I had great plans to use May as a month of writing. I thought by not writing pieces for my blog, I'd write pieces for elsewhere. But May was exhausting (in a good way) - I spent lots of time editing, summarising and promoting posts for Ichthyosis Awareness Month - and so I didn't feel up to writing content here. I did manage to write a piece for Kiki and Tea, an interview for the wonderfully supportive Australian Writers Centre, and an article about palliative care for The Groundswell Project. While I achieved so much with the project in May, I felt a little disappointed that I hadn't met my personal writing goals. Stupid I know. If I had have written anything more, when would I have slept?
And then came the epiphany. I realised I didn't have to be producing long (or short) reads to be writing. In May, I have had full time work, writing commitments (as above), attended four events at The Emerging Writers' Festival, watched two films at the Human Rights Film Festival, prepared and delivered a university lecture, spoken at a disability employment conference, wrangled with my insurance provider about my claim for a car accident I had late April, seen Bob Evans live, traveled to Sydney for the Voices of 2013 blogging event and party (and drank my weight in vanilla vodka and white wine!), the blog project, plus more social commitments than usual. And through all of those activities, I was writing, or thinking about writing.
My notebook is filled with more scrawled notes than ever. I've been writing ideas down the way I used to! Though I still rely on my iPhone for notes too. So many notes. I am excited about the ideas I've got for writing projects. I feel refreshed.
I took lots of photos and made notes at Bob Evans for a review.
After getting home at 1.45 am, I woke up at 6.00 am to fly to Sydney. Stupid planning decision on my part! So. Tired.
I saw my Uni BFF in Sydney. I haven't seen her for almost two years, but it's like we never stopped talking.
I photographed every single flower at the blogging event, and met some amazing bloggers. The discussions at the blogging event were so valuable (and the ones at the parties quite hilarious!). There are so many wonderful bloggers out there.
My walk along Cockle Bay and through World Square on Sunday morning made for some sunny day photos.
I live tweeted the blogging event, the disability conference and three of the writers' festival events (I can use these tweets to inspire future pieces of writing). I love live tweeting. It makes me feel like a super alert summariser. And benefits those who can't be at the events.
And I've immersed myself in words. I felt drunk on the discussions at the writers' festival, and I wished they went all day (especially the health writing symposium). I've also made some time to read more. I've been reading Renegade Collective magazine to be inspired by the social media and start ups stories, Between the Lines (a novel by Jodie Picoult and her daughter), Samantha Van Leer), Women of Letters (for the heartfelt letters I wish I'd written) and The Emerging Writer (to keep me thinking about my own writing).
My biggest writing achievement, even though it's a few pages of earnest handwritten lists in a moleskine was that I did manage to write a business plan - listing what I want to do, what I need to get there, and who can help me. The biggest step I made to taking the leap is setting up a nine day fortnight at my day job - so I have one full day focus on writing and speaking.
Everything has become about writing. But I've found the balance between that and living life. Writing isn't only about putting words on the page. It's about note taking and talking to people. It's about learning from the experts. It's about looking up and seeing what's out there.