Where Have I Been?

It’s been awfully quiet here on Jen Seriously for the last two months. What gives?

The simple answer is that I’ve been trying to prioritize my time better. Without any real responsibilities or obligations outside my full time job, I have plenty of free time, but I do a lot with that time and have a lot of hobbies, interests, and personal goals. Trying to balance each of them so I feel like I’m maximizing my life, making time for what makes me happy, and working toward specific plans I have for my future isn’t easy. At the time this posts, I’ll be driving back to Boulder from a week-long trip to the mountains in southwest Colorado. It was my unofficial end-of-summer last hurrah, and now it’s time to get down to business (although I’m secretly hoping the weather cooperates for at least two more camping weekends).

I haven’t touched my novel in four months, but that’s not a surprise to me. I knew that if I didn’t get it agent-ready by the time of my trip to Yosemite, it wasn’t going to happen until fall. That’s how summer goes. I’m out camping and hiking every weekend, training for races, enjoying patios. Summer is my favorite season, and I have to take advantage of the outdoors. But my novel isn’t forgotten. I’m still passionate about it and plan to start querying by the end of the year.

Failing to work on my novel, though, doesn’t mean I haven’t been writing. I returned to my monthly critique group and have written a new short story every month this summer. I have about a dozen of them now, including ones I started two years ago. To toot my own horn a little, they are damn good! It’s about time I revisit them, polish them up, and start submitting. I’ve also been keeping up with a daily writing practice, mostly just journaling and capturing random thoughts, so come September 23 (which is tomorrow – eep!), I’ll have momentum and be highly productive.

So that brings me back to this blog. Why haven’t I been blogging? Keeping this blog has been great. It’s forced me to write frequently, to be more observant and attentive to the world to come up with ideas, to think about the different angles of the activities I engage in, to practice writing techniques, and to develop my own style more. And it’s a nice memoir of my life to look back on some day.

But…it’s also been a way for me to procrastinate and a distraction from the real writing that will help me become a true author. I’m never going to make money off this blog or turn it into a career; that’s never been my goal because I’ve never had a specific direction or theme. I made this blog purely for me. But consistently over the last few years, I’ve chosen to spend my time writing blog posts, rather than working on my short stories and novel. It’s time to stop that.

Friday 500s are back from summer haitus and I’ll be returning to my Saturday writing group at Innisfree Poetry Café more consistently throughout fall and winter. I want to spend that dedicated, supportive writing time working on meaningful projects. I do want to be published, but I have no interest in publishing writing about my dates, life in Boulder, my job, and random musings on the English language and cool prose. I have great story ideas and need to see them through to completion. Blogging gets in the way of that.

This isn’t goodbye to my blog, however. I will still post from time to time, but with the sole purpose of keeping the blog a personal memoir—a curated and stylized diary of sorts. Trips I’ve taken, races I’ve run, mountains I’ve summitted. That sort of thing. And you can look forward to three upcoming posts about exactly those activities in the next few weeks. Meanwhile, here are some more pics from all the outdoor time Trotsky and I have been sharing this summer.

 

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