Fantasizing About Fiction

sun2 (copy)

A smoky day on the mountain by Kath Unsworth

What is it about January? It starts with a whoohoo! All guns blazing, a promise to myself that I will write and illustrate every day. I am extremely hopeful of carrying out my set goals and passionate about writing fiction. In the beginning, everything is possible, determined to reach my destination with out a thought about my reality.

January has another plan for me. Everything slows as I sink knee-deep in the drama of  every day life, obstacles and domesticity invade my space, scattering my well made plans to oblivion and the back of beyond.

I have to ask…… Is this not true for everyone? Anyone with a dream and a goal to see it through.

So what is my excuse for a jumpy start to January? A sweltering heat slows my ambition.  The smoke from fires in another state, leave me breathless and sneezing. The children are still on holidays….. need I say anything more? My house is not self-dusting (I wish) and the vacuum cleaner is far from a cute little circular robot on wheels. If only my family did not need clean clothes and three square meals a day. (I’m betting most mothers say this at one time or another.)

I would be happy to oblige the kids and serve noodles in a cup every meal time, but we all know, that just won’t do. (I betting most mothers would not do this, but have dreamed of the perfect healthy meal fresh out of a pre-packaged cup). The TRUTH…..I have no valid excuses, I hear you say she does not even go to work! I know I am hoping to make my novels and books into my work. I have every opportunity to use this amazing time NOT working to do some work on my art. Yet somehow a brand new shiny day loaded with potential slips through my dish pan hands on a regular basis.

In January my favourite quote was, “Dam its too hot to do anything!”

sun1 (copy)

Sun through the smoke and trees by Kath Unsworth

I know positive words people. I am not giving up, my creativity burns, crackles and fizzles out. Yet I am still hopeful, a vitality comes to me in patches, I cannot explain it, the artist is impatient, it is all-consuming. This is a miracle in the heat of an Australian summer.

We can all agree life does a good job at hurling distractions when we want to focus and be productive, it will always be this way. Every creative I know has a reason NOT to create. The fight lies in my determination to focus, put my bum in the chair and make art. I must not question if I am on the right path? I must  keep going on the path that has opened up to me. My stories, my way, only I can tell them from my perspective.

sun (copy)

Sun after fires and smoke by Kath Unsworth

I look on the bright side. At least I can still fantasize about fiction, when all else fails. I can dream up images for my picture book or ask the what if’s in my novel. One more precious day and the children will be back at school.

I am not saying it will get easier but I will say I will keep on track.

Some days I find that sparkle….. and for now that is enough, there will always be obstacles in my path.

When all else fails READ……..(my favourite picture book) Where the Wild Things Are

 “I believe there is no part of our lives, our adult as well as child life, when we’re not fantasizing, but we prefer to relegate fantasy to children, as though it were some tomfoolery only fit for the immature minds of the young. Children do live in fantasy and reality; they move back and forth very easily in a way we no longer remember how to do.” (From Virginia Haviland’s “Questions to an Artist Who Is Also an Author: A Conversation between Maurice Sendak and Virginia Haviland,” published in 1972, via the Christian Science Monitor.)

Now to set my inner child free and get to work. I have chosen the word PRODUCTIVITY for this year…. ignore the heat, GO CREATE.

Tell me what gets in the way of your productivity and what do you fantasize about bringing into this world?

About Minuscule Moments

Everybody has a DREAM. Today is the first day of the rest of my writing life. Its a lonely world out there when you are learning the craft. This year, as the same as last year, I want to finish my first children's picture book. I have learn't many wonderful lessons on this journey. You are never too old to learn.
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33 Responses to Fantasizing About Fiction

  1. I don’t think I’m anywhere near as productive as you Kath, but what gets in my way is making too many plans and overcommitting myself. Like you, I started the year all gung ho, with ideas galore, and then I realized I was moving in ten different directions. Last week, I fell into a crumpled heap of indecision. This week, I am ruthlessly cutting out things that don’t belong. We will defeat this thing that kills our creativity, whatever it is!!!!

  2. kayesims says:

    Kath, you’ve done a great job describing the dilemma and then exploring ways to salvage the creative. In the midst of my own “warm January” I try to figure out what I want my new normal to look like. Thanks for your perspective. You are a really good writer!

  3. Sheila says:

    That’s funny because I always blamed any January lack of motivation on the short, cold days and not enough sunshine for needed energy. Maybe our resolutions take too much energy out of us because we get disappointed when we don’t fulfill them right away, even if they’re usually things that take forever. 🙂

  4. Letizia says:

    When my mind wanders and I enter the land of fantasy rather than working at this time of year, I like to think my ideas are in hibernating mode (I’m in the cold Northern hemisphere so the metaphor works better in this context). I allow myself a little indulgence, knowing the ideas will bloom and grow into strong plants soon (well, that’s what I hope anyway!).

    • I love it Letizia, a great way to look at it….. in Australia I guess I could say I will soldier on too and wait for the magical days of inspiration. Thanks for sharing this on twitter, very sweet of you.

  5. Sara says:

    Oh, Kath. Let me first say your photographs are tremendous! You create art in those for sure! Secondly, I know exactly what you mean when others say “she doesn’t have a job.” I have a job, but I don’t have kids, and people think my time is neverending. Ha! It’s nearly time for me to go to bed now and I haven’t done anything creative today. I had to work the day job, spend some time with my husband, and just when I get to sit down and do something for myself I’m exhausted.

