Friday, November 4, 2011

'The End Is Here'

It has been a while since I wrote anything for this blog. I am very disappointed that I didn't write more and include more photos. I am hoping that this entry will make up for my lack of blogging! I set out on this journey to explore and experience the world of the Regency period and within the body of  10 000 words, I feel I have achieved what I could in the time frame we had. There is still so much to do if I want to turn this into a book and I know that although I did not get all the tasks completed I will eventually get them done.

I have learnt a lot about myself  this past year and I feel that I have grown as a writer. Understanding oneself is no mean feat and with all the added workload I have had, I think I have done well!

Now away with the moaning and groaning!

This semester I hoped to achieve enough words for assessment and I did that. I hoped to have had a finished project worthy of a readership and I have done that.I hoped if any to learn that I can write well and that I can push myself outside my comfort zone and I think I have done that. So, where to now with The Jane Austen Experience; well I want to continue my journey and complete what I think would make a great book and if not get it formally published, I would like to look into self-publishing it.

So as the 2011 academic year comes to a close, along with completing my Diploma of Professional Writing & Editing, I am grateful to all those who had to endure workshopping this project! I hope at least that you learnt something because that was what I was hoping to do. Or at least evoke some passion and motivation for your wonderful projects! I would like to thank Irene for her continued support throughout the last two years and for giving valuable feedback that has helped me to write something with merit!

Finally I hope that everyone has been able to achieve their goals too!

Enjoy some of the following photos of someone I do not quite recognise!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

'Lost Momentum'

It has been a while since I wrote anything for this project, however I know that I have enough words for the assessment. I am a little upset with myself because I haven't completed what I wanted to get done. This year was mapped out and I was adamant that I would get at least the activities done. I am left with five tasks not done and about five hundred words left to write.

All the research is done and the first drafts of that are completed, ready for workshopping. I have more of the  fictitious letter writing (with a quill and ink) to do so that they fit within each chapter. It is hard to do these letters because it physically hurts if I go beyond a page. There are nine left to finish!

So, what have I achieved from this project? I think it has been a difficult process and I am now understanding that it could go beyond what I have already achieved and become something much more in-depth. I also think that I have learnt some valuable lessons about taking on a history based topic that involves role-playing and learning new skills.

I want to say that I also feel, that even though I have lost some of the momentum I had at the start of the year, I have learnt  a considerable amount about putting together a project that may one day turn into a book. I have also gained an insight into my strengths and weaknesses and how I can utilise and develop my skills in order to finish a project such as The Jane Austen Experience.

So, where to with The Jane Austen Experience?
I hope to finish it one day and self-publish it.

To all the writers who are working to achieve their goals, I feel a kindred spirit with you all!
It is hard work!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

'Enough Words'

What is enough words? I have almost written 10 000 words for the assessment but I am realising slowly that this project is becoming something that could exceed my wildest dreams in terms of word count. Yes I know I have been a bit slow at catching onto this concept, but it has now become enormous in my projections and I am feeling a little overwhelmed!

The research for all the tasks I set for myself has now almost got to 5000 words and I haven't even completed the second set of activities. I think that I may not get them completed as I have so many other assessments that are due around the same time.

Don't get me wrong I still want to finish this project but it has just dawned on me as to the many sections that I still hope to achieve. Cramming is not a strong point of mine and I know that even though The Jane Austen Experience is nowhere near where I wanted it to be, I hope that I have completed enough coherent work to achieve a pass in class.

You are all probably thinking that Nicole's had a meltdown;  you can rest easy, I haven't!

I was just looking at my diary: nine weeks left! Arghhhhh!

Oh well! Atleast I have almost finished 'enough words'.

Happy writing!

Friday, August 5, 2011

'Lost the Momentum'

It has been a while since I wrote in this blog because I have been in procrastination mode. Unable to get motivated I think I now have a second wind and am hoping that I can move forward with the next set of tasks for this project.
I have been contemplating how to move forward with The Jane Austen Experience and I think that it would be useful to talk about the obstacles that I didn't see coming. Once I have got those out in the open I can move to create the new.

