I just returned to Chicago after a week-long cruise/friends’ wedding celebration. First things first, I love cruising and living on water. I SLEPT on this trip. Also, I’m grateful to have shared my first cruise/abroad experience in celebration of my friends’ wedding. I met great people, made new friends, and easily put on ten pounds from the multiple entrées I ordered with dinner every night.
As far as writing goes, I still managed to write every day except for one, which I made up for on this flight back. My novel is unfolding with a slower, more patient build. I like it. I’ve really been impressed with the work that has come out of flipping my writing routine to continuing from the previous day’s entry. I feel myself making forward progress on having a completed draft that’s ready for first readers sometime this year. In the past month alone, I’ve logged 42 double-spaced, Courier New font pages that clock in around 7,500 words. Granted, the typical novel falls somewhere between 50k and 90k, so I have plenty of work ahead of me, but I recognize that there’s still room for revision and development. Nevertheless, I continue to push myself onward with the notion of turning off the editing brain.
Thinking back on this vacation, I realized a few things. One, I desperately needed that trip. I work almost seven days a week, often eight to twelve hours a day while juggling in Second City Staff Show rehearsals, Huggable Riot sketch rehearsals, Second City Writing Program assignments, hanging out with friends, and securing independent improv shows. The life of an artist is a busy one when you don’t have a clear-cut path or track to follow. After a while, that schedule with no necessary breaks for yourself will wear you down. Now that I’m back, I have to hit the ground running with two shows opening in two weeks. I also realized that I love experiencing new destinations and have been denying myself that opportunity. For my 24th birthday this summer, I plan to go to road trip to Yosemite National Park. I’m writing this here as a documented statement of intent that I can hold myself to. I also want to visit New England this fall to get a true sense of the geography that my novel takes place in. Traveling to new locations heightens my senses, which comes in handy for the creative aspects of my mind. It reminds me to zero in and take in all the little details: colors, smells, textures, landscapes, sunsets against the back of clouds, etc.
If anything, while I have numerous creative ambitions for 2017, I also plan to explore more.