In Other Words: Season 2, Episode 8

Reading Time: 2 minutes
The sun sits low over Brookfield, Vermont, on February 24, 2023. By Howard Fielding. Offered under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0.

For those tuning in late, this is the end of the second month of the second year of this blog as a real series. I’m treating each year as a season and each week as an episode. If you want to carry on that analogy, I guess each post becomes a scene, or segment.

This site dates back farther than that, though, to my retirement from newspapers in 2018. After 35 years of daily deadlines, I figured I would spin out occasional essays and fiction when I felt like it. It took me three years to realize that’s no way to run a blog, or a business, for that matter.

I wasn’t spending enough time with my creative writing projects. I wasn’t accounting for myself as a writer. And honestly, I wasn’t giving myself any direction, or any credit for the work I actually accomplished. So these weekly reviews are my tool to remind myself — and you — of the progress.

The audience — that’s you — and deadlines are crucial to this writer’s experience. Thank you for the views, likes, and comments. That’s what kept me going for years as a local journalist and columnist — dialog with the community.

I started this series as part of my research into my book about writing a play, “Harry Houdini and the Witch of Beacon Hill.” I have the beginning and the end. Next I have to fill in the middle, which is the real question: Why did it take me 40 years to write? I turned to my collection of old correspondence, notes, and journals.

The journals took me on another track — my breakout year as a freelance writer, and what I’ve learned from it. We’re in the middle of that series now, and it’s about to take a turn. I still haven’t come to any mention of the play, but I see a story unfolding. It may be of interest to others just starting in their careers — or just ending them.

In 1979, I took about a week off for travel with friends, including a cold weekend in a Vermont cabin. Coincidentally, (or was it serendipity again?) one of those friends contacted me today through this blog for the first time. A fellow writer, she had a question about how I organize my projects. Because the journal entries will be quiet for a few days, I’ll try to answer in a post this week.

Meanwhile, I’ll ask those of you who are writers the same question: How do you organize your projects when you seem to have more ideas than you have time?

Let me know in the comments below or in an email to howard@ (you know this part but the spambots don’t), and I’ll share them!

Until next time, thanks for stopping by!


In case you missed it

  • Long wait for a short story, 1979

    Long wait for a short story, 1979

    Reading Time: 2 minutes One of the things I’m learning from re-reading my journal entries from my first year as a freelancer is the value of a deadline. Any kind of deadline.

  • Be seeing you, 1979

    Be seeing you, 1979

    Reading Time: 2 minutes A secret agent resigns from his service and awakens in The Village, a futuristic prison on a remote island. Everyone has a number instead of a name. Oh, yes, there’s also this strange salute: “Be seeing you.”

  • In Other Words: Season 2, Episode 11

    In Other Words: Season 2, Episode 11

    Reading Time: < 1 minutes Although this series may appear as yet another rabbit hole I’ve fallen down in my quest to finish a project — any project — it has several benefits.

  • Procrastination, pro-cras-tin-a-a-tion, 1979

    Procrastination, pro-cras-tin-a-a-tion, 1979

    Reading Time: < 1 minutes I still sing the song today: Procrastination, Pro-cras-tin-a-tion! It’s making me late. It’s making me la-a-a-ter…

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