I think that I have spent the last six months trying to get the first activities finished and now it is my own self-doubt that is getting in the way. I spent the whole holiday break thinking I would find some time to dress up and photograph myself doing the tasks but instead I had to run around doing other things.
So how do I motivate myself?

I think a deadline always helps but I need to regain my interest in this project. I am also trying to find a way to incorporate the interviews I did with two very knowledgeable experts. I want to find a way to place them into the project and also retain the overall goal: that is to experience some of the home duties for a woman in the early nineteenth century.

I think I could do this if I could work within any part of the text. For example, I work in a linear manner. This means that I have to work in order which is sometimes very obstructing. It becomes too hard to pull out any section and just complete it. So I will now have to organise myself so I can get on with the job at hand!
I need to start on one activity at a time and continue so that the next 5000 words get completed.

This has turned out to be a blog about venting my frustrations but I hope that I will have something more interesting for you to read in the coming weeks.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

'Letters to Elizabeth'

I have started writing my fictitious letters to a friend for this project.
It has been quite difficult because writing with an ink and quill is not only messy but it really hurts the wrist. I have only been able to write three so far and within the first five-thousand words there are nine letters to Elizabeth.
Each of the letters has been alluded to within the project so now I have to finish each letter.
What I have found is that when I write with the quill it is hard to keep the direction of my writing straight.
Paper in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries didn't have lines as such. Paper and ink was expensive and therefore they sometimes wrote on cloth.
I still think that I have been able to achieve some success with this art and that even though the writing is not neat and straight, it doesn't look that bad. Anyway, I have had fun doing it and I will continue to finish each of the letters. One of the other interesting developments is capturing the language. I have been able to develop my language skills and my vocabulary. I have learnt more about the way in which Jane Austen was able to write with such romantic notions because the language (the way they spoke and the use of manners) allows it to come through. I was able to capture as much of those romantic notions as I could without bringing too much of twenty-first century language into the letters.
I must say that this part of the project has been extremely worthwhile and I am enjoying it immensely.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

'Busy Writing'

Sorry I haven't blogged for a while, I have been busy writing about this project; obviously not this blog!The Jane Austen Experience is slowly turning into a project
worth bragging about. I have been getting many good comments about the detail and structure of it and I have almost hit the five-thousand word mark needed for assessment.

Much of the detail included in this project is the way in which I have put it all together. Much of what I have is in book form and the photos I have placed in complement the text.

So far, it has been fun to do all the activities and I am looking forward
to completing the tasks allocated for next semester. This includes washing with a wash board and tub; living a day and night without modern conveniences; reading in candlelight; recipes and more letter writing.

As you can see I have included a photo from the activities I  have already completed. I will post more soon!                                     

Dearest Elizabeth,
It has been an arduous few months and my attempts at such
past-times constitutes relaxation and your good company...

Saturday, May 28, 2011

'A Little Closer'

It has been a while since my last post and rest assured I have been busy writing and costume wearing! It has been such a busy time putting together 5000 words for this project but I can now see the end
of the tunnel.

I have photographed three of my intended tasks which include: quill and ink; wax seal and needlecraft. As you can see I have included a photograph of myself in costume. Yes, that's me!

What was astounding to me was that I enjoyed dressing up and performing each task; I like how the dress feels. It's liberating yet confining! I can see why this era stepped out of such restrictive garments to much more freeing materials and pattern designs.

While in costume, I wrote each letter and conducted each task with ease as if I had always been doing them. Writing with a quill and ink was incredibly satisfying, I felt calm and happy as I was using this very old and out-of-date form of penmanship. After visiting 'Booktown' in Clunes Victoria and the Heritage Weekend in Ballarat Victoria this month I have realised how there are many people returning and learning the art of using a quill and ink and how using a wax seal makes them feel like they are a part of a bygone tradition. 

What I wasn't prepared for was my feelings about experiencing each task. I got lost in the idea of being in the Regency period and seem to relish in the everyday activities. This has made me more determined to finish the first 5000 words and develop this project!

Dearest Elizabeth,
It is with your confidence and support, that I have found myself enjoying ones daily tasks. You are a friend indeed. I look forward to our correspondence, it frees me from the drudgery of ones wintery existence...