Being a writer is like having homework every night for the rest of your life.
— Lawrence Kasdan, screenplay writer and author
Kasdan, the screenplay writer of some major motion pictures in the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises among other things, is 100% correct. Being a writer, and especially a daily blogger, means I’ve signed myself up to have homework every night for the rest of my life. Possibly not my best idea ever.
Homework and I have a complicated history. I basically ignored it until I got to high school (and then often there as well), because I was usually able to ace all the tests to balance out the grade book, much to my teachers’ annoyance. This is a common trait with kids diagnosed with ADD, or Attention Deficit Disorder. I was part of that early generation (and the first kid at my elementary school) to be diagnosed with ADD, and while I think there might have been a trend toward over-diagnosis in the decades that followed, for me, it’s still a very real struggle.
As I aged out of school, I also put aside the various ADD medications I’d been prescribed, since it was now my choice. I’ve been toughing it out and coping on my own for more than twenty years now. I’ve always hated daily medications of any kind, and I’m not on anything at all currently… but I fully admit, that hasn’t always gone well for me. Every so often, I think I might find a new doctor and try meds again (for the ADD and for everything else), now that I’m an adult and everything in my life is more stable. Maybe someday.
But back to homework. When I finally got to college (at age 25), I found myself loving homework again — even the math and science work, much to my surprise. I felt like I finally understood the technical material and the reason behind all the practice exercises, and also I was just excited to be attending secondary school at all (a long story for another day). And as a bonus, my liberal arts courses in the social sciences, journalism, paralegal studies, and later history and writing were really interesting, too.
Now, more than ten years later, I’m out of school, with my Bachelor’s degree and a secure career in my field. I enjoy being a Paralegal and don’t expect I’d give it up unless I hit the mega lottery (whether by ticket or manuscript), so my writing is always going to be a secondary pursuit, a hobby.
While I’d love to pursue a Master’s of Fine Arts degree — the University of Tampa has a low-residency MFA program that I’ve been drooling over for years, after coming across their booth at various geeky and writing conventions, right at the same time my husband and I have been falling in love with the Tampa/St. Petersburg area of Florida for vacations — a Master’s is completely cost prohibitive and unrealistic at the moment. I’m also terrified of speaking in front of large groups (a teacher failed me in high school for not being able to do a speech in front of the class once), so the teaching requirement of the MFA scares me to death as well.
So, I’m done with school, and I’m on my own now.
It’s fall, so a lot of people are either going back to school after the summer break, or they’re sending their own kids off to school, so it would seem like the perfect time for me to buckle down and get back to my writing and blogging schedule. But sadly, I’ve found that without school deadlines and grades hanging in the balance, I’ve been slipping more and more. I’m ten months into this daily blogging experiment, and there have been far too many dragonless posts for my taste lately, and the Neeka story has stalled out completely.
This entire blogging adventure started out with a plan — to work obsessively on my novel, Finding Dragons, which I had outlined out chapter-by-chapter, and then to publish drafts of new chapters every two weeks. If I had followed that, I would be nearly finished with my first draft already. That’s a crazy thought.
But I’ve definitely shifted the focus of this blog away from writing my novel and more toward featuring amazing dragon artwork and artists each day, and the talent out there on the internet continues to amaze me, so I know I won’t run out of ideas any time soon.
My early posts simply featured one dragon image with a quick blurb, but I’m proud of how they’ve evolved over these months (especially since the April AtoZ Challenge) to be much more in-depth about each artist. Every day I try to look for a dragon image that’s either relevant to me, or to something that’s going on in the world in general, or to what I’m presently writing about, plus I like to include links to the artists’ galleries or Etsy stores or places to purchase their artwork, as well as sharing a trio of images instead of just one.
These daily dragon posts often take a while to compose, and afterward, I sometimes find myself “written out,” which isn’t great for my continuing fiction career. Add to that my other hobbies, including Pokemon Go (and playing the actual Pokemon NDS game), trivia nights, the new fall TV season beginning, and my own anti-homework tendencies cropping back up, and I’m just not prioritizing my own fiction writing as much as I’d like.
I’m really hoping to turn that around by getting myself back on a dedicated writing schedule, but I haven’t worked out all the kinks yet… as evidenced by this post being a few weeks late… I did mention it’d be ironic when I finally did get this posted, didn’t I?
But really, my main hope is that you, my readers, are still enjoying the daily dragon art and will keep dropping by. Like most bloggers, I cherish every visitor, view, like, and comment, and it makes this crazy daily blogging endeavour worth sticking with, when I’d rather let my homework go unfinished.
To wrap this up, I was really happy to find the perfect image to accompany my post on homework, so enjoy A Dragon Ate My Homework by Canadian deviantartist Carolyn Cook, posting as AironShiroi. A quick browse through her gallery makes me think I’ll be sharing more of her art in the future as well, so stay tuned!
Thank you, really and truly, for reading! Take care, and stay creative!
Lawrence Kasdan quote verified on Goodreads
Quote Image found in a post at the Editing Addict, LLC blog
Baby Bookwyrm Dragons by Lindy Briggs at How Many Dragons?
A Dragon Ate My Homework by Carolyn Cook