I love to write and have been writing on and off for a number of years. The ‘off’ years have a lot of similar characteristics: heavy workload, creatively unfulfilling, endless searching for direction and purpose, tiredness and sadness, little exposure to books, high exposure to television.
Last year, I finished writing a story of about 52,000 words or so. I had been working on the story for a number of years but by the time I got to the end of 2013, I realized that I just wasn’t happy with it. I had originally wanted it to be a graphic novel that I worked on with my sister, then it turned into an illustrated novel and then just a novel - all of which made for a rocky narrative at best and by the time 2014 began, I knew I had to rewrite it.
So this is the creative writing project that I am working on now and I’m really glad I made the decision to rewrite – letting last year’s work transform into something far more coherent and satisfying makes all previous efforts so much more meaningful. It helps that it’s been a relatively painless process. Certainly, a large chunk of the story was already in place but outlining and generating reasonable word count targets for each of the chapters has been my best ally thus far. I’ve worked through five chapters relatively quickly and outlining has helped me make smoother revisions and adjustments as I go.
In the meantime, I realized I wanted to organize the blog a bit differently. I started this blog because I wanted a place to record the positive, inspiring and exciting things that were happening in my community. I wanted to record them because there is a lot of negative press about Indigenous Peoples and an enormous knowledge gap continues to persist in the mainstream education systems. But I also got caught up in wanting to talk about my own creative efforts and struggles.
I’ve read a lot of great blogs over the last year by both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people and they’ve inspired me to take a look at how I share what I’m learning in a way that really reflects who I am, what I care about and the things I like to do. And who am I? A writer? An educator? A participant? A researcher? A photographer? An activist? A schoolhacker?
I realized that I’d like to find a way to include it all: a little fact, a little fiction, a little fantasizing about the totally sustainable future I hope we all have. And this year, I’m going to try.
Nu:yah Everyone! (A Haudenosaunee way of saying Happy New Year)