Rebecca Nazar had an interesting post at her blog on Sunday. It related to having a novel idea, yet not having the drive or motivation to start writing it. In fact, likening it to a huge homework assignment. She felt that enrolling in a writing degree program at university was a good way to go, for her, as it would be a good way to finish the novel and, at the very least get mentored and earn her degree. I applaud that. She has thought it through and determined what her motivator is. That's something that I am yet to do. It's obviously something that a lot of people think about at some point as there were quite a few comments made regarding her post.
A small piece of background on me. Since moving to St. John's nearly 3 years ago, I have been tormented with an idea for a novel that just won't let me alone (does anyone else have this problem?). I set the idea aside as it is set locally, in the future, and I figured that it would require a great deal of research to pull in off convincingly (ie. I'm not up to the job at this juncture). I have worked on short stories for a while, now a second idea has hit me, gnawing at my thoughts on a daily basis. This one is a comedy, by the way. Now, all I have to do is acquire some zaniness (ala Cate Gardner or perhaps Carrie Harris)...
I took a night school class at the university to try to build on the scant creative writing knowledge in my possession. I took a second class the next spring, now there is nothing available. There's a couple of cool workshops to take taught by a local writer, but I'm feeling wary of investing more money in my education if I'm not going to "take the plunge." I am a member of the local Writer's Alliance, which offers a mentoring program, but I would need to fork over $2000 to the Alliance, some of which would go to the professional writer that would work with me. I can see that I would gain a lot of knowledge with that, but something doesn't feel right about paying a large sum like that in the hopes that something good will be produced. Note: this sort of ties in with Aaron Polson's blog today about paying others for advice.
The one carrot that I can think of dangling in front of myself is something called the "Fresh Fish Award", also offered by the Alliance. It's a yearly prize offered to a local, emerging writer. I will now be eligible (resident of Newfoundland for 3 years) to send in a manuscript for this when it happens next in June, 2010. The winner gets a $4000 cash prize and $1000 worth of professional editing services. The prize money would sure pay for a lot of mentoring, workshops, editing, etc...sounds like a lot of motivation.
It all seems like a big, scary thing. Yet the tormenting voices continue to nag me to pursue this (or perhaps that's the other voices in my head). My night school instructor, Ed Kavanagh, said that when he wrote he wrote his adult novel (as opposed to children's stories) it took over 3 years to complete, the final year was writing full-time (ie. no job). I'm not sure if I'm ready for that sort of flat-out, nose to the grindstone, giving up family life, sort of commitment...
Anyway, the post is getting longish so I'll stop here. Apologises for ranting about stuff that I may have touched on in previous posts. This flotsam has been distracting me for the past couple of days and I thought that I'd just throw it out there (ie. get it off my chest).
ON BEING A RENAISSANCE MAN
2 days ago