Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life – Confucius
Okay. How do find out what you love? Once you do find it, how do you make a living at it so you can continue to do it?
Some days I’m super excited to write and dream of a day when it’s all I have to do. Other days I wonder if I even like writing, much less love it.
Does loving it mean that even when you seemingly hate it, you still have a desire to do it? (Which I do.)
Part of what makes me question this I think stems from the fact that most of the time when I’m fired up to write, I’m in a situation where it’s just not possible. Even to jot things down to work on later or put notes in my phone. Then when I finally get a chance, both the excitement and the inspiration have faded and I’m left wondering why I was so excited because only bits and pieces of the idea are left.
Are these just normal writerly ups and downs?
I have this anxiety about anyone seeing me write. I’m not even concerned they’ll see what I’m writing, just that they will see me in the act. I have no idea where this comes from. It doesn’t matter if I know the person or if it’s a total stranger. I often write in my car during my lunch break. If I spot anyone in the parking lot that I think may walk past my car, I scrambe to stash everything and act like I’m looking at my phone. Maybe it stems from some childhood bullying incident. There were so many, I can’t remember what they all entailed. I’m sure their lingering psychological effects are abundant. Or maybe it’s because I don’t want to answer questions about what I’m doing? My response would be “none of your business”, but still. Though I seriously doubt anyone I know would ever ask. I think there’s an unspoken rule not to ask the weird one too many questions :p
Goal check lists and keeping an idea book with me has helped tremendously lately. I am the type of person who gets great satisfaction from marking items off to do lists. I write anything in the idea book that can be used as a prompt later on. Most of the ideas are for journaling for flash fiction. I’ve found I’m pretty good with short writing bursts and end up doing more in little bits than when I try to sit down and commit a few hours. Less pressure maybe?
This is the first week I’m on track to accomplish everything on my check list (yes, posting a blog is on the list) and I’m feeling pretty accomplished. In previous weeks a combo of adulting, getting ready for and recovering from vacation (and probably fear as it always lingers there) prevented me from doing all the writing related projects I wanted. For now, I seem to be past some of the fear. Daily writing really helps. Also I realized writing early in the day is better than putting it off. If I write early, I get excited and actually make time to write later because I want to find out what happens next.
I naturally left the biggest task this week for last. I still have a few hours until midnight though so I feel like I’ll get it done. I’ve exceeded a few of my other goals. The temptation to allow myself to slack on the larger goals using the exceeding of other goals as justification is strong. I am resisting.
I’m using Sunday as my to do list start day (because Monday’s suck). So tomorrow I’m going to spend the early part of the day tackling the week’s big projects and get them out of the way.
Off to finish the list!
Writing has been put on hold for most of July so far due to getting ready for vacation, then going on vacation (to Comic Con) then catching up on life and bill paying job stuff when I got back. This week I’ve been trying to get back into a daily writing routine. Well, every-other-daily at this point. I realized I’m kind of tired of the story I was working on before I left so I’ve been doing some flash fiction prompts. Those have been more fun than I anticipated! They’ve been keeping me looking forward to which prompt is next instead of worrying if I’ll have any ideas when I get an chance to sit down and write.
I’ve always known that if I ever really got myself writing, I’d end up with either YA or a weird memoir. My memoir would start out a little something like this…
My great grandparents on both sides of my mom’s family have the same last name. No one has questioned this.
For now, I’m going the YA route. Now that I’ve gotten a good chunck of the story down, I’m excited about it! I want to know what happens next each day.
There are a lot of aspects of YA that, while I understand, I never experienced. Like school nurses. We never had a school nurse. I think a couple of teachers kept a box of band aids. If you were sick, you were sent home for someone else to deal with. Are school nurses common in real life or do they just lend themselves to plot points?
And the parents. How to write the parents. I’m hoping to avoid this since my protagonist is a high school senior. There’s more freedom and less parental involvement at that point, right? There has to be some, for sure. But I’m not sure if I should go with supportive and trusting, overprotective and hovering, ditzy and distant…I just don’t know at this point where or how a parent fits into this story. Maybe I can send them away for work? Hmm…
This weekend in an effort to make my space more writing friendly, I moved my desk to a central part of the house. Now I have my animals around me as I work and don’t feel like I’m neglecting them. I’m also trying out the Chuck Wendig No Fuckery Writing Plan. This is manageable. This is exactly what I needed. All the other stuff says “write every day!” so I totally let myself by with only writing one sentence and reward myself with ice cream. 350 words is an achievable number though. I don’t feel overwhelmed and so far don’t dread trying to hit it. So I now have my inspiration to finally try doing what I want (thank you, Amanda Palmer), a story idea that I’m excited about (thank you, to this fine Skillshare instructor), an attainable goal (thank you, Chuck Wendig), a mighty fine craft resource (thank you, Stephen King), and a damn good motivational resource (thank you, Austin Kleon). Now, let’s see what I do with it all.
