Jeff O'Handley, Author

Jeff O'Handley

The Doubting Writer Finds His Voice

Musical Monday: Lily Kershaw

Heard this song on the radio (yes, that’s right, the radio. Yes, I had to stream it, but there actually are stations out there playing new music!) last week and really liked it. This track is from Ms. Kershaw’s debut album. Melancholy mood music for a Monday in late October, it seems. Enjoy.

Lot’s of talk out there as October fades away about NaNoWriMo. Once again, I’m in the NaNoNoNo club. The long-awaited read-through of Barton’s Women is done and I’ve started in on actual revision work now. My goal is to have this bad boy out on the query trail by the end of November. It’s only a couple months later than my plan, but everything in its own time, right? Anyway, given my schedule right now I don’t have a lot of free time, and I need to get BW out the door sooner rather than later. If you’re doing NaNo, best of luck and have fun! Don’t put too much pressure on yourself.

You may have noticed the fluff-to-content ratio here has been high lately. Part of it is due to the time thing: since I have less writing time now, I’m putting in less time drafting posts in advance. Come Monday and Friday mornings I’m scrambling to complete the the half-formed thoughts I had a few days earlier, or I’m just completely winging it. At the same time I’m also a little burned out on the whole blogger/forum thing. I’m not even reading posts with the same…verve…that I was a couple of months ago. A break may be in the offing, though I’m not quite there yet. Or maybe I am. We’ll see.

Had quite a bit of fun at my Writers’ Circle yesterday. I blew off the prompt (a bit from an essay by the late Stephen Jay Gould) in favor of responding to a comment one of my fellow writers made, and ended up with something that was fun to write, and fun to read (except for that one spot where I couldn’t figure out the word I had written). It actually seemed like it would loan itself to a bit of experimentation in form, using twin storylines written side-by-side, though I didn’t have time to quite finish the first half, so I never got to the second half. We’ll see where it goes, or if it goes.

That’s it for me, how’s everything going for you?

13 Responses

  1. Good for you! Keep up the momentum.

    I'm pushing to finish the rough draft of my current WIP. In fact, I'm going on Hiatus over the holidays so I can focus on writing and family. I say, do what you need to do. The blogosphere will still be here when you get back. 😉

  2. I love "NaNoNoNo"! That whole thing has never appealed to me. Maybe because I never felt the need to put that kind of pressure on myself. Gah! I put enough pressure on myself as it is.

  3. It's not for everyone. I found it to be a very good experience, once, but haven't managed to recapture the magic, so to speak.

  4. Woohoo, good luck with NaNo–after the whirlwind couple of months you've had, you probably need some head down, full (drafting) speed ahead.

  5. I've never done NaNo. I just don't write like that. I enjoy a slow, methodical approach, but I like cheering on others through the madness.

    And I think a lot of people are experiencing blogger burnout right now. More than half the people I follow don't even post anymore.

  6. NaNoNoNo made me giggle 🙂 Best of luck to you getting Barton's Women out by the end of the month.

    I tend to wing most of my blog-posts, with the exception of any lecture notes I'm copying. How much planning did you used to put into your posts? A break from the blogosphere might be in order, and it might give you more time to focus on BW without being distracted… well, one less distraction anyway.

    I love it when something with potential comes out of something little like a writer's circle exercise. Good luck with making something more out of your piece, if you decide you want to.

  7. Less time and burn-out can be tough to negotiate. As writers, our priorities should be our writing project, yet blogging, social media (Twitter, Pinterest, etc.), and opportunities such as NaNoWriMo (love NaNoNoNo, by the way) can eat up lots and lots of time. In the last few months I've backed off my weekly blogging. Is this a good thing? I'm not sure. But as Melissa said, sometimes we do what we need to do. The writing, I think, should be the priority.

  8. I think I've pinpointed part of my malaise–not sure if I'll share it, though….I almost certainly will have more thoughts to share on NaNo, though.

  9. How I blog could be a post into (unto?) itself, but essentially it would involve bits and pieces of drafting over several days (sometimes weeks). A final post–a big one, not one like this–might take me a couple of hours if it were put into straight time. I also stop and start a lot, and do a lot of head-writing. It's part of why I start so many posts with "I can't remember if I've posted on this before, so…" because it feels really familiar, and my record keeping is sloppy.

  10. Cynthia–A pleasant surprise to have you pop in! I think it's a good thing if it's good for you, if you know what I mean. Funny thing, as soon as I think, "Yeah, that's it, I'm going to take a break," I get like three or four ideas for posts start crowding in my head. Hope you're wll!

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