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