[I wrote this post as a member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our worries and also offer support and encouragement to each other on the first Wednesday of every month. If you’re a writer like me and you’re looking for a bit of support, you can click the link and sign up here]
And thank you to founder Alex J. Cavaugh 🙂
Years ago, I met someone at work who wasn’t excited about anything.
I sat with her in a conference room, trying to help her imagine what life might be like at work if she could just plan out all the ways she could take control of her tasks, her work life.
Then the tears came. She grabbed a box of kleenex and meekly said, “I can’t. I don’t want to be here. ”
She went on to say she wasn’t living her dreams or the life she really wanted. She felt out of control.
I was much younger then. I didn’t understand at first. But now I do.
Almost twelve years ago, I set a very big goal for myself. I decided I wanted to finally address the passion I’d harbored all my life and had ignored. Writing.
I didn’t know how to get started or what the steps to achieve my dream might look like. I had no formal training, and barely a friend who loved creative writing and would commit to the process the way I tend to commit to things. What I did have though, was a very big idea, and I knew the best place to get started was to first get up. Every day. And think or write or read for at least an hour. I wrote and planned with a fiery fury.
I finished that first book. I also learned that the first book isn’t always as great as we think it will be and I cried. And then I realized something, after the gentle coaxing of my mother and my devoted friends. I’d finished something huge. I started somewhere, and I used everything in my power in each moment to finish that first huge task. They were right. I needed to celebrate that, and bought myself a new book, and let myself disappear into the story for several days, letting go of my own goals for a brief period of time. I found my smile again, and the will to keep trying.
Today, I’m still not where I want to be. But I celebrate. Then I work. Then I celebrate some more.
This month’s IWSG question asked: “How do you celebrate when you achiever a writing goal / finish a story?”
I may have taken a different route to answer the question, but I think the important thing we all should do when we celebrate is to do whatever makes our hearts feel good. We walk taller, smile brighter and find that joy or light again within ourselves. It’s the best way I know how to make it through the tough days. And that’s exactly what I showed the lady I worked with back then. We may not be able to influence where we are in a present moment, but every moment has potential and we can influence how we feel about it and work to change it. Don’t forget to celebrate that.
Fridays are all about celebrating the Small Things thanks to a weekly blog hop created by author Lexa Cain. Joint co-hosts this week are authors L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge Tonja Drecker @ Kidbits Blog The mission coincides with what I’m hoping to do with my own writing, inspire and focus on the light when those slippery shadows creep around our shoes. Want to sign up? Click Lexa Cain’s link to find out more.
I am a believer in integrity.
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve known I see the world in bright, justly colors. I’ve known I strive to find the truth in all things: from the littlest dandelion growing in the yard, defending a poor little slug which the neighbor kid tried to destroy with salt, to friends I’ve met along the way who struggled with the truth and couldn’t sing it as it should have been. I believe in the truth and I try to give people the benefit of the doubt in telling it. I’m not perfect. No one is. I’ve withheld it myself in fear from time to time, and then I’ve faced the consequences as bravely as I could have. I think the importance in truth, integrity and living an honest life, is knowing who we are on the inside. It’s believing in that, and surrounding ourselves with those who believe in us, too.
This week I’m celebrating integrity and the growth in facing it. I’m celebrating the state of mind we need to be in, in order to create a safe place to discuss the truth.
As a mother, I’ve been working to teach my kids this week the importance of following our hearts instead of being followers of the fun thing to do. With the first week of school down, challenges erupt in meeting new friends; friends who aren’t always like us. Ultimately, we all have our own truths. We all want respect. We certainly all love someone and we must respect this love and the uniqueness of each soul we meet along the way.
As a writer, I’m working on a character with strong integrity who will have it challenged every step of her journey. She’ll have to face two difficult truths and weigh the impact of each, eventually forced to pick one.
As myself, a woman who sees the world in bright, justly colors, I’m celebrating following my own heart. I’m proud of every small progressive footstep and will continue to embrace the thought that eventually hard honest work will pay off.
Ultimately, in teaching truth and respect the important thing I’ve learned is:
How about you? What are you celebrating this week?
The Author Toolbox Blog Hop is “a monthly blog hop on the theme of resources/learning for authors: posts related to the craft of writing, editing, querying, marketing, publishing, blogging tips for authors, reviews of author-related products, anything that an author would find helpful.” Want to jump into the writing tool box? Search #AuthorToolboxBlogHop or to join via blog, click here.
Thank you Raimey!
Back in May and really early in June, I had a fantastic new idea for a contemporary fantasy in the works. I was following the 90 Days to Your Novel by Sarah Domet. My mind was churning and my fingers were flying. I watched videos to build scenes, found the perfect tunes to create moods, and had my outline done and everything. Then I decided to buy a home. Ouch. Chaos erupted and I couldn’t find the concentration to write in my usual routine. I couldn’t even pick up a book and finish it.
So this month, my topic is what I’m doing to jump back in. It’s been slow, like one toe, leg and finally I might be up to my waist in that water, honestly, this is the first time in years, I couldn’t push my brain or turn on the fuse. So what am I doing now? What do you do when your life explodes and you’re finally ready to start the momentum again? I also found a couple of great articles on the web from Writer’s Digest and JaniceHardy.com.
- Revisit your writing routine. Time of day? Minutes per day? Before my stress exploded, I woke up religiously at 4:00 a.m. I’d have my coffee ready and I’d sit down for almost a good two hours. So this is where I started. I set my alarm again. I had no pressure or goals. I just wanted to condition my brain and body to the early rising once again.
- Binge read. If your mind is open and ready for that sort of activity again. I have finally calmed down quite a bit and I am enjoying a few good reads. They are true to my genre and definitely where I want to be. Reading the competition for where I want seems to get my mind all conditioned again.
- Reread all the manuscript notes, scene developments and character outlines/maps.
- Listen to music and watch videos that remind you of your story.
- When you see the pictures again, push the words around without too much pressure. Right now, I added on a couple of paragraphs to my first page. Don’t be afraid to add on to current scenes. There’s no harm in deleting, and eventually, I believe the voice will come again.
There is a good side to stepping away from your work of course. I fine tuned a few scenes in my outline.
One last thought: