Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for October 16th, 2021

Everything in life that’s worth doing is just so much work. Why can’t it be almost as easy as not doing it? It takes work, determination, little fails and setbacks, and pushing on, to achieve your goals.

Photo by x ) on Unsplash

Why Does the Climb Up Feel Longer Than the Fall Down?

a k a My Stories Are Rejecting Me.

by L V Gaudet

You want to be fitter, leaner, stronger, healthier, and feel better. It’s so good for you; your mind, body, and soul. But by all that is unholy, holy, and otherwise, in this world… why is it so hard? Why is exercising so exhausting and muscle aching instead of invigorating? Why is counting calories such a time goblin? Why is life so much easier and enjoyable scarfing down sweet or salty snack bliss, having drinks, lounging about watching shows, movies, or whatever else rocks your viewing boat, and generally feeding your mind and body’s whims? Why should cutting back leave you feeling hungry, tired, and bleh?

The secret to this, of course, is that you are retraining yourself; mind, body, and soul. You may not realize it, but that retraining alone is mentally and emotionally exhausting, and that translates to the physical. It will get easier. In time. And I am saying this despite feeling like a failure this morning. A hungry, achy, tired, emotionally and mentally drained vampire victim who looked miserably down at the scale and silently repeated the mantra, “Baby steps. Baby steps. Baby steps. It takes time.”

Why? Because this is week two down of our self-imposed torture challenge of 31 days of working towards healthier us. “Sober October”, if you recall, which is about 31 days of sobering cutbacks and kick-it-ups in the name of self- punishment, ahem, love, and coming out feeling and looking better. We are at the halfway point and I’m feeling the burn of setback after the 3.2 lbs loss in the first week (with using weight machines three times!) AND hit the second week plateau of losing only 0.6 of a pound with the only exercise being the treadmill and elliptical machines. Really. 0.6 of a pound. What amounts to a good poop. Maybe not even a good one. Maybe just a mediocre one. If only I could have pooped before weighing myself first thing after a pee and before the shower and coffee. I could have doubled that weight loss! FYI, I am committed also to only a once-a-week, same bat date same bat time (oops, that is an old reference some of you might catch) weighing in because the body naturally fluctuates weight day to day, and even between times of day. And because the weight machines thing. Itty bitty muscle bit ways more than large globs of fat and all.

Even knowing this week two plateau is completely normal and to keep going means it will pass, it’s still frustrating. It’s not a fail, but just part of the process. Knowing that doesn’t change what you feel or make your feelings any less legitimate. Make yourself feel pretty and keep trying.

“You are boring me with the ‘I’m exercising and dieting and I hate it’ pity party. What does this have to do with writing?”

Yeah, I know that’s what you are saying, even if only in your head. Read on.

My stories are rejecting me. How is that even a thing?

That’s like self rejection. Wow. Can they even do that?

The reality is that everything you do, from getting fit to learning something new, takes work. Doing nothing is easy. That also goes for writing.

If you’ve been following me, then you know that I’ve been struggling myself with writer’s block since March 19, 2020.

For some of us, writing is that identity we hold near and dear, what makes us truly feel who we are. For some it’s their main, or only, outlet to express themselves, vent, or otherwise have that release others get from talking to close friends.

You sit down and want to write, but your mind just won’t go there. An invisible abyss stretches, impossibly vast and seemingly nonexistent at the same time, between your wish to write and the story so tantalizingly near yet far. You feel for all the world like the story itself is refusing you, rejecting you. This is where I’m sitting, whether it’s tackling one of many novel or short story WIPs, or trying to start something new. Even efforts to think about writing craft tips, techniques, and the million things that help improve your writing and story are a blank empty nothing. A vagueness that is there but out of reach. Like the whispers almost heard in the darkness and that illusive perceived motion in your peripheral vision that is gone when you turn to look.

But really it is you who are rejecting yourself, shutting down. Out of fear the inspiration will fail you. That your writing will fail to bring the story alive. For other reasons you may not even see or recognize. Maybe it’s because of your perception the people closes to you don’t care about or support your needs and desires to write. Whatever the cause, it’s self-deprecating and self-sabotage.

