If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll know that I’m prone to long periods of not writing fiction. These tend to be accompanied by self-flagellation and an existential crisis: if I’m not writing, who am I? Then comes depression (or sometimes that happens first), which makes it even harder to write, and round and round I go.
The only way to break the cycle is to start putting down some words.
This, obviously, is easier said than done. It’s intimidating, especially if you’ve been away from the blank page for a while.
In the past I’ve tried fanfiction, though it’s not normally my thing, or played around with a completely different genre–not to try selling, just to play with. This time, since the beginning of the year, I’ve gone through several different stages. It’s working, so I thought I’d share…
1. First I resurrected my own blog. It’s not fiction, and doesn’t completely fill a need for me in the way writing fiction does. But I do blog with an audience in mind, and putting together coherent opinion pieces or travel posts is good practice in writing down the words, finishing a piece, and shipping.
2. Then I branched out from non-fiction and started writing the smallest possible thing every day. On some days, they were fragments of stories that didn’t and probably won’t go any further, but mostly they were haikus. I’m not trying to become a published poet, so I was writing …
Last month I regaled you lot with my sewing plans. (And I realized I never linked you to my sewing Pinterest board, which is here, and which you can see is still getting healthy usage.) And I said I’d check back this month and let you know if I’d actually gotten on the actual sewing part of this madness.
The answer is no! But it’s more complicated than me just being lazy (or actually working on writing things, like I was supposed to, though I did do that).
I picked out two patterns to do. I cut out the pieces (which was harder than necessary because said patterns are in books and you cannot cut up library books). And then I hit the problem.
The average American woman is 5’4″. I believe they make patterns for people who are 5’7″. I am 6’1”. So I cut out my patterns and then remembered that I can’t just use a pattern, I have to modify a pattern. I have to lengthen it in the right spots (such as, say, arm holes) and move darts and all sorts of wizardry. Actually, in the past, it’s been easier to take men’s patterns and make the shoulders narrower than mess with women’s patterns, but it’s been five years and I forgot.
(The last clothing I sewed, five years ago, was a brocade vest and spats for a steampunk costume. I made the vest without a pattern, and luckily spats are not picky on sizing.)
Do you ever have those times when you really should be working on something, but something else comes along that sounds like way more fun? Or, like, it doesn’t matter if anything ever actually does get done, because planning is fun? And shopping for supplies, and picturing doing it, and…
…anyway, this is me right now. And what I’d like to be doing, at least theoretically, is sewing. Not sure what exactly has brought this on. It’s probably a combination of having too many writing projects going, the fact that I hate half my wardrobe, and the fact that I used to sew all the time, but haven’t touched my machine in four…maybe five…years.
So first I went into the planning stage. My planning stage mostly involved reading tons of blogs about upcycling clothing and starting a Pinterest board. I’ve also checked out some sewing pattern books from the library. Somewhere in the Pinterest stage I went from upcycling clothes to just making clothes from scratch.
That might be because I actually did a couple of upcycling projects. The kids and me made slouch hats and arm warmers from old sweaters and hot glue, and I also took an overly large t-shirt I got from giving blood and turned it into a workout tank top. Upcycling urge conquered, I guess.
So now we’re on the sewing from scratch phase. At the end of last week, the small, somewhat mobile one and I hit our local Joann’s, where …