Monthly Archives: January 2015

The Courage to Write

The last couple of months have not been very productive as far as writing goes.  I started NaNoWriMo, confident I would “win” and have a rough draft of the sequel to The Wanderer’s Guide to Dragon Keeping by the end of the month.  But then my kids traded around a stomach bug, we got a new puppy, Thanksgiving, blah blah blah.  Of course then Christmas came along, which is basically a month-long excuse.  Now that we’re rolling on through January, I’ve been struggling to reestablish and keep up with a good writing routine.  I tell myself that I’ll have a writing session when the kids go to bed.  I’ll write when my husband goes out to the garage to work on the Jeep.  I’ll write in the morning, getting up early before anyone else does and making a pot of coffee.

But I don’t.

I can’t steal snippets of time here and there at random parts of the day and expect to get any decent work out of it.  I can make all sorts of excuses for myself.  I’m too tired.  I’m just not feeling it.  I shouldn’t force it.  It’s a slow process to get the creative juices flowing again.  My fingernails are too long.  While there’s some truth in all of that, it’s not the real reason.  The real reason is that I’m scared.

Any time I tell this to someone who has any occupation other than “writer,” they don’t seem to get it.  “Oh, you’re a good writer.  Just do it.”  And that advice isn’t much different from what you’ll find on many writers groups and forums.  You just have to get the rough draft done.  Nobody has to see the first draft, so there’s no need to stress.  We’ve all read that, but do we really listen?  Is it really true?  I mean, I see the first draft, and I’m the one that’s freaking out about it.  Don’t I count?  Do I need to be like Hemingway and just get drunk to make it happen?  (This really wouldn’t be a good option for me, considering I usually fall asleep after one beer.)

And what causes all this?  Do other people feel nervous about their jobs?  And maybe this only applies to people who are doing what they love for a living.  I say that because I didn’t feel nervous about previous jobs I had, at least not most of the time.  Perhaps, subconsciously, there just wasn’t that much to lose.  I could get another dead end job any day, right?   If Diana Gabaldon can crank out an entire series of books that each ring in at over 800 pages, why can’t I commit to working on my novel for an hour?

The real truth, I think, is that I just want so badly for it to be good.  And the excuses just make it that much easier to avoid the risk of failure.  But now that we are well over the holidays and the kids are most definitely back in school, I can force myself to truly get my nose back to the grindstone instead of these little pretend sessions where I really just have my fingers hovering over the keyboard while I watch TV.  Today marks the first week since November in which I have officially carved out an hour every day to write.  TGIF!

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Check Out My Back, I’m Getting Married!

So who else out there is trying to plan a wedding?  No, you don’t need to raise your hands.  I can tell you who are by that panic-stricken look on your face.  It’s the same one I see in the mirror most days, so it’s easy for me to recognize it.

And notice I didn’t say “planning a wedding.”  I think the world “try” is really key here.  I’m hoping you aren’t going through the same experiences I am, but I’m hitting a lot of brick walls.  Sometimes it’s money, sometimes it’s simple logistics, but either way I find myself with a bigger and bigger bubble of anxiety in my chest every time I sit down to work on this shindig.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited.  This will be my second marriage, but I’ve never had a wedding before.  I started dreaming about my wedding day when I was about 10.  Whenever we went to JCPenney and they had a new bridal catalog, I would always pick it up and take it home.  I spent hours in my room perusing the beautiful dresses, picking out which headpiece I would wear, and dreaming about the handsome, romantic man that I would marry someday.

I do, in fact, have a handsome, romantic man that is willing to marry me.  What I don’t have is a dress.  Our goal is to have the dress picked out by the end of this month.  There will be many decisions that revolve around the dress, so it’s an important one.  At first, I figured pinning down a dress would be easy to do, but so far I’m pretty wrong.

I don’t like to follow current trends when it comes to, well, anything.  And I’m not much of a shopper, so even though I live in a world where I can buy anything I want to online, it’s just not the most practical thing to buy a wedding dress online (believe me, I’ve tried).  I’ve gone onto eBay and typed in “unique wedding dresses.”  This resulted in an odd mix, including a short number made of see-through lace and ostrich feathers.  I guess this means I’m not that unique.  Go ahead and do it yourself, I’ll wait.

The big thing in dresses seems to be going strapless.  Since I can’t envision myself having to yank my dress back up every 30 seconds, I’m not interested.  (Yes, yes, I know I can have straps put on.  But then it isn’t strapless, is it?)

And who decided that bridal gowns should be backless????  Why does anybody need to see my back?  “Oh, hello, welcome to my wedding.  Check out my shoulder blades.  Do you feel a draft?”

So wish me luck next week as I punch my agoraphobia into submission and go dress shopping.

While waiting for my upcoming live action search for a dress (which I look at with equal parts excitement and dread), I’ve been trying to make other little decisions.  What will our first dance song be?  Hmmm…  What kind of cake do we want?  Do we even want cake?  Or should we have pie? Uh….   What kind of food will we serve?  Considering they probably won’t be happy with leftovers from my fridge, I really don’t know…..

At least I have the groom picked out!

 

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