My plan for 2015?
Writing. Have I mentioned writing as of yet? Because, writing.
11. Laguz and Inguz: How do I work with my dreams? What seeds have I planted, and what have I sacrificed to nourish them?
How do I work with my dreams? Well, what are my dreams right now? Independence — I would love to be working on my writing full time. Even if I had to settle for flopping my schedule: day job part time, writing full time, that would be acceptable. I am, of course, nowhere near ready for that, alas, and working with my dream, working toward that dream means increasing my productivity. The plan for last year was to get all the things written. I went into 2014 thick in McCredie’s novel, and that was a planned quartet. I love her book, I love her story, and I realized at that midpoint that I really did not want to write that quartet. I had a huge, sweeping, end of the world and see it through to the other side series planned, but I just did not have it in me to write it. (I wonder, now that I’m plotting these out, if that’ll change?) The plan was to get those written, and go back to Brit and Thistle, get that first book written, release The Fairy Queen of Spencer’s Butte novella outside of The Fairy Queen of Spencer’s Butte and Other Tales as a freebie, get the collection out across the various platforms, and maybe see about going through The Fosterling and getting that out in e-book form. Oh, and to get Treasures from the Deep as well as Beth’s two collections out in e-book form.
Er, why, yes, while also holding down a full time day job and having a busy spiritual practice and taking care of critters and finding time to knit and keeping in regular contact with friends and family. What? That’s totally reasonable.
I’m not turning my nose up at my productivity. I’ve talked before about how much more I’ve written, each year, since I decided to get serious about this, and it keeps increasing, and that’s awesome. I’ll celebrate that for the success that it is. I’ve had goals that I’ve met and surpassed, and I’m grateful for that. I could not have anticipated the Surprise! dental surgery that came up in June/July, and I could not anticipate the support my Story Subscription would receive. I could not have discovered how stupidly my brain is wired in regards to deadlines real versus self-imposed and thus not real (?!) without the Story Subscription project, either, so there’s another important and unexpected lesson. But, a few months into the project, and I was already chomping at the bit, frustrated at my inability to get more written. I felt like I was treading water, staying just ahead of the subscription pace, and that wasn’t good enough, if I wanted to be writing for that as well as getting other material written to submit and/or publish on my own.
Which is why I decided to release A Marriage of Land and Sea to my subscribers, a chapter at a time. I am only five chapters ahead, but combined with my new approach to writing (thank you Scrivener!) and my goals for increasing viable wordage as I go, I’m hoping to get the whole first book finished by the end of February. It’s plotted at around 14 chapters. (I’d love to get it done faster than that, and if my output increases as I get used to this approach, all the better!) I’ll be jumping right into the next book in the series, and then the third, and so the plan is to have them all written by June, at which point I’m going back to Poseidon: A Narrative to get that rewritten and print-ready. Side projects include getting Igraine’s Flight released across platforms and the complete e-book sent out to my subscribers, because they rock.
Writing. Writing is the plan. What does that mean for the rest of everything?
I’d been trying to make this blog more active. I get into these silly mindsets. “Well, if I’m going to be writing more, I need to write more on the blog, on both blogs, and post more to FB, and revive my LiveJournal, and and and and . . . ” I decide that I have to write as much nonfiction as I do fiction, that I need to be equal parts storyteller and serious religious introspective blogger . . .but, you know what? I’m not. The blogging about spiritual stuff and/or living with Poseidon and/or life as a polytheist comes in cycles — one could say waves. It, heh, ebbs and flows. Writing fiction? Telling stories? That is what I want to write, that is what I want to put my time into. Oh, I want to blog as well — but I want to blog as I feel inspired to blog, which is what I do in practice anyway. Just, I’d like to drop the brain weasels that tell me how I ought to be blogging.
So, what seeds did I plant in 2014?
- My Story Subscription: this has provided me with a visible, tangible proof that people want to read my fiction, and that people are willing — nay, eager — to support the artists whose work they enjoy. It has also forced me to take a long, hard look at my approach to my writing, and helped me see the areas where I need to seriously change what I do, if I want to see a change in my output.
- Poseidon: A Narrative is waiting for attention, and that is a nice seed that was planted in 2014, thanks to NaNoWriMo. This will be harvested at some point this year. Spiritual relations-wise, writing this with Poseidon as my sounding board has done amazing things both to our relationship in general and my understanding of how storytelling is the backbone of my spiritual practice.
- Getting a handle on what my goals actually are — what I, and what we, truly want, rather than what we think we want or what we think we’re supposed to want. This is huge, and it’s made our vision of our goals that much clearer.
What will I sacrifice to nourish those seeds?
- Time. For January and February — truly, for the duration of getting this series written, I’m going to be on a semi-hiatus from social media. I’ll be posting about the Story Subscription, will be posting excerpts, will be posting as I’m inspired to, but I’m releasing myself from any expectations outside of that, and I’m not going to be using social media to keep with people. My inbox is open, and anyone who wants to contact me is going to be able to best reach me via email. I am serious about getting these written, and beyond that, I’m moving into a hermitage-y feeling space, mentally, and I just want . . . quiet, and the space to work on this stuff. So I’m making that space.
- Comfort. I’m planning on pushing myself, here. I’ve got the three jobs going at this point — day job, at Fiberwytch, and being an author with paying customers. I’m going to see how much time I can take back from social media (not that social media is bad, but that it is a time-suck) and beyond that, I’m going to push myself out of my comfort zones — in that I’m going to talk up my work, I’m going to put myself out there, I’m going promote myself. So there.
- I’m surrendering the idea I have built up in my head about what sort of devotee I’m supposed to be. I am not a ritualist. Yes, my desire for ceremony comes out at Yule, and yes, there are specific rituals that I do hold for Poseidon, and I’m not giving those up. I’ll continue sharing those and observing them, but I’m surrendering any and every ‘should’ that originates from me. (When Poseidon or Odin says, “You should do X,” that’s something else entirely). I am a minimalist when it comes to ritual — except when I’m not — and I’m surrendering this vision of how I want to want to be. Enough is enough already.
It seems simple and straight forward, but for whatever reason it’s been hard. These are not elaborate goals, nor are they many. But, those are my plans for 2015. We’ll see how it goes!