Somewhat surprisingly, I did not make this list of Task Things in 2017 (written by my youngest child).
When I wrote my last post, I honestly thought my list would have end up having just one name on it and one name alone: my own.
But then the list started to grow. Some people put their own names forward. Other people put forward the names of deserving friends.
Without further ado, here is a list of writers who were unlisted in 2017 but who continued to find joy in the act of writing and do it anyway:
Elizabeth Jane Corbett
Even if this is the only list I make in 2018, I’ll be glad. This list is good company.
If you or anyone you know deserves to be on this list, please let me know before December 31st 2017 via email firstname.lastname@example.org or in the comments below.
Remember how I got excited because my novel got commended for the VPUMA‘s last year? Well, it turns out that thing wasn’t a novel at all, it was only the first draft of a novel. A mere shadow of the vague thought of a novel, if you will.
However, you may be interested to know that a few months – and drafts – later, I was selected for the Hachette/Queensland Writers Centre Manuscript Development Program and now, in May 2106, I’m now looking down the barrel of Draft Seven and might just be ready to call it an Actual Novel.
In the meantime, I have made this:
I have also embarked on the first draft of a mere shadow of a vague thought of another novel. Now, before anyone suggests that this means I should embark on another Forever Blanket as well, I’m going to fix you all with a steely gaze that unequivocally says “Back off, motherfuckers. This girl’s gotta write.”
Bonus points for anyone who picked up the Bowie reference in this post’s title. For the record, his passing still hurts.
You may or may not be aware that I am currently trying to write a ‘novel’. Notice the discrete use of the word ‘trying’ in there? Trying to write is very different to actually writing. Trying to write a novel, involves taking up crochet instead and subsequently embarking on a Lord of the Rings Director’s Cut Extended Edition With Bonus Extras-sized project in the shape of my Forever Blanket. Trying to write a novel also involves crocheting random gifts that I never give people and then starting a blog so I can bitch about how crocheting these random gifts is stopping me from finishing my Forever Blanket. And trying to write a novel now obviously involves bitching on this blog about how all this bitching on this blog is stopping me from finishing my Forever Blanket, NOT TO MENTION MY NOVEL. Yes, there are so many levels to my procrastination that it’s starting to sound like the plot for the next Christopher Nolan film… WHICH I MAY AS WELL START WRITING NOW INSTEAD OF MY FUCKING NOVEL.
You know… now that I think about it, my Forever Blanket and my novel are similar in many ways. For both projects, I have tools to track my progress: Scrivener tallies up my word count across multiple documents and my extremely-very-sad Excel Spreadsheet keeps track of my squares. Thanks to these tools, I know I am 150 squares into my 256 square blanket and 5,006 words into my 80,000 word novel. I find these numbers very assuring. They make me feel that maybe, just maybe, I might actually be making progress… until I realise that I still have ONE HUNDRED AND SIX FUCKING SQUARES still to make and I’ve only completed SIX GODDAMN PERCENT of my novel and that BOTH these targets completely and utterly FAIL to take into account that I STILL HAVE TO JOIN together those 256 squares and EDIT those 80-fucking-thousand words. It’s at this point that I calmly decide that my time would be much better spent crocheting everyone in the household ill-fitting fingerless gloves that they’ll lose within hours or never ever be seen dead wearing. You know it makes sense.
My hand, modelling an ill-fitting fingerless glove, about to give myself a bitch-slap.
One of the key reasons why my Forever Blanket is taking fucking forever is that I keep crocheting gifts for people. Yes, I have become That Person who shows my love for people by crocheting things for them.
However, more often than not, before I’ve even finished crocheting the gift, I’ve decided it’s beyond hideous and that the best way to show my love for people is by NOT sending them the things that I crochet for them.
For example, I recently crocheted this lovely set of crocheted coasters for a very lovely friend in Ireland who has just turned 40.
Somewhere around the fourth coaster, I became almost paralysed by wool-based doubt: Would she actually use the coasters? Would she feel obliged to use them because I made them for her and would she grow to resent me over time? What kind of person uses crocheted coasters, anyway?? Moreover, what kind of person crochets crocheted coasters?? Would giving them to her send her a message that I think she’s the kind of person that uses crocheted coasters and reveal that actually, I’m the kind of person who crochets them and would this be the end of our friendship once and for all???
In the end, I concluded that my friend would most likely prefer me to post her a set of my turds than to receive a set of crocheted coasters. To date, neither coasters nor turds have been posted. Just so you know.