The last half a year has been quite hectic - only had 3 Saturdays off so far since the start of this year, and I've spent a fair few Sundays at work too. So many things I want to do, but it's tough when you're in the office between 9am-10pm. Don't have the mental drive to do more than just do more than just snuggling under a blanket and reading a book.
That said, I am still keeping busy. Just finished a Science Fiction and Fantasy writing course with Gotham Writers. For the most part, the writing exercises are easily do-able in a few hours. However, the big part of the course is to submit two larger pieces for critique. This is not something that I could have done over a Sunday, it's something I'd bring my chromebook and hack at it over lunchtime.
Finally finished it last week and I though I did far better than I expected. I think it helped alot that I'm always got something to read on my kindle. The sad fact though, is that I tend to stay with comfortable genres and not expand my reading reach further out. This has changed, somewhat. It's less about me finding stuff to read but just checking out Goodreads, for example, and seeing what's interesting. Oh, and I've also been slowly going through the SF Masterworks series.
In addition, for the month or so before the course I'd switch from reading my usual fiction to how-to books. I honestly think most of them are just too damned similar. The two that have stood out so far, and I would definitely suggest reading, are Stephen King's On Writing, as well as Ben Nova's The Craft of Writing Science Fiction that Sells. Gotham Writer's own Writing Fiction, is another worthy mention. I've even bought a book on how to write romance, because hey, dialogue!
Alongside just reading how-to books - I wrote daily during lunchtime using Writing Prompts. The writing prompts also helped me when I was to write the two big projects - I was going around in circles thinking up an idea to write when... hey! I've had a writing prompt that really resonated with me (I think I wrote over 500 words in half an hour when I started on that prompt) and I just decided to take it further, and it appeared to be well received.
Still, when I look at the work of my fellow students, it is evident that many of them boast years of experience - not only in reading and writing, but also life experiences that takes the prose from ho-hum (like mine) to finely crafted pieces of art.
The question now bothering me is... what should I do next? There are soooo many thing I want to learn and explore. Nothing wrong with that. And because I have lots of crap I've explored, it sometimes makes it easy to join a conversation, because there's something in common to speak about.
Now, something in common is great for a start, but I've realized that many people tend to have deep knowledge of several fields. This is where I think I tend to fall, the lack of depth. Is it time to make my time-slices larger, and devote them to fewer subjects? Or still use small time slices to sample a multitude of different things?
This is only something I can answer, and it has been bugging me for a fair while. I think only time will tell what will happen next.