Category Archives: Encouragement
This week has been the first really good “writing week” for a while for me. And I’ve finally figured out one of the major factors that lets me just write without restraint: being guilt-free.
I’m not talking about the sort of guilt one might get from having done something “bad”. I mean the sort of nagging guilt that sits in the back of your head, telling you that writing is something you should be doing after you’ve done this or that, that other things should take precedence and need doing first, and then you can get back to writing. That guilt actually has no right to exist! That might be obvious in hindsight, and some may be lucky enough to have a lot more time to dedicate to writing and it never becomes an issue, but to me, it’s something I only really thought about this week.
Working full-time and having a family means I have a very limited amount of time to spend on my hobbies and my passion, writing. (Not that I mind – I enjoy what I do and love my family to bits.) Work has been busy, plus I helped someone out putting together a website, plus a few other things that needed to be taken care of, plus I think I put myself under a bit of pressure taking part in the A to Z Challenge last month, so overall my writing suffered a bit. Oh, I found some time to edit here and there, to make notes about things I need to change/rephrase/improve/add/remove here and there while reading my work on the train to and from work, to write down some ideas I had; I even got around to writing just a little. But it wasn’t really much – not enough to give me that satisfaction that my book is progressing nicely, which is an awesome high.
The unexpected positive side-effect from having had all this time where I didn’t get around to writing much is that, instead of feeling a little guilty, I feel like… well, like I’m owed some writing time.
The pendulum has swung to the other side.
This Wednesday (my designated writing day during the week), I had a really great session and got a sizeable chunk of writing done. Ah, that feels great! And I think that I can now use this experience to my advantage by telling myself that I should be allowed to write more – as long as I don’t neglect the other things I need to do, that nagging feeling of guilt has no right to tell me I should do something else first. Feels good to have figured out that I can now “influence” that pendulum and tell it to stay the heck on one side, the other side is off limits unless it has a really good reason to be there. (Ok, on second thoughts, a pendulum isn’t really the best analogy… but you get my meaning.)
So now, I’m back to sitting at my desk, headphones on with some of my favourite music playing, and I’m enjoying writing a quick blog post (I keep telling myself it’ll be quick, but it never is…) before I get to travel back into that wonderful world I’ve created in my mind. I don’t even care whether saying that it’s wonderful is bragging. 😛 I got some gaming out of my system as well this week (something I need to do periodically, I’ll blog at some point about that “other guilty pleasure”), so nothing is standing in my way, including my own conscience. I have the right mindset and I’m not letting go.
Take that, guilt!
It’s Saturday night, no plans, no guilt, and there are hours left in which I can write. In the immortal (paraphrased) words of the great poet, Homer Simpson:
Mmmmh, writing… *drool*
Another wonderful – nay, perfect (she’s a self-proclaimed recovering perfectionist, so this should mess with her head a bit) – post full of humour and truth from Kristen Lamb, with irrefutable scientific proof (“it’s science, don’t argue” – which, as a father of three, i.e. a fellow scientist, can confirm as 100% accurate) that we writers need to chillax.
Many of us are running around like a one-legged man at an @$$-kicking contest. Writers juggle a lot of things at the same time—day jobs, family, laundry, dishes, finances, family, sickness, loss, and THEN there is the actual WRITING. I’ve come to understand that most of us writers live in two opposing states of being:
The State of I SO ROCK Narcissism and The State of I Don’t Deserve to LIVE, What the Hell Was I THINKING?
We write a few pages and think: “OMG, this is AWESOME.”
Next Day: I suck *hangs head*. Where is that brochure for dental hygienist school?
We revise and revise trying to make our work perfect. Whether it’s a book, parenting, or doing bills many of us hold ourselves up to impossible standards. We just about get the house clean and then…the family comes home. Just finish the dishes and…time to start dinner. AHHHHGGGGGG!
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Hats off and kudos to Kristen for baring her soul in a wonderful blog post. It’s quite lengthy but well worth the read, and I doubt anyone will be able to read through it without having a few of the truths hit close to home.
The first step to improving a fault is recognising it. That makes you an “ex-jerk” in my book, Kristen 😉
I am one of the most blessed people on the planet. Truly. I’m not a millionaire and may never be, but I’m infinitely rich. I wouldn’t trade the wonderful people I know personally and on-line for anything. This is a tough post to write because it’s vulnerable. But I know that all of us struggle and fail and fall and often what keeps us pressing is to know others have been a mess (or still are one). It’s why I’ve branded everything I do under We Are Not Alone.
I have a confession. I am a Recovered (Recovering?) Jerk. It would be nice to lie to you and tell you I never have my moments, but I do. Thankfully, they are much rarer than they used to be. Today, I’d like to talk about some of my Jerk Reformation. It could be a BOOK…okay a SERIES of…
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