Success or Failure
A little over a month ago I was filled with excitement, confidence, and even arrogance. I was signed up for nanowrimo and was all set to crank out my book. I had the plot. I had the notes. I was ready. The month started out great and I was making huge strides. Checking with the calculator, I was set to meet the goal well ahead of the deadline. I felt amazing. Then something happened. I don't even know how to explain or define what that might have been. It wasn't being distracted by working on other projects at the same time. If anything that helped me get more accomplished. It wasn't daily routine getting in the way-I don't do anything else. I honestly don't know what to say other than I just started having doubt and letting fear creep into my mind. I began to question if I could get it done and if I could would it be any good. I am a writer, nothing I write is ever good enough. That doesn't mean I don't like my work or feel it is worth reading. I just mean that I will always see where it could have gone and how I failed to translate the story in my mind properly onto the page. What I did lose was my patience. I wanted the book done. I wanted the words to fly from my mind through my fingers and onto the screen. That didn't happen and I became frustrated. The closer it got to the end of November and the deadline to finish nanowrimo the more dejected I became. The more down I got over my writing the easier it became for old demons to push their way back into my mind. I would lose myself in my own mind for way too long and it became a burden to my friends and roommates. This was not acceptable. I no longer am alone and I don't need to define myself by my daily word count. My best friend beat me over the soul with that point until I finally accepted it. Since the night she did that I have written every single night and gotten more done on two books and multiple short stories. She taught me that expectations need to exist in the proper context and that it is better to create than simply push pages. Now, I try to repay her every night by hitting realistic goals based on the story and not arbitrary word counts. Yes, I need to get some things finished so as not to let everybody down, but the stories are coming back into focus once again because of her. I just hate that she doesn't understand how much of a help she is to me in writing and in life. So consider that my new goal: to write for the story and live for the people I love and cherish. That is my new definition of success.
One mind many stories
When I decided to follow my passion of writing many people tried to offer their advice. I kindly listened to everybody, as i often do, so that I could pick out what works best for me. Some of the most common advice I was given was "write every day" and "focus on one project at a time" as well as general questions of my sanity. Of course I am not sane-I am a writer at heart. As for the other advice, I do try to write every day, but even when I am not able to write daily I do make sure my mind spends at least a good amount of time thinking about what I am currently working on at the moment. That brings me to the other piece of advice-the one I don't generally follow. I have tried to focus on one project at a time, but that really doesn't work for me. I understand the logic of the advice, but for me I like to spread my mind out. I find this fits my mind best not only because it is how I generally think, but it allows me to be able to write more often. When I do focus on only one project at a time, I often write a bunch and then stall out for a bit needing to refresh and refocus on the path the book is going. On the other hand, if I have another book or even short stories to work on, I am able to go back and forth between projects and enter every writing session ready to go. I understand that it is easier to do this because the projects I am working on are all from different genres and don't have any overlapping concepts. When it all comes down to it, the thing I have discovered to be the most important is this: find what works for you and do it that way no matter what advice others have to offer. Just because it works for them doesn't mean it will work for you. Be you, that is what will make your writing the best version you can make.
Feeling and writing well
It is a very nice feeling in my mind right now. After being in a funk for so long this week has seen more progress again. My mind is in a good place and words just want to jump onto the screen. I know there will be future slow periods of writing, but I don't anticipate any complete stoppages again. I am back writing John Doe. The help I have gotten is beyond what a simple thank you can repay. A couple of short stories have also been tossed about. I am blessed. It is pretty safe to say that the improved writing can be credited to my improved living situation.
The crisis of time; The salvation of friends
It has been seemingly forever since I felt productive in any capacity. I had time to work on any project, yet sadly that was the issue. I would find myself alternating from being frozen and unable to create any valuable substance or bouncing from project to project and getting insignificant amounts done on each only to delete the work later. I was my own worst enemy and it was quickly killing any self-confidence I had previously. I was absolutely on a path to nowhere and headed there fast.
Now, I find myself reinvigorated. Am I filled with self confidence-absolutely not I am a writer after all and nothing will ever be as polished as I wish. That is the definition of a writer though. Still, I am getting some done and have a positive hope about several projects again moving forward. The change is, simply put, friendship. I no longer live alone, but have opened my home to a dear fried in her family. I know that some might think that having four extra people in the house, including two adorable children, would actually make it even harder to focus. For me, it is quite the opposite. Their being here drives me to refocus and not fail. It goes without saying that my friend has always been a great help to bounce ideas off of and review/edit what I write, but in all honesty it is the knowledge that I want to repay her faith in me that drives me. No, I will not fail my friend and because of her I will always be a better person and writer.
Life is Distracting
It has been a while since I have been here to write anything. I wish that I could say that it was because I was off having some amazing adventure in a far off land where I could not write anything here. Sadly, that is not the case. I have found myself having to deal with some boring normal life issues that have taken up way too much of my time and mind. Between issues with plumbing, annoying city employees, yard work being hindered by the alternating rain and extreme heat, issues with pets, and being sick as a dog for a week I feel like the past month has flown by without anything actually being accomplished. I can't even say that I accomplished much on the normal life issues that have been taking up my time. Then again I guess that is the way life works with many of those issues-just a constant struggle to stay afloat. On the other hand, I have also found myself with an almost insatiable addiction to two different activities the past week or so. The first one being something that is nothing new for me-reading. I always like to read, but the past couple of weeks I have been simply devouring books. I have have on a couple of occasions read a whole trilogy in a day. Now, I know that these are not books that require a lot of in depth reading and thought to get through, but they are books that are popular and in genres I have interest in writing. Besides, as I have said before, I see no reason why people should ever be ashamed of reading anything that interests them. The other obsession has been watching the Olympics. No, I don't watch all of the gymnastics, swimming, and track. I enjoy watching the volleyball, team handball, fencing, water polo, and other sports that are not the "big" ones people always talk about. The combination of reading and Olympics has been both a good and bad one. It was good because the sports I enjoy are on live during the day for me to watch and then read all night. It has been a bad combination because it allows me to fill up most of the day with just those two activities. Well, that isn't really true. I have kept working on my legal pads writing out dialogue and making detailed outlines of scenes. I just had hoped to have more chapters actually written by this point of the summer. I think that it should be easy to piece together the legal pads to make coherent chapters. I probably have most of the book written, but it doesn't feel like it is really written until I have it saved on the computer. So, maybe life isn't as distracting as I thought. Maybe it just took writing this to realize that I am doing better than I thought and be encouraged again. It is strange, that even accidental encouragement can have a very positive impact. I think I am going to actually get some typing done tonight. Wait, do I owe myself some sort of fee for this session? I guess I will just bill myself to pay at a later date. Until then-READ, and enjoy the Olympics as well.