February Writing Life Update

Posted by Katie L. Carroll on February 10, 2016 in Anecdote, Creativity, Events, School visits, Writing |

February has historically been my least favorite month. It’s a low part of the year for me for some reason that I’ve never been able to adequately pinpoint. I think the weather is part of it. Here in southern New England, the days are short and cold and spring feels a long way off. (Although we did have a nice stretch of warmish weather last week.)

This year I think I’m going to be too busy for the late-winter blahs. In addition to reading a lot, I’m deep in querying mode for one project; looking forward to carving out some writing time for a new project that has yet to move out of the “rumination stage,” as I like to call it; and excited (and nervous!) to have a bunch of school visits booked up for the second half of the month. (Not to mention hanging out with the boys!)

The nerves are because I’m feeling a little rusty as I haven’t done any youth writing workshops since last June, and because some of the upcoming workshops are for students that are a little younger than I’ve worked with before, and because it’s a lot of visits in a short amount of time. But I love working with the students, so I know once I practice a few more times and get going with the first one, I’ll be fine.

It’s the change of mentality I think that’s tripping me up. I spent a good deal of the second half of 2015 in writing and then revision mode (very internal acts), so it’s required a brain shift to move into the more external acts of querying and workshop teaching. Both are important parts of my creative life, but as I get older, I feel like the transition from one to the other has gotten harder.

One of these school visits I’ll remember to have someone take a few pictures of me teaching a writing workshop so I can share it here. What’s in store for all of you this month and the rest of winter?

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  • Jeff Chapman says:

    Best of luck with the queries and school visits. I’m sure the kids will love it. You’re bringing a break from the normal school routine, remember. As for spring, try removing March and April from your calendar. May will appear much closer.

  • Kai Strand says:

    Oh my gosh. Thanks for basically writing a post for me. I should just copy this and put it on my blog. I’m teaching a workshop in April at a teen literary festival and I’m suddenly stressed that it’ll suck. And this is a big strength of mine, but now I have these thoughts that keep getting in the way. The only other workshop being taught that day is by April Henry. APRIL HENRY!!!! She actually IS somebody. Pressure!!!!!

    Okay. Deep breaths. We’ll both be fine. Well, I know you will 😉

    • Sorry you can relate to this feeling, Kai, but I’m sure you’ll be amazing! You’re enthusiasm is contagious and it’ll show in your workshop. I’ve gotten in some good practice of my revamped workshop and am feeling better about presenting. My first two are tomorrow…wish me luck.

  • Mirka Breen says:

    Well, if it is your least favorite, at least it is also the shortest.
    I was *almost* born on Feb 29, so the “leapiness” of this month intrigues me.

    • It is an intriguing month numberswise. I certainly have nothing against those born in February, and I might feel differently about the month if I lived in a different part of the country. Keeping myself busy has helped to keep the grumps away.

  • Beverly says:

    The workshops sound like fun. Kids are so excited to meet an author and to learn how she/he writes.
    I can’t complain about the winter here. We’ve had more spring days this year than winter days. February has three birthdays in my family. Two granddaughters and my grandmother, born on Feb. 29. 1876, so it’s a good month, most of the time.

    • Oh, so many leap babies! Winter wasn’t too bad here until February, and now it’s been lots of snow and cold. High of 16 for Sunday…yikes! I’ll be dreaming of spring (and summer) over here.

  • February used to be a bad month for me too until I got back to skiing (well, actually snowboarding). It’s because it gets you above the clouds and into the sun, plus it takes you away from everything.

  • It’s also my least favourite month but for a totally different reason: too many public holidays/festivals. I prefer normal working days. Getting out for school visits will be lovely, Katie. I hear that being a bit nervous about or intimidated by something is good for the event most often turns out a lot better than you’d expected. Have fun!

    • Thanks, Claudine! The first school visit on Friday went really well, and both workshops were for the younger age group. So I’m feeling more confident going into my workshops coming up on Thursday and Friday.

  • Vijaya says:

    I hope this month flies for you, Katie. You’re probably just need some sunshine.

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