If I may be so bold as to reference my last blog post from 2022, I am still watering those writerly flowers of mine.
The urge to write “it’s been more than a year, and yet” is compelling, but that wouldn’t be completely true. This year has not passed without progress, and as we near its end, I am beginning to prune the months passed.
Starting with my 27th birthday in May. Leading up to my birth month, and with friends turning 30 all around me, it was difficult to put that countdown out of my mind. I’m still far enough away from the milestone to not be particularly bothered by it, but whether it’s my birthday or the new year, I always find myself reflecting on what I’ve accomplished and what I hope to achieve next. That’s my nature, and I know I’m not alone in that constant push forward.
So with 30 on the brain, looming just 3 years away… I revisited my garden of writing and took a hard, long look at it. I put together a spreadsheet of the ideas I wanted to move forward with—a compilation of fiction novels, scripts, poetry collections, a few hybrid pieces—and bought a monthly calendar that will see me through the next several years. I crunched numbers, threw them away, considered them again, and went with my gut.
I gave myself the gift of 3x3x30.
3 pieces of writing, in 3 different mediums, by the time I turn 30 in May 2026.
As of October 2023, I have written a handful of poems, jotted down a number of ideas, and added 50,000 words to the first book in a four-book series. I wrote those 50,000 words in July 2023 as part of Camp NaNo, which is known as a more flexible version of the original National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in November.
Camp NaNo in July was the first time that I ever truly competed in a NaNoWriMo event, and this month, I am tackling the November iteration. Well, sort of.
The reason I never participated in NaNoWriMo in the past was because school always kept me booked full. I allowed it, others encouraged it, and it became a cycle impossible to break out of and away from. The years passed quickly as I earned a 2-year graphic arts program in high school, a double bachelor’s degree, followed by a master’s program complete with a teaching assistantship. Of course, not to mention everything else I piled on top of those pursuits, committees or work…
I won’t lie, I looked forward to the gift of graduation, maybe more than most, to finally achieve and put to rest all that I had set out to do years before. It didn’t quite come together like that though. If anything, the bow on that present completely unraveled.
Graduating with my master’s at the beginning of COVID did not result in the relief and excitement I expected. That any of us expected, really.
Sometimes I still feel that discombobulation when I look at my professional development. On a more granular level, I especially felt it when looking at how my writing and publishing continued to stagnate, despite my best efforts to revisit the garden of writing wilting at my feet, year after year. That brings us to May, as that brings us to now.
This month, my goal is to write 30,000 words toward the Next Life project I began drafting in July (for a total of 80,000 words) along with 30 poems toward a collection I hope to title “The Blueprints We Inherit.” Both of these projects—whether the fantasy romance book series or the poetry collection—are at once an unraveling and a revealing of parts of myself, my life, and all in it. I’m putting everything I’ve seen and experienced and dreamed into these pieces.
I’m not sure how to explain it yet. They’re pieces still in progress, constantly evolving and iterating. There’s a catharsis in the creativity of it, of course. I thrive in that careful, combined space where connection and meaning happen. It’s why I’m always returning to the page. It’s why I’m drawn to different genres and mediums of expression.
It’s why I’m still planting and watering those flowers, season after season.