So, that prestigious workshop I applied to? Didn’t get in. But the process of making the attempt, and what that reveals, has been very helpful. Mainly because it shows I’m starting to take actions proactively, rather than reactively. Instead of searching for a solution to a problem I have, or seeking a way to cope with a situation, I went out of my way to add something new to my life. Which is a wild, positive, healthy change in my overall behaviour.
Did it work? Kind of, kind of not. Not doing the workshop thing (although my form rejection was very complimentary and positive), but now instead of going through the rigmarole of preparing to handle an intensive workshop, I can put that energy into other things.
Like a story outline.
This may look incomprehensible, and it kind of is, but it’s some notation I’m doing in the margins of a larger outline based on the work of Wendy G. Lehnert. It’s a logical notation system that’s kind of part of an effort to make story plotlines machine readable. It’s not exactly Freytag’s pyramid or a monomythic cycle, but I like it. (Maybe I should explain it in more detail sometime?)
Outlining seems to be part of a general effort I have for myself of getting myself back into the mental conditioning required to write lengthy works. It’s a little like the physical conditioning necessary to run a marathon. So, hopefully that’s going to turn into a robust way I can structure my working-writing life.
On the mental-health side, I will just share a strange anecdote. I recently realized I’m starting to have emotional reactions to things that I haven’t had in years, from tapping my foot to music to feeling an ownership of my writing. It feels a little like depression was a magic spell that literally switched off parts of my personality, and I’m only beginning to realize just how much of myself I lost as these little things keep sneaking back, one by one.
Hopefully you’ll hear about some more good news, and hopefully some good magic spells, soon.
(And yes, the Patreon’s still on pause for now!)