Writing This Week: The First Post
This is the first but certainly not the last Writing This Week blog post, a new classification of posts that I am so excited to start. Most especially because I had a pretty good writing week.
Every week (or for every that week I can) I am going to share what writing and being a writer was like for me during the week. I may also occasionally include weekly occurrences in the literary world.
This series will definitely bring you a bit closer into my journey toward being a successful writer. So be sure to check back every week for Writing This Week blog posts. Or come back once in a while to catch up on what’s been going on. But don’t miss a week because I’ll be dropping great gems along the way.
I haven’t settled on a specific day these posts will go up yet so come back every week.
Aaaaaaannnddddd into this week…
What’s Going On in the Literary World
I came across a New York Times article on Twitter that headlined the booming of bookstores. 🍾🎊. The article is a few months old but still a great find nonetheless.
According to the article, bookstores are successfully gaining profit and fostering the growth and progress of literacy. But maybe not in the immediate way you’re thinking.
Not only are old bookstores bouncing back from a scary decline but many new ones are popping up and redefining what a local bookstore means for a lot of neighborhoods.
It seems that bookstores that really cater to the people that live in a particular neighborhood do very well. Which makes me think duh, that is what a bookstore should do. But that’s not always the case. There are bookstores whose books and events do not consider the race/ethnicity of people in the neighborhood ( not all of them or maybe not the majority ).
Now many of these new bookstores are focusing on celebrating and highlighting certain cultures and races with their books and service.
So much for the scary decline. (I knew bookstores would bounce back)
With these kinds of bookstores popping up all over the United States I’d say the physical literary scene is on an uprise. And aiming to inspire people in unique and specific ways.
I do wonder what other things kicked the literary scene toward the front. I have some speculations but I would love to hear what you think. This bookstore uprise seems to have happened after the pandemic and I do wonder what kind of part the pandemic played in it. Could the case about the merging of Penguin Random House and Simon Schuster play a part in this uprise also? I’m curious and will definitely have to explore this further in some other Writing This Week. And if you want to explore this further with me, comment your thoughts and remind me.
Catching Up With Workloads
This week was kind of crazy.
I’ve just got over the hump of midterm week, I think, and I’m honestly just trying to make it to finals week in one piece. I had unfinished and late work to complete from last week and studying to do for the rest of my exams for this week: Schoolwork stole all of my attention. But on the bright side, one of the assignments I had to complete was a story for my fiction class. And I enjoyed every bit of writing that piece, even though I submitted it late. ( sorry Professor, if you’re reading this)
And with that, I fell so behind on blog and newsletter work. Which is a bummer because I had just gotten on a social posting schedule that put me about 1 – 2 posts ahead. That schedule gave me more time and less pressure when writing blog posts for the week. So, unfortunately, I’m kind of back to square 1 with writing content for the blog and having to prepare social posts for it immediately after and then rushing to complete a blog post to be posted in the next couple of days, for the next week. I could get it done, but do I really have to work like that?
One of the perks of developing a great posting/working schedule that allows me to balance out my workload is time and choice. I get to take time with perfecting my work so that I can fashion it the way I really want to. When keeping a good work schedule I get to choose my preference on how I want to work, where I want to work, when I want to work, with who I even want to share my work with, and so on. It also leaves more room for $$$.
But the situation is mine to work with. So I’ll have to use a week to batch content so that I can get back to a good posting schedule. But at least all my assignments are finally in.
So how exactly did work go this week? Firstly, let me just say that Notion and Google Calendar were a HUGE help. Like an assistant to help keep me on schedule.
Really quickly, if you don’t know about Notion, it is a productivity tool that helps people organize their work/tasks in a cloud sort of system.
When I got backed up on work, my weekly to-do list got way too full and it was hard for me to figure which works had more priority. So I relied heavily on my daily to-do lists and calendar in order to make sure that my weekly to-do list was all checked up and completed.
I’ve shown you guys how I plan for the week in my notebook/planner already-This is a snippet of how I organize those things into days.
This is a section of my grand to-do list board in Notion. I’ll date each day and organize my tasks from the weekly to-do list into days. All of the smaller to-dos that come from one task also get put into a day. And at the end of the day or at the beginning of the next day I’ll check off everything I did and move anything I didn’t get to complete. I’ll also move the tasks for each day into google calendar. While I love Notion, Google Calendar’s notification system is much better.
Also, side note, I just recently got into using google calendar. My workload was a bit of a motivator here because seeing my work in a timeline helped me get things done by their deadlines ( or near it). And after putting all my ‘diverse’ works into calendars I can definitely see why many people recommend it as an essential productivity tool. I’m not sure if I’d recommend it just yet because I just started using it. But so far so good.
At the beginning of the week, work was very choppy and I struggled to get everything done. But things got a lot smoother towards the end of the week, as I started to get the most important things done with my handy tools. I also realized that it’s okay if I don’t get everything done at the exact moment that I want it done: There were definitely some things that I just didn’t get done.
Creative Works in Progress
In some ways, I was terrible at keeping up with my creative work and stories. But in other ways, I totally killed it (positively )
If you’re subscribed to my newsletter you’ll know that I did not post a single part for S.S. #2 ( Short Story # 2) yet. It has a great prompt and I’ve already got an outline for it. But I’ve just sort of been doing and writing everything else but part 1 for that story. In this way, I kind of failed at keeping up with my creative works.
But being so behind on stories I found myself re-reading some old creative works and blog posts for help and reference. While working on the outline for S.S. # 2 and my creative assignment for class, I wanted to brush up on my outlining process and story arcs. Then one thing led to another and I was re-reading old stories and blog posts.
And would you know that re-reading my own works really inspired me? Looking back on old work with the gained expertise that I have now I was happy to notice a preferred tone for most of my stories. I also noticed some good and some bad trends. And most it gave me new inspiration for approaching S.S. #2 and the assignment. And in this way, even though I did not write as much as I wanted and did not post a part for Part 2, I kind of re-kindled my inspiration and motivation for writing after a long week of school work, and did good.
With this half-win, I hope I can really develop a consistent pace for posting my creative works. Especially for my S.S.’s on my newsletter.
Creative Works For The Future
And while I’m getting things together with the short stories. I am getting ready for 2 major things
- The beginning of the By Christa section of my newsletter: My serialized novel
- Writing It – the podcast about the struggles and processes of writing the pieces I post on my Substack newsletter.
And being that these things are coming to the substack newsletter soon, you’ll be reading a lot more about them in almost every Writing This Week post.
Where is my Career?…
My carer is in a great place but a slow place.
One of the most important things I need for this writing thing to work is work: stories and creative pieces. And then practice, expertise, and all the other things.
So right now I’m focused on building a ‘portfolio’ of pieces and getting good at the stories I write. And so far love it because I am discovering myself as a writer and learning so much about better ways to accomplish being a great writer, whatever that means.
But that is all for now. I’ll see you next week!
Don’t just be a good writer, be a great one
Until my next words (on here that is)