    I’m having the complete opposite weather as you are. Our temperatures have plumeted well below zero. These are the days I would love to stay in and work on my crafty stuff and my writing. Alas, life makes its demands. When will the day come when the creativity takes first priority?

    I guess the best I can say is, do the best you can. Don’t abandon those dreams, ever, even if it seems you aren’t able to make them come true right now. And remember that you ARE creative every day, even if that means being able to come up with three squares for your kids.

    • Sara my, you are such a sweet lady, thank you for the encouragement. I guess we all have challenges, our own box of life’s demands. We can push through them together. Thank you for such kind and thoughtful words, you really are a treasure.

  6. Lotta Wanner says:

    I’m right there with you Kath. Start and stop, start and stop! But we find ways, we always do. Your pictures are really good! And over here it’s snow on the ground and temperature below zero. I’ll send some over to you!! 😃

  7. Joan says:

    Kath – it will come. I’m doing my own fantasizing about fiction here in this frozen north land. (And I live in the southern part of the US). We can do this! We will be productive!

  8. diannegray says:

    Being a mother is a full time job, Kath. I remember when my children were young people would say ‘but you don’t work’ and I would say ‘my job is full-time with overtime and I produce and maintain the worlds most important future resource, children’ 😀

    I hope your January lifts again and you muse visits often! 😉

    • I agree Dianne I have enjoyed spending the time with my kids as a volunteer for canteen and event days and my son has two half days at home to keep his anxiety issues at bay. There will be a time I will need to go back to work, but for now I am enjoying one of the most challenging jobs I have ever taken on…….nurturing my children.

  9. Kath, I’m a stay-at-home mom too, and I agree that it is not easy to find time to be creative. It is getting easier as my kids age. The biggest obstacle I’ve had to overcome is accepting that I usually only get bits and bites of time to work on projects. Before I was a parent, I would have hours of uninterrupted creative binges. I’m learning that those little bits of time really do add up.

    Blessings ~ Wendy

    • Wendy I think there are a lot of mums out there doing it this way, stealing the moments to work on our dreams. I think that is the one thing I am learning to…never give up, just put one step in front of the other and it will happen. Thanks for the encouragement. I am enjoying being a stay-at-home mum too and it does leave me moments of time that I would not have if I went back to work.

  10. Kath, I remember how hard it was to find time to write when my kids were small. I strongly sympathize. Just remember that this time of your life will pass quicker than you expect, and being a stay at home mom is a high calling in my book. 🙂

  11. You’ll get there. A little more time will come each year as your children’s lives expand. Then, while their absence tugs upon your heart you’ll rediscover the other loves in your life. Keep your ideas percolating in your head; they’re safe in that place. There’s just me and the cats now, yet what gets in my way is still life. The last month evaporated before my eyes and now I’m packing so we can relocate to a beautiful valley 620 miles away. Yet, my passion and my plans remain the same: I will write and I will publish. Life gets in the way, but it has yet to stop me.

  12. annepeterson says:

    I loved your post. Especially lines like, “Yet somehow a brand new shiny day loaded with potential slips through my dish pan hands on a regular basis.”

    I could also relate to worrying about those little comments spoken or not spoken concerning what we should do. For me, when my kids were small I made the choice to stay home. We struggled financially, but I know it was the right choice for me. I see creativity explode in my kids who are now grown.

    I think I have gotten to the place I will look for what God sees for me today. It may be a line, it may be time with the little one who I get to be with today. God will store the things worth storing and He’ll let you take them out later and turn them into something beautiful for others.

    “What would you have me do today?” is the only question I have. And His opinion is the only one that matters. Loved this post.

    • Anne I love that quote I have been reading Florence Scovel Shinn she has so many beautiful affirmations and I know I have to think positive and keep going. Thanks for your wise encouraging words.

  13. Oh what gorgeous pictures, Kath. What an eye you have.

  14. I can totally relate to this post, Kath, and I’ve been meaning to post a comment ever since you wrote it. What a tough juggle it is, trying to find the time and space and mental energy to tend to own creative dreams and also take care of our families.

    As far as season extremes go, you are in a heat wave while we (in the US, east coast) are in deep freeze. I do agree that in a way, it’s easier to write when you’re cozied up with coffee or cocoa, and I definitely know it’s next to impossible to get anything done when the kids are home (!) but hang in there, you will find time soon. Your dreams are too important to cast aside, as you know, but go easy on yourself when you have to pause now and then to take care of Life Stuff. I should take my own advice, ha, as I haven’t been able to work in several days. I can almost feel the creative energy drying up. It’s always harder to get back in the groove, you know?

    Good luck and keep us all posted on your journey!

    • Dana nice to see you and thanks I know you would get it, having little ones. I am seeing pockets of time as my two turn ten and eleven this year. Sometimes I cheat and start sketching in amongst the madness…What ever it takes. I would love to do a review on my site about your book once I have read it. Looking forward to that. Good luck with chasing the time you need for writing.

  15. Desi Clown says:

    “I must not question if I am on the right path, I must keep going on the path that has opened up to me.” There’s a world of wisdom right there! Beautifully put. We sometimes waste so much time wondering if we’re doing what we’re ‘supposed to’ do, that we convince ourselves we’re on the wrong track, and give up midway. Persistence is what we lack, atleast I do sometimes.. I didn’t understand the ‘smoke’ part, was there a forest fire or something at the time?

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