Well, the pesky bill paying job has been interfering the past few days but I’ve been getting a few paragraphs in during lunch. 30 minute lunch breaks are ridiculous, by the way. I’ve started a new Skillshare class that encourages meditation before writing to clear mental clutter. I also feel like writing this helps with the mental clutter to since I find I’m tending to unload a bit of it here. I’m going to strive to get as much writing in as possible during this long holiday weekend. I’m moving my desk and computer to another room, which hopefully will help a bit.
For fun, here’s my dog with a bag over his head.
Today I have managed to spend a shockingly large portion of the day procrastinating but I also have worked through some lessons of a Skillshare writing class and I’m doing this entry. The guilt of having spent money spurring me on. I’m on my front porch writing this while it rains. Rain smells amazing. I started my second listen of the Art of Asking. One of Amanda Palmer’s suggestions is coinciding with my class in a way. She suggests taking any hater comment and imagining it being aimed at the Dalai Lama. My class suggests writing down all of your fears and then either crossing them out one by one or deleting them. Both are a way of taking out the mental trash. My problem is, I’m not even worried about what people will think of what I write. I’m just worried they will read it. I seriously may need a pen name if I ever manage to finish anything. That’s why this blog is a way for me to attempt to get past that. Though so far it has been oddly comforting to see that no one is reading it 🙂 At least I’m putting something out there with the possibility of being read. For a while I participated in More Love Letters. Part of it was making little encouraging notes to be left for strangers. I wrote so many notes! They are still in my wallet! I just checked my twitter. I wrote them April 2013. Cyclical much? I loved making the notes but I’m terrrified of someone seeing me leaving them. Thinking I’m a vandal. Reading them while I’m still nearby and knowing who wrote them. I need to make distributing them one of my goals. I think I did leave one in Target one day? I want to go somewhere to write. Writing at home is tough with various chores looming over me. My brain justifies it as not being procrastination because these things do need to be done. Desire to be a writer sure is getting my house clean.
Welcome to the blog that I’ll probably abandon in three days! Seriously, I have so many orphaned blogs out there. I actually just found a partial post I’d written for last year’s “IMMA BLOGGER NOW WOOOO” phase. It was dated April12, 2014. So, my spurts are apparently cyclical. My goal here (having a goal and paying money for a domain are my ways of trying to keep myself going this time) is accountability. I want to write. I’ve wanted to write for years. Since I was 10, at least. That’s the first time I remember writing a story then trashing it. It was about vampires and werewolves – which I really regret trashing now. I wanted to be like my hero, Stephen King. We’ll likely delve into why I wasn’t reading Goosebumps or Sweet Valley High like the other girls later on (look at me all planning another post already). But anyway, since I trashed that first story, I trashed every subsequent story, diary, journal entry, word processor floppy disc, computer document, journaling app, and IPhone note that could in anyway give a glimpse into my creativity, my thoughts or how I was feeling. If I wrote it, I trashed it. Now, I’m seemingly stuck in a career I do not and have never enjoyed. I still want to write. We won’t get into my failed NANOWRIMO attempts just yet. I still have piles of journals with pages torn out. Yes,I admit to trashing some just last week. I just want to sip tea and write all day. When I have days when it’s possible to sip tea and write all day, the fear tells me I can’t because what if someone READS IT!? We can’t have that, why don’t you just go do some laundry instead. I’m currently experiencing a bout of inspiration brought on by reading The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer. I’ve read countless books and blogs with the just fucking do it approach, but this one has really hit me hard. Maybe because I read it when I actually have what I think might be a good story rolling around in my head and I crave the extra push to get started. So here is where my accountability comes in. While I don’t know if I will ever let anyone see this story I want to write, I’m determined to finish it. I plan on chronicling my progress, struggles, questions, and fears here (lots of fears, lots and lots of fears). I will write this so I will write that. Does that make sense? It does in my head. Also, every author I love blogs so there must be some correlation to blogging and the ability to write awesomeness, right? My introverted self inexplicably feels the need to have people on this quest with me. Off we go then!