Creative Momentum

Christi Krug, Sage Cohen, and I did a writing guide panel at Wordstock.

Christi Krug, Sage Cohen, and I did a writing guide panel at Wordstock.

As we begin 2014, I am taking stock of the state of my writing life. And it’s really, right now, a publishing life. I have a hundred deadlines, or more, for tiny pieces of the publishing process, and three books on the docket. It’s hard to prioritize my work over someone else’s needs, whether that’s one of my authors or one of my children.

But I’ve done it before. When I had my crazy community journalism schedule, full of grueling up-past-midnight deadlines, city council and school board meetings, and always something on the next day’s schedule, I still found time to write. Two novels while working in two different newsrooms. I found strength in my schedule, my discipline. To sit down and write. Because that’s how novels happen.

My own business feels different, but really it isn’t any different. I have less time, because I’m a full-time mom, and the moment a kid wakes up early from a nap, or wakes up at midnight crying because she has a cold, my time disappears, and so much of the time I do have must be allocated for small press projects and deadlines.

That being said, I have to squeeze writing in. That’s what I do. That’s who I am. I don’t sleep and get irritable when I’m not writing.

Moreover, in February, I am teaching a class called “Finding Your Stride,” about–you guessed it–creative momentum. My co-teachers, Christi Krug and Sage Cohen, are whizzes at teaching, sharing inspiration, and setting people on the most positive creative paths possible. I’m honored to be teaching with them. We had such fun speaking together at Wordstock in October, and this project came out of that natural synergy we had, and the appreciation and respect we have for each other’s work.

So now, with deadlines for our March novel and an anthology whirring in my brain, making that thrilling mix of deadline-joy and terror that I’ve overcommitted, I have to find my way back to the page. To get working on a new novel. Because that’s what I do, that’s who I am, and channeling all the time and discipline into the press leaves my own creative well dry.

What are your 2014 goals? How do you stay motivated to achieve them?

About Laura Stanfill

Publisher, Forest Avenue Press
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4 Responses to Creative Momentum

  1. I’ve seen quite a few “These are the top 10 books I’ve read this year” blog posts. I also read a blog post by a writer who, as a new father, has written very little this/last year, but had read a lot of books.

    This made me realize that I haven’t read any books this year (well, not counting comic books). I’ve re-read quite a few books, plus reading newspaper articles and blog posts and so on. But I have been writing, quite a lot. So, rather without planning it, I guess I’ve been prioritizing at a time when I’ve been unusually busy with non-writing-related activities.

    My main advice would to be as flexible as possible about where and when you can write. Have your tools with you at all times. Grab what moments you can.

    • I love that, now looking at the year, you’ve discovered how productive you’ve been. Pretty amazing insight, Anthony! I took your advice this morning, after knocking off some work emails, and spent 15 minutes working on the new novel. I didn’t get much done, but keeping those minutes sacred, and remembering that my primary tool–this computer–is right here at my side during all the work hours, was really nice. I will continue grabbing as I can, without stressing myself out, I hope.

  2. jmmcdowell says:

    I’m hoping to regain the writing momentum I found in November and finish the initial rebuild of one of my WIPs this spring. And then I want to send out a revised draft to betas before summer. We’ll see if I can meet that one! But flexibility is key for all of us because we never know what life might throw at us. Bending with the wind makes for stronger trees….

    • Sounds like a lot of wonderful goals, jm! Flexibility is so important–aiming for something but then being okay if you land somewhere else. Good luck and best wishes to you at the start of 2014!

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