A.K.A. Go with Your Gut
March Madness, Day 13.
If you arrived here on schedule, then you know to what Madness I refer.
If your interwebby wanderlust led you to my humble cyber abode, welcome, I say to you, and check out Denise Jaden’s blog to see how blissfully mad we writers are this March (and throughout the year).
We are days away from the midpoint of our journey, how dost thou fare?
I’ve always considered myself a nonconformist, one that goes against the grain. At the same time, I’m a person who doesn’t want to ruffle any feathers. I go with the flow. So, how does that unlikely combo work?
Consider this Expectation v. Reality Scenario:
Ever start your day thinking this?
You try your hardest but you spend your day dodging curveballs and it ends like this:
That’s what my Winter 2015 Semester’s been like on the whole.
Now, I’ve been fortunate. All my deadlines have been met, even though it meant I lost a LOT of sleep. My classmates marvelled at my ability to function. In fact, I had unusual amounts of energy considering I should’ve been knocked out.
You put your body through the wringer when it counts. You have no choice. Somehow, things work out, but it’s not always case. That’s why I believe I’ve been lucky in that regard. I wouldn’t want to push the limits though. The other morning I’d intended on waking up at 04h30 and slept through two alarms. Despite my wishes to stay on top of things, my body fought back.
Me: There’s too much to do. Get up.
Writing is a wonderful, dreadful, exhilarating, exhausting, fulfilling, and draining experience, and we do it because it’s who we are.
This week, we’ve also been talking about taking care of ourselves. We’ve all heard how writers are masochists, but there’s only so much the body can take before we shut down.
Thankfully, my body didn’t hate me that much for all I’ve put it through and my internal clock had me open my eyes at 06h10, early enough to grab a quick shower and get to my 08h30 class on time.
What does all this mean?
Let’s take a look at the first half of the month. What did we do that was good for us as writers and as people? What can we improve? What can we do differently? We’ve got two weeks left in March Madness, but of course, we won’t stop there. We always keep going.
Sometimes we ask ourselves what all this is for. Is there a point to the daily struggle of putting words on a page? Should we relieve the strain on our eyes as we stare at a blank screen for X amount of minutes, hours or days?
We look to the cosmos, look all around, in search for a sign.
You see a plot hole, go in another direction. Hit a bump in your story arc, switch gears. We’re not masochists. We’re writers. We’re not quitters. We’re innovators.
Keep chugging. It’s what we do.
Down to minutes before my class, I finally got my story done, one that kept plaguing me for weeks. I churned it out because I had to. Something triggered in me–the looming deadline was definitely a part of that–and it got done. Motivation, adrenalin, fear, and running on fumes, it got done.
What surprised me was that I wrote outside my usual genre, my wheelhouse. There weren’t any teens or middle-grade protagonists in the story, but I was okay with this new territory. All part of the adventure, right? And taking these literary risks in a writing class is the perfect opportunity for experimentation with feedback in real time. What better way to grow as a writer?
I got through my biggest obstacles so far this semester and I’m looking forward to the brief reprise before I jump into my full-time program this summer: Teaching English as a Second Language. I got accepted into the program (YAY!) and I’ll get the certification I need to help pay the bills as I continue to write (DOUBLE YAY!), but I’ve got an INTENSE semester ahead, so I need to pace myself.
Trust your instincts and be prepared for anything. It’s important to take care of yourself throughout this entire process because we all know that once we’ve reached our goals, we’re gonna do it all over again.
Believe that you’re on the right path and don’t stress out over challenges on the way.
See you tomorrow at Dawn’s blog as the Madness continues.
So funny, I had gone to your page and your new post wasn’t up yet- and I had taken forever to check in so I thought maybe you were behind in your day! Today I actually woke up at 5:00am and wrote for an hour before running the dogs. It was great! I am finally getting hold of my writing but so far it’s been hard to get there. My day job has had a stranglehold on me so much. But today I said “screw this” and got up and succeeded. So I hope your weekend is full of awesome writing and thanks for hosting!
Indeed. My body was just catching up with my mind. 😉
Success of any kind is worth big YAYS!
Hope your weekend is as awesome as I hope mine to be.
I think it’s hilarious (and true!) that writing can be exhilarating and draining at the same time! Thanks for the check in. I’m not feeling terribly motivated this week, but I’m pushing through and at least getting through a couple of pages each day.
Sometimes willing the words out doesn’t go according to plan, but you’re still getting things done and that’s what matters. 🙂
I have NO idea what my excuses are this week. I have SO MUCH great stuff on the horizon, and it’s been an exhilarating week in so many ways—but it’s like I’m paralyzed or something. I can’t seem to plug through to any actual writing. And yet, my other creative muses are firing on hyperdrive — I’ve got two new ideas jostling around in my brain, I’ve amped up the “writing” aspects of the day job, and toyed with some fun new promotion ideas for my Sept 2015 release. But when it comes to getting the words on the page, I’m stuck. I’m going to spend tomorrow re-focusing, and hopefully get back on track…before I REALLY go mad.
I think it’s a matter of perception. You words have a tinge of disappointment to them but all I see is that you’re doing just fine. People tend to forget that we’re not machines. The fact that you’re immersed in creative goodness is awesome news. No excuses needed. You’re working on your art. Writing is but one facet to such a complex endeavor. Being ‘off-track’ doesn’t mean you’re not still headed in the right direction. 🙂
Amen to this! Right now I”m still at the draining part as I’m digging deep to get the emotion and chemistry between my characters. I want readers to fall in love with them and want to go on their journey. Very draining!
Thanks for hosting!!!
Draining AND rewarding. Your motivation is sound. 🙂
“Expectations versus reality”… they really are at odds with each other some days. LOL. I set wimpy goals and still am just barely meeting them this month. So. Many. Distractions! My writing group was supposed to be meeting this afternoon and was postponed, so I’m using the time to write. At least this week I may end up with a decent number of words.
You set goals and any amount being met is still a win in my books. 🙂 Wishing many words your way. Have a great weekend.
Yes! I love the images you used. It seems sometimes that it is when I set goals that distractions and chaos come out of the woodwork. More likely they were there all the time, i just wasn’t pushing against them =) Thankfully I have a computer again as of today, so am going to write tonight! The time without one was terrible for my word count goal, but I did have a major plot breakthrough! So I can’t say that it was wasted =)
Yay for breakthroughs! I love it when they come as pleasant surprises. Don’t wear out the computer too quickly. Something tells me that keyboard is gonna light up this weekend! 🙂
Today wasn’t a good day writing-wise…but! Not a quitter…keep chugging. The day’s not over yet! Thanks, Tonette. 🙂
Sending happy writing vibes your way!
I’m late again! Had a miserable field trip with Ghost Daughter (cold and rainy), but I’m back. I love “we’re not quitters; we’re innovators.” That is so true. When we get stuck, the only way out is to try something different. There is no other option. And most of have said silently (or not so silently), “That’s it! I quit!” but then we can’t stop ourselves from coming back to the page.
I’m fighting that urge a bit right now, but my urge to discover something new in this work is stronger. I hope all you mad wipsters find that something new and write on!
It’s that urge to discover that keeps us all going as writers. Cheers for overcoming the obstacles. 🙂