How I’ve been tackling the writer’s block (confession).

If you’ve been following me you might also remember some of the advice I’ve given on getting past writer’s block.

Those suggestions do work. They are effective. The crux of it is that not one of them works every time or for everyone. It’s playing the trial and error game of finding out which methods work for you, and what worked last time might not work this time.

I’ve thought about the various ways to break the vicious cycle of writer’s block. What has or has not worked for me personally in the past. The one thing that usually works for me is editing. Yeah, I’m not a fan of editing either. But, it both is a necessary evil of being a writer, your work must be edited until you want to strangle Editing and never edit again, and for me almost always results in the creative juices flowing again.

Now the confession. You have to actually get past OPENING the story file. I’ve thought about the ways to get past the writer’s block. I’ve even made some half-hearted attempts to start a new story, since the 1000s of WIPs weren’t ‘speaking’ to me. I have gone so far a few times as actually opening one of the primary WIPs I most want to finish. I’ve gently castigated myself for my failure. The reality is I haven’t really tried. Not really.

Not because I don’t want to, or through depression, which can be absolutely debilitating. It’s really just life. Commitments. Time. And feeling like, “What if I get into it, the flow starts, and just as the ideas start coming I have to stop and lose it?” My biggest enemies are that nasty goblin, Time, and not really feeling the urge like I should.

The job that pays the bills, family, household, and the four-legged hairy beasts take up the majority of my time. These are musts on the higher end of the priority scale. There’s the volunteering with the Manitoba Writer’s Guild that takes time, and with proofreading for the Horror Writers’ Association newsletter, which takes less time. It doesn’t leave a lot of time for pursuing writing, or the extra time to break that nasty little writer’s block.

A small measure of success.

Writing these blog posts in the hope of helping others a little these couple of weeks is a small measure of success. It seems that putting my mind to others is the key driver this time against the inability to focus on writing or editing. They are small commitments that take longer than one might expect, especially with the constant interruptions and distractions. Again, repeat the mantra, “Baby steps. Baby steps. Baby steps. It takes time.”

And it does take time. Writing and editing can come in baby steps in between everything else. Sometimes that’s just what you need to do. I’ve written this short article over three days. Some have taken me all week. But just doing this is writing. It is feeding that wicked and fickle muse. With luck I can translate this to managing some time to focus on the fiction writing, my writing goal.

I will speak again of another success. Soon. It’s not huge by any stretch, but in Writers’ World it is something. I’ve already made the announcement on other social media platforms, so you may have seen it. I’m repeating it again and again because that’s self-promotion. You will be sick of seeing it if you are not already.

NaNoWriMo is coming!

Another reason to break the ugly no-writing cycle. I’ve had great success in past years, not recently though. I keep wishing and hoping, but Time just isn’t in it with me.

Are you planning yet? It’s only a few weeks away, the November challenge of 50,000 words written in 30 days. Not so bad when you think about it as 1667 words per day. Some pre-planning your story helps. I’ve got zero on that. Not even an inkling of an idea of a story. Not having time to commit to it the past few years doesn’t help spur the creativity and eagerness for NaNo. The past few years, and this one again, I’m on the fence about whether to try. More fallen off then fence than on it. But still in the past couple years I broke down and made a semi-conscious, mostly non-attempt.

I wish you great success if you are taking the challenge.

Time management is key.

I know. We’ve all heard the many Time Management tropes from so many sources and for so many purposes. But it can be the make or break of everything. Nothing happens without the time to do it.

I need to improve my time management if I hope to turn a few random rambling blog posts into serious get-that-novel (and short stories)-done writing.

Not only is time management a skill, it’s learnable, improvable, and can help in every part of your life, including your well-being. As a writer, writing is part of that well-being, so it’s a double fix for us.

I plan to think about how I can make my time management better. Perhaps we can come together and share our ideas on it, what worked and didn’t work for us. Better time management means feeling less out of control, less rushed, and more enabled to do what you want to do. This is an exercise I hope to have success with, enough to feel like I’m actually writing more than the occasional blog post.


Keep writing, my friends. One word, one sentence, at a time.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: