GET IT DONE!
Let’s Fall In Love
This blog will follow my personal journey into getting the book DONE! In this first post under the title I write about my “new” first step into getting this WIP (or any of my WIP’s) finished: “Don’t be so hard on myself; I love words, I love stories-Let’s fall in love, again.”
For the better part of this year I had been stagnant in my craft. I can give the excuse of work, health (high blood pressure and headaches but I’m happy to report that things have progressed for the better in this area as of late because of a healthier diet, exercise and medication) and an unhealthy obsession with Netflix, but if I’m going to be truthful it was my lack of devotion that hindered my growth.
For a while I thought I needed outside motivation, like the vigilant, watchful eye of a critique partner resting on my shoulder. Their gaze constantly on the proverbial clock as I frantically type words that thread together like zigzag of a kaleidoscope. Now, that’s pressure. And, for the record, I belong to a fabulous critique group that is caring, intelligent, and honest. I value being a part of this group and my entire time with them has been productive, creative and beneficial.
But for all that, I needed something deeper, something a critique partner or a friend or a mentor couldn’t give me. I needed to fall back in love with my story. Just like in any relationship-it takes work, compromise and understanding. I’d given up, not held my end of the bargain. I hadn’t tried, not in the way I should have. (Please see my post “Forget the Muse”) So, I asked myself a few honest questions about work, compromise and understanding as it related to my writing process and my love for storytelling:
Are you willing to put in the amount of work it will take to write the stories you want to tell? Will you put in the same effort as you do at your day job?
The answer is yes, I’m ready. Really ready. No excuses, no blame. I’m a daytime writer (of course I write at night also, but I’m most productive in the morning and afternoon hours) so, I will get up when the alarm actually rings and not 2 snoozes later, and I will sit at my desk and write (with coffee, of course). This a commitment I will make because my craft is important to me. Just as I work hard at my day job, I will do so with my true love. I take pride in my desk job, I want to make a difference. I want to help people. So why wouldn’t I take those same values and put it into my writing? Work is work. No matter what it is, the same rules apply essentially. You get back what you put in. I wouldn’t slack at work, I’d get fired. Therefore-in a manner of speaking, if I don’t write, there will be no book.
Are you willing to sacrifice for your craft?
You bet! It’s a streaming service, I can watch Netflix anytime. Get my buns in the chair and type. Jokes aside, there are times when lunch dates, movie nights and happy hour are very appealing but when it conflicts to the point of not getting any writing done then I admit, I feel guilty. Not to mention when I’m on a roll and take a break to “go out” and lose all the wonderful, delightful words that were floating in my head only to not remember a thing afterwards. You guys know what I mean. If you have a sentence in your head or an idea for a cool scene and you don’t write it down right away-you lose it! It’s so frustrating, which is why I also now carry a notebook everywhere I go. When I say sacrifice, I don’t mean ignore your duties: the kids, the errands, household stuff. I’m talking about those times when “leisure” things trump honing your craft. (At least until the project is done)
What do you want to write? Who are you speaking to?
This seemed to be the hardest question of them all. I ping-ponged between genres assuming I’m this kind of writer or that kind of writer. When all I had to be was true to myself. I love talking about love, I’m a hopeless romantic at heart, but I also include about social and women’s issues; cyber-bullying, teacher-student scandal, infertility, divorce, healthcare, sexism and racism. I have core love stories at the root with other issues sprouting out like naked branches of a tree.
I speak to anyone with an open-mind who wants to take a ride with me as I interpret the world as I see it. Stories that beg the question “What would you do in that situation?” Stories that open up dialogue. Stories that make you want to fall in love. And hopefully stories that make you want to keep reading.
I’m in love again. And it feels good in that excited and anxious kind of way. The butterflies are fluttering and I’m back in the game.
Stay with me as I journal my progress on this particular WIP.
And, for those of you who fell out of love with your WIP and found your way back, I’d love to hear your story.
As always, Happy